Discussions about the number of US players in the German Bundesliga continue and current national team coach Dirk Bauermann used a podium discussion to add even more oil to the fire. Bauermann is known for pushing at every occasion for an increase in the number of German players in the Bundesliga by establishing a minimum quota of six domestic players instead of the current three.
The debate has been taken over by Financial Times Germany this weekend for an article where the former Bamberg and Leverkusen coach attacks the Bundesliga.
The Bundesliga is an alienated product that does not help anybody: not the fans, not the sponsors and the national team even less. Our sport has a profile that is not German enough. What does it help me as NT coach to watch a game like last weekend’s Ludwigsburg against Oldenburg where the playing time of all the German players in both teams was zero and where neither team has a German coach?
The problem is that the Bundesliga is pretty independent from the German federation and both have different goals. While Bauermann as national team coach and German federation employee wants the Bundesliga to use German players, the Bundesliga wants to improve its playing level and professionalism by opening the door to any kind of player.
Both points are understandable, but Bauermann is putting himself in a very strange situation as he asks for more Germans on the court while at the same time he tries to get German citizenship for US players (Kaman, Przybilla, etc).
However, the league does need to consider its current situation where minor US players are getting minutes and German talents prefer to move to the NCAA or are benched behind the ninth US player on the team. And here Bauermann goes for some very hard words against the club officials, saying:
We are signing US players that would tow cases in a supermarket in the United States if they weren’t playing in Germany.
On the one hand, this sounds pretty harsh and Bauermann may not give the necessary respect, but knowing that the league has no minimum salary and some players earn less than USD 1500 per month, he may be right. Still, this does not change anything for a league still missing an identity but is however a popular success with increasing attendance numbers and growing sportive success of the top teams.