Borussia Dortmund are far from disenfranchised over Mario Götze

Joern Pollex

Borussia Dortmund may feel hard done-by over losing Mario Götze to Bayern Munich, but it's the simple economics of a football food chain.

Bayern Munich's signing of Mario Götze, we have heard, is everything that is wrong with football. It's killing the game. It shows the ludicrously unfair bias towards the big clubs, that they can just bully any smaller outfit into letting their best talent go. It'll surely end up destroying the league.

It's such a crime against football, in fact, that Dortmund will react by... doing exactly the same thing. Aside from some shots in the dark like Shinji Kagawa, Dortmund have been able to make the most of their status as Germany's second club, taking advantage of that position by hoovering up any domestic talent that Bayern have been unable or willing to secure. They did it with Marco Reus, and they'll likely react to the loss of Götze in the same fashion.

There have been suggestions that the response will, specifically, be to test Schalke's resolve with an offer they can't refuse for Julian Draxler. It would take advantage of some imbalanced books from their rivals, and would be an act of greater controversy than Götze's switch to Bavaria. Yet, even if that proves to be too fanciful, or Schalke set too high a price on their pride, there are other targets. Dortmund aren't paupers, especially with the money from the Götze transfer in their pocket, and there are plenty of potential delights on the menu, perhaps from Werder Bremen, or Frankfurt, or Borussia Monchengladbach.

Germany, despite the insistence of the league's competitiveness, is actually one of the most imbalanced in Europe, with Bayern enjoying a staggering advantage compared to their rivals. It's only that quirk, the power being so concentrated in the top team, that allows them to behave any differently. If Bayern want a player in Germany, then unless they're competing with foreign clubs, the player is theirs. Nobody can compete with them in a bidding war.

Other clubs, usually those in smaller countries, have accepted the way of things and built their entire strategy on it. Porto are the archetype, masters of buying low and selling high, extracting maximum price by selling their top players at the peak of their value while they have plenty of time left on their contract, to spend the money again on some new young talent. It's allowed them to punch well above their weight, and other countries trapped in poorer leagues are now coming round to their plan - the likes of Celtic and Ajax appear to have followed suit. It's not just for the smaller leagues either - Udinese are perhaps one other example.

It wasn't even really financial bullying that forced Dortmund's hand, but the release fee - so what they had already set as a fair price. And even if it was, it's the same way Neven Subotic, Lukas Piszczek, and Sven Bender were acquired - although at least Dortmund ended up getting something approaching a fair price for Götze. It's the way of the world, a simple food-chain, where Bayern are fortunate enough to be at the top table, relatively safe from becoming prey themselves. Dortmund don't have such a luxury - although that doesn't make their own carnivorousness any more saintly.

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