UEFA’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules are “damaging” the Bundesliga by making it difficult for Wolfsburg to challenge Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich, as well as European powerhouses like Real Madrid, says sporting director Klaus Allofs.
Wolfsburg are solely owned by car manufacturers Volkswagen and have previously been under investigation from UEFA as part of the FFP regulations.
Allofs believes the subsequent monetary constraints placed on the club due to their ownership structure have damaged the domestic league and make it tough for them to match the continent’s biggest sides, who can draw revenue from multiple sponsorship deals.
“We have to explain to UEFA that our money comes from a special situation where Volkswagen own 100 per cent. In principle, we cannot invest more money in the team,” he told AS.
“This is a limitation for many clubs and perpetuates the system to enable Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern to remain on top.
“The situation in the Bundesliga is badly damaged because Bayern gets money through many means: Telekom, Audi, Adidas. For us the biggest part of the money comes from VW.”
Although they are on course for a place in the Champions League semi-finals with a 2-0 aggregate advantage over Madrid ahead of their second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday, Wolfsburg are eighth in the Bundesliga, nine points adrift of the top four.
Allofs added that it is difficult for them to attract high-profile signings and admitted they have struggled to remain competitive domestically following the sales of Kevin De Bruyne and Ivan Perisic.
“The financial size of a team like Madrid is completely different [to Wolfsburg]. Madrid calls and the player goes – it’s the same with Bayern,” he said.
“I do not know if it’s easy to sign [players] in Madrid, but it’s totally different here. I began in November 2012 and chose [Dieter] Hecking as coach in January. We managed to get Luiz Gustavo and Kevin De Bruyne, players who would not normally come.
“We were able to convince them that we had the desire to be great in the Bundesliga – that attracted them. But after selling De Bruyne and Perisic, we could not maintain the same competitive level.
“At the moment we have a one-team league with Bayern Munich. Bayern spent a lot of money … so I am certain they will always be favourites.”