The Germans are coming!

Guest Post by Cathal  – 17 year old Irishman, best known as ‘The FM Guru’ on Youtube, and Twitter @TheFMGuru

(Getty)

(Getty)

German teams in Europe this season can feel very optimistic indeed. The prospect of an all-German final in the Champions League has left many wondering whether or not this is the beginning of a golden era for German football, and the beginning of German continental superiority. To some, this success appears to have happened overnight, and has come as a shock. To those who have looked beneath the surface, this rise in stature has been as a result of a number of factors.

We’ve seen financial superpowers come and go in the English leagues, the most extreme examples of which being Leeds United and Portsmouth. It’s unlikely that anything of this severity will occur in the German Bundesliga, with their strict controls in place preventing teams from overspending.

Financial reports from Deloitte indicate that Bayern Munich found themselves in fourth place with regards to revenue in the 2011/2012 season with revenue totaling £386.4 million. Borussia Dortmund continued to rise, climbing 5 places on the previous year to eleventh, with their revenue totaling £189.1 million. The Bundesliga’s new deal with Sky has sky rocketed, from around £210 million to £410 million. Surely Sky would not have been persuaded to come up with such a price increase had they not been confident in the attractive brand of football the Germans are portraying?

German clubs have been helped too by the £1.1 billion investment in regards to their match day revenue, due to the German authorities wish to expand stadium capacities for the 2006 World Cup. The Bundesliga has the cheapest ticket prices and the highest average attendances in Europe, showing Europe’s top domestic leagues that success does not necessarily have to come at a crippling price.

(Getty)

(Getty)

A lot to has been made of Germany’s youth academies, with the high quality players emerging in recent years. This would not have been possible however, without the agreement between the Bundesliga and the German FA made in 2002, that clubs must run an education academy for youngsters if it were to obtain a licence to compete in its league. The results were truly spectacular. In the German squad for the 2010 World Cup, 19 of the 23 players picked came from these academies. The remaining 4 were from Bundesliga 2 academies.
What makes these academies so successful and vital to German football as a whole, is that at least 12 players in each youth intake have to be eligible to play for Germany. This system costs £67.5 million of the Budesliga’s turnover every year, £15 million less than the English system. Boys are only taken into the academy from the age of 12 onwards, with around 5000 going through at any one time. 44% of the players in the Bundesliga were foreign in 2004, and that number has now dropped to 38%.
Clubs are working on developing their youth systems, rather than going out into the transfer markets and paying obscene amounts of money. This has certainly increased the competitiveness of the league, and well as maintained financial stability. This is now flash in the pan, the Germans have had this developing for the past decade, and they’re reaping the rewards now.
One thing is for certain, the Germans are rising again.
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