If you’re a follower of the Bundesliga and you don’t root for Bayern Munich, chances are you’re sick of seeing them win all the time. Well, you’re not alone and you’ve got a couple of good allies.
Borussia Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel and ex-football league boss Wolfgang Holzhauser say they support using playoffs to name a Bundesliga champion to make things more competitive.
Holzhauser, the former head of the German Football League, said the discussion about playoff is "more relevant than ever,” telling a German magazine on Monday that the change could make the Bundesliga more suspenseful.
"The consideration of getting the top four in the Bundesliga to play in a playoff at the end of the season is more relevant than ever,” he said. "It is something that many people are considering.”
Tuchel also said he is open to the idea. Although Borussia Dortmund won back-to-back championships in 2011 and 2012, Bayern Munich regained their place on top, where they have been ever since.
"Why not? It would give the runners-up, third and fourth the chance to be champion,” Tuchel said when asked about Holzhauser’s comments. "I do not think play-offs are far-fetched. I am basically very open to rule changes.”
In leagues like the Bundesliga, where there are one or two powerhouse teams, the champions can sometimes be decided with a significant amount of the season left to play. That’s not exactly a new problem, though, and there are no proposed format changes on the table from any decision-makers.
Holzhauser added: "In the long run, the dominance of one club is not good for the competition.
Major League Soccer is one of the few leagues that uses a straight knockout competition to determine a champion, following the format of all major American sports that use a postseason playoffs. Mexico and other leagues throughout the Americas have some sort of postseason playoff to name a winner, but across Europe and in the Bundesliga, the top team at the end of the season wins the title.
Adding playoffs to the Bundesliga, one of the top competitions not just in Europe but globally, would be a significant shift, but it remains to be seen whether the idea is just all talk.