Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has hit back at comments from Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhüttl regarding Bayern’s pre-season tour of Asia. Leipzig are doing their pre-season preparations in Austria, where Hasenhüttl sniped: “I'm very grateful we are in Austria and not doing marketing in Asia". Rummenigge was quick to retort, calling Hasenhüttl's comments “cynical and divisive.”
Long-haul tours are stressful on players
Hasenhüttl criticized German clubs, especially Bayern Munich, for their hectic, pre-season tours. “I think it’s pretty outrageous what the players are asked to do on such trips. And I’m thankful that we’ve been spared from them so far. I think it’s problematic that the players are subjected to the stress of traveling and extreme changes of weather… I do not envy these teams,” he told the German press.
Juan Bernat and Franck Ribéry both picked up injuries during the tour while the team gained disappointing results in their friendly meetings against Inter Milan, AC Milan and Arsenal.
Bayern needs to tour, argues Rummenigge
On his return to Germany, Rummenigge replied to Hasenhüttl - stating that tours around Asia and America are beneficial to the Bundesliga in terms of marketing and TV revenues. “I find Hasenhüttl’s statements to be cynical and unproductive,” Rummenigge said. “Clubs who toured Asia or America performed a service for Bundesliga TV marketing. I'm skeptical whether teams choosing the easy option to prepare in Austria and Switzerland do this. It's all about solidarity. This word is overused in the Bundesliga, but you need to tour and take on a certain burden”.
Leipzig’s Director of Sport Ralf Rangnick joined in the war of words by stating that all Bundesliga coaches would prefer to tour in Europe. “If we were to plan such a trip, we’d have to be convinced that it would bring an enormous benefit. But if you were to ask all 18 Bundesliga coaches including Carlo Ancelotti, I'm convinced that all of them would prefer that their preseason takes place in Europe,” he said.
Rummenigge hails Bayern’s "successful Asian Tour"
Rummenigge highlighted several positive aspects of Bayern’s tour of Asia, describing it as “the most effective and beautiful tour Bayern have undertaken in the last years”.
He went on to add, “The tour's motto was Visiting Friends. It means we visit our fans in Asia, our players are up close and personal with the fans, and that we set up economic and political relationships in this important part of the world. That's worked out too. It's been a great trip, a complete success”.