Unhappy Bayern slams media coverage
Leading figures at German champions Bayern Munich hit out angrily against the media for its reporting of the club's recent loss of form, even threatening to take legal action if necessary.
Bayern's chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, president Uli Hoeness and sport director Hasan Salihamidzic appeared together yesterday to speak out against what they consider unfavourable media coverage.
Rummenigge labelled some of the criticism aimed at Bayern "derogatory, slanderous reporting" as he addressed a packed news conference.
After winning the past six titles, the 28-time German champions are sixth in the Bundesliga and have not won their past four matches overall.
"Today is an important day for Bayern Munich because we are telling you we will not put up with it anymore," Rummenigge said.
"Polemic seems to know no boundaries anymore ... This applies to the media, it applies also to experts, and it applies above all to experts who once played football for this club."
Rummenigge even cited Article 1 of Germany's basic law: "The dignity of man is sacrosanct."
The Bayern officials complained against 'outrageous' criticism of club stalwarts Manuel Neuer, Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels following Germany's 3-0 loss to the Netherlands last week.
Former Bayern player Olaf Thon, now a TV pundit, said Boateng and Hummels were playing "old-man football" in the side's central defence. Thon, a skillful midfielder who played for Bayern from 1988-94 stood by his criticism.
Bayern who started the season well under new coach Niko Kovac, with seven straight wins in all competitions, have been the subject of critical coverage for its lacklustre play in recent games. Kovac's side has appeared flat and laboured and were humiliated 3-0 at home by Borussia Moenchengladbach before the international break.