Bayern Munich hit out at German media over 'disgusting' reporting

Bundesliga champions upset with how their players have been criticised after difficult start to the season

(FILES) In this file photo taken on May 20, 2017 Bayern Munich President Uli Hoeness (R) and Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge follow a ceremony prior the German first division Bundesliga football match FC Bayern Munich vs SC Freiburg in the stadium of Munich. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Uli Hoeness gave a press conference on October 19, 2018 to complain about the press coverage on the under-pressure club. / AFP / Christof STACHE
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Bayern Munich bosses Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Uli Hoeness on Friday launched an extraordinary attack on the German media over "disrespectful and disgusting" reporting amid a rare four-match winless streak for the Bundesliga champions.

"FC Bayern will no longer accept this manner (of reporting)," fumed Rummenigge, who even quoted a paragraph of the German constitution which says "human dignity shall be inviolable".

Rummenigge revealed Bayern have even taken legal action against the Axel Springer corporation which owns Germany's top-selling daily newspaper Bild.

"Obviously you no longer think about dignity and decorum anymore," he told reporters.

"There seem to be no boundaries anymore, especially for the media and even 'experts' who have played at this club."

Criticism of Bayern's stars, particularly club captain Manuel Neuer, who has struggled for form since twice fracturing his foot in 2017, plus veterans Arjen Robben, 34, and Franck Ribery, 35, has clearly irked the senior Bayern figures.


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Back-to-back league defeats against Hertha Berlin and Borussia Moenchengladbach have left Bayern sixth in the Bundesliga table -- four points behind leaders Borussia Dortmund before Saturday's match at Wolfsburg.

Bayern have won the past six German league titles -- often by a huge points margin -- meaning sharp criticism of the club is a rare occurrence.

Rummenigge and Hoeness certainly appear to be struggling to cope with the broadsides aimed at Bayern in recent weeks.

"We will not put up with this slanderous and degrading coverage," said Rummenigge.

"We will protect our players, our coach and also the club from today."

Hoeness, Bayern's president, continued by singling out individual journalists for fierce criticism, "we will not accept disrespectful, disgusting coverage".

Bayern's sports director Hasan Salihamidzic, who also attended the hastily-arranged press conference, fired back at criticism that he has failed to support head coach Niko Kovac enough publically.

"That was lacking respect, it has never come into question that there is a problem with Niko," fumed Salihamidzic.

"It's not on to criticise the entire work of the club, I was outraged how unashamed and disrespectful the coverage was."

Germany's journalist union wasted little time in hitting back at Bayern's fury.

"We won't allow the bosses of clubs to dictate how journalists report about football clubs, the games and people in charge of the clubs," said Frank Ueberall, the chairman of the German Journalists Union (DJV).

"I don't know of any law that means we have to bow down in front of FC Bayern.

"It is up to the media to call a bad run of results the way they are."