Leipzig´s Manager Ralf Rangnick looks on prior to the German first division Bundesliga football match between RB Leipzig and Schalke 04 in Leipzig, eastern Germany on Jan 13, 2018. (ROBERT MICHAEL / AFP)
BERLIN - The German Bundesliga won't be able to get over its economic disadvantages in comparison to the English Premier League, said RB Leipzig sports director Ralf Rangnick.
The 59-year-old said he does see any reason why things should change in the near future.
"Rumors speak about a further rise when it comes to the Premier League's TV contract from 2019 onwards. Considering that a league newcomer such as Huddersfield in England is already at the same level as the national champion Bayern Munich in Germany, one can imagine the effect on the two leagues' progress," Rangnick said.
The former TSG Hoffenheim manager mentioned the Premier League's growing attractiveness when it comes to top class managers from abroad. "Three years ago no famous foreign coaches were working in the Premier League besides Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger. Now the first six teams rely on excellent coaching quality from abroad," Rangnick said.
The German Bundesliga won't be able to get over its economic disadvantages in comparison to the English Premier League
RB Leipzig sports director
"Not only is the significantly higher salary attracting international top class players, but also a growing number of first class managers, Rangnick stressed.
Rangnick also said he regards Bayern Munich as the only German side that can compete on an equal footing with clubs in the Premier League. He mentioned that Germany's second richest club Borussia Dortmund is continuously losing top players and is suffering the most among all German clubs.
To be able to close the gap Rangnick suggested either higher TV income for German clubs or the need to soften up the strict "50 + 1" rule not allowing outside investors to gain the majority of shares of any individual club in the Bundesliga.
"If we accept the current status, the gap will even get wider," Rangnick said. He added that he is expecting an adverse effect on Germany's performances when it comes to international competitions.
The result would be that German clubs can't keep their stars, and only Bayern Munich is strong enough to face an international challenger.
Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge demanded significant effort by German clubs to secure the country's position in international football. Otherwise, the Bundesliga is in danger of lose two of its four starting places for the Champions League, the Bavarian official said. Rummenigge reminded Germany's clubs of the "common interest" of German football. "If we go on as we did in the last month, it will be hard to make ends meet and be successful in the future," Rummenigge commented.
When the round of 16 of the Champions League kicks off this week, Bayern Munich is the only German side still left in Europe's most important club competition. Dortmund and Leipzig were eliminated early after the group stage and have to continue in the far less attractive Europa League.
TSG Hoffenheim, Hertha BSC, and FC Cologne were eliminated after the Europa League group stage and completely disappeared from international screens.