Bundesliga should be restructured to end Bayern's dominance, says ex-Germany international Effenberg

Bayern Munich Bundesliga trophy 2019-20Getty

The entire structure of the Bundesliga should be changed to stop Bayern Munich winning the German title every season, according to the club's former midfielder Stefan Effenberg.

Hansi Flick’s side recovered from a disappointing start to the season to win their eighth consecutive title, with their untouchable form also seeing them win a record 20th DFB-Pokal with a dominant victory over Bayer Leverkusen.

Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig and Borussia Monchengladbach were among the teams to threaten a title race at different stages, but Bayern finished with a 13-point gap to Lucien Favre's team in second.

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Plenty in and outside of Germany are concerned that such dominance from one club is bad for the league and for German football as a whole.

Now Effenberg, who won three league titles and the Champions League across two spells with Bayern, has suggested a radical solution.

“For me, it is very clear,” Effenberg wrote for t-online. “There has to be a new fire, it has to be re-lit.

“There is only one way to make the Bundesliga more exciting again to help this: a new version of it.”

Effenberg proposes the 18-team Bundesliga be divided into two groups of nine, through which teams can qualify for a championship and relegation round in the second half of the season.

Such a format would bear some similarity to Belgium’s Pro League, though the idea isn’t exactly the same.

Following the regular season in Belgium, the top six go into a title play-off system with each team playing home and away again, with the remaining teams doing the same for Europa League qualification and relegation.

Effenberg says something new has to be trialled in Germany at least for a season, because “one club cannot win 10 titles in a row – but that is exactly what could happen, if nothing changes."

He also warned of the effect of a lack of competition on fans’ interest, after reports that viewing figures for the DFB-Pokal final may have been as low as half the number seen six years ago.

“That may be the effect of the coronavirus crisis, but the numbers should be a warning,” he said.

“Many are bored of it because Bayern always win anyway.”

Bayern have also found themselves under fire from elsewhere in the Bundesliga, with Hoffenheim director Frank Briel publicly criticising their 'talent-poaching' transfer policy.