Bayern Munich’s dominance is likely to force the Bundesliga to hold playoffs

The German football season may only have just started, but FC Bayern Munich have already shown that they are unbeatable. Is it time for the Bundesliga to introduce playoffs?

Can anyone stop Bayern Munich this season?

That’s the question many are already asking after the Bavarian club, who have won the league title for the last 10 consecutive years, have shown dominance from the start.

The club defeated RB Leipzig 5-3 in the German SuperCup on July 30 and followed that up with a 6-1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga opener last Friday.

Both RB Leipzig and Eintracht Frankfurt, winners of last year’s Europa League, are two teams that some say can fight for the league title. The fact that Bayern defeated them so easily and handily can bode badly that the German football season is over before it’s even started.

Could the Bundesliga introduce a playoff system?

As a result of Bayern’s decades-long dominance, the notion that the Bundesliga must have playoffs to achieve some balance is gaining traction. Aside from introducing a salary cap, which doesn’t exist in European football, a playoff system could be needed to make the season less predictable.

Last February, Bundesliga boss Donata Hopfen said, in comments to the picture-on-Sunday newspaper, praised the merits of a cup-style final to decide the championship.

“Of course the league would be more attractive if there was more competition at the top,” he said. “If playoffs help, then we’ll talk about playoffs. But we shouldn’t forget that FC Bayern have done a great job in recent years.”

Bayern have won every league title since the 2012/13 season and are big favorites to do it again this spring despite losing ace goalscorer Robert Lewandowski to Barcelona in the summer. However, the addition of Liverpool’s Sadio Mane has set Bayern apart from everyone else.

Playoffs would make for great television both in Germany and around the world as the concept of determining champions in American sports is still largely unknown in most parts of the football world.

The way it could work would be to allow the top eight teams to advance to a bracket-style tournament where teams play home and away series. Germans are not afraid to try new things. For example the league already uses a distinctive method to determine who has been promoted and relegated in the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2.

endgames are generally not required in other European leagues. Bayern’s strong start and inevitable run could mean German football officials need to look seriously at ways to make the Bundesliga relevant again.

Otherwise it’s no fun watching a competition that’s over before it even starts. Bayern Munich’s dominance is likely to force the Bundesliga to hold playoffs

John Verrall

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