2019/20 Bundesliga preview
Background image: Daniel Sauer
Imagine playing a word association game in which the object is to match a novel title with the country it best describes. Germany would probably get Sense and Sensibility. As stereotypes go, however, pragmatism and discipline aren’t bad qualities with which to be stuck. The Bundesliga exhibits sense and sensibility in every transfer window, this summer’s being no exception. If Bayern Munich's seven consecutive titles with only Borussia Dortmund to consistently rival them deny the division competitive balance, the league at least stresses the financial variety.
Of its 18 clubs, only the quintet who finished in 2018/19’s top five places are more than €20 million in the red at the writing. None, not even supremely wealthy Bayern Munich, have spent €100 million more than they’ve sold. Of the other 13 clubs, five are within €10 million of breaking even and four are turning a profit. In fact, Eintracht Frankfurt [€44.3 million NetSpend] and TSG Hoffenheim [€79 million] have indirectly taken in 85% of the cash the Bundesliga’s top two, Bayern [€89 million] and Borussia Dortmund [€56 million] have invested.
Despite losing long-established sides VFB Stuttgart and Hannover 96 to relegation in 2018/19, alongside Nurnberg, stability is more important in the Bundesliga than the mad scramble for competitive glory that is the Premier League where, given Brexit, Pride and Prejudice might be the more suitable title.
With apologies to Jane Austen, here’s a look at the summer business and 2019/20 prospects for each club in the German top flight.