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Bayern Munich face Borussia Dortmund in an all-German Champions League this Saturday - but does the German dominance of this year's competition represent a more profound shift in power?

Last Updated: 23/05/13 at 11:59 Post Comment

Bayern Munich: 2013 Bundesliga Champions

Bayern Munich: 2013 Bundesliga Champions

In a recent survey World Soccer magazine named the Bundesliga as the number one league in world football, ahead of the Premier League and La Liga.

The Premier League dwarfed their German rivals in revenues gained, with England's elite division bringing in £2.1bn for the 2011/12 season compared to the Bundesliga's £1.4bn. But the survey sought to look at factors other than just financial muscle.

"We deliberately set out to look at not just financial factors," said World Soccer editor Gavin Hamilton. "If we used the financial factors it would mean England, then Spain and then Germany.

"We wanted to look at other factors: how fans are treated, attendances, the number of star players and the quality of the coaching. Once we took all of those factors into account Germany was just ahead of England."

During the 2011/12 season the average attendances in the Bundesliga was 45,110 compared to 34,600 in the Premier League. German football also has strong records in youth development, coaching quality and continuity of ownership, where no one is supposed to own more than 49 per cent of a club. And their financial clout is growing on solid foundations.

Professor Simon Chadwick, from Coventry University, said: "There is this very strong and sound sense of cost control and good financial management within the Bundesliga and allied to that the Germans are becoming increasingly commercially savvy so they have realised that they not only need to control their costs but also to build their revenue streams too."

However, despite its increasing success on and off the pitch it would be premature to proclaim the Bundesliga as the driving force in European football.

"The Premier League, in terms of its profile, its presence, its brand, the personality of the brand, the culture of the game, has this pre-eminent position that other leagues simply don't have," said Professor Chadwick.

While three English teams - Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea - have won the European Cup in the past decade, Saturday's final will see a German club crowned champions for the first time in 12 years.

And for many, of course, La Liga has been the leading league in recent years with Barcelona winning it three times in the last seven years and setting the standard for entertaining football.

But while Saturday's Champions League final may not represent a transfer of power, it certainly suggests the Bundesliga is right up there with the Premier League and La Liga as the world's best leagues.

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