sport

Rummenigge critical of schedule

Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has accused his club's league rivals of coercing to make life difficult for the German champions.

The Bundesliga season commences on August 22, with Bayern's World Cup winners in training for only a few weeks at that stage.

At a meeting of club managers several months ago, Rummenigge made a request to put the new season back one week, so that those involved in the World Cup finals could enjoy a longer rest - but this suggestion was dismissed.

And Rummenigge complained to the Bild newspaper: "The reason for that is that they saw it as their only chance to cause Bayern any problems.

"I would like to see a bit more solidarity among the clubs who sent a lot of players to the World Cup. Dortmund also sent eight or nine players."

Bayern were hardest hit by Germany's success in Brazil, with seven players all involved in the final last Sunday.

They are not due to start pre-season training until the first week in August, leaving them only a few weeks to prepare for the start of the new season and Bayern's opening clash with Wolfsburg on Friday, August 22.

That puts the champions at a handicap, according to Rummenigge who nevertheless believes his club have the best coach to deal with it in Pep Guardiola.

"He had this same experience in 2010 when he was in charge of Barcelona and many of his player came back late as world champions, but Barca still defended their league title and won the Champions League," he said.