sport

Clubs blast Bayern chief

Schalke and Borussia Monchengladbach have hit back at Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge for suggesting the rest of the Bundesliga are plotting against his side.

Rummenigge accused his club's rivals of rejecting Bayern's request to delay the start of the 2014/15 season in order to gain an advantage from their World Cup-winning players' late return to pre-season training.

The new campaign commences on August 22, with Bayern's players - of whom seven were involved in the World Cup final - in training for only a few weeks at that stage.

Rummenigge had requested at a meeting of club managers several months ago for a longer holiday to be given to those players involved in the World Cup by putting the start of the season back a week.

However, that suggestion was dismissed by the other Bundesliga sides and Schalke's director of sport Horst Heldt has defended the decision.

"In the end, it's not just the big clubs who matter," Heldt told the Bild newspaper.

"We think the start date is correct. We want to see the Bundesliga played in nice weather while there are also plenty of clubs who need the revenue because the break has already been going since May.

"We also had players involved in the World Cup, but we are on the side of the Bundesliga and don't feel the criticism is aimed at us."

Heldt's Borussia Monchengladbach counterpart Max Eberl also cannot understand why Rummenigge is making an issue out of a date agreed upon at least a year in advance.

"We have this after every tournament, but it's not only Bayern who are affected - nearly everybody else is also," he said.

"Solidarity applies to 36 clubs, not just to one."