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Bayern, federation dispute continues

Berlin: The showdown between Bayern Munich and the German soccer authorities is not over despite what had looked like an acceptable compromise in a dispute over a controversial marketing deal.

The squabble seemed settled after the German Football League (DFL) said at the weekend that the runaway Bundesliga leaders had agreed to pay three million euros ($3.22 million).

The DFL, which will pay 500,000 euros to charity and keep the rest, said Bayern would face no further action for receiving a top-up of 21.5 million euros through a secret contract with the troubled KirchMedia group.

However, in a latest statement the DFL made it clear that it regarded Bayern as guilty of wrongdoing and the club are now threatening to pull out of the body that rules German professional soccer.

“We don’t want to have anything to do with the DFL anymore,” said Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

The problem is not the agreement as such, but, the way it was presented by both sides, with each issuing a separate statement.

The DFL described Bayern’s attitude as “morally reprehensible” and said it had agreed not to punish the club any further only to avoid a legal battle that could have harmed the entire Bundesliga. Bayern said it had offered to make the payment and suggested the entire sum should go to charity. “The entire DFL statement is an insult to Bayern,” said Rummenigge.

The scandal broke in February, when Bayern said they had received money from KirchMedia on top of television cash passed on to all German professional clubs via the Bundesliga.

Club executive Franz Beckenbauer has said Bayern could pull out of the Bundesliga and might consider joining Italy’s Serie A if they did not like the verdict. (Reuters)

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