Spendthrift clubs slated

BERLIN - Norbert Lammert, president of Germany's parliament, has slammed the country's top football sides, particularly giants Bayern Munich, for the "excessive" salaries they pay.

BERLIN - Norbert Lammert, president of Germany's parliament, has slammed the country's top football sides, particularly giants Bayern Munich, for the "excessive" salaries they pay.

In an interview with yesterday edition of German tabloid Bild, Lammert directly criticised Bayern, who spent ß69 million last summer by recruiting some of European football's biggest names.

And Lammert highlighted the huge amounts of money involved in next month's transfer of 18-year-old Brazilian defender Breno, reported to be worth ß14 million, from Sao Paulo to Bayern.

"I am annoyed about the constant and substantial excesses which have blighted sport for years - particularly in football," Lammert told Bild.

"If the wealthiest German football club buys a Brazilian teenager for ß14 million and gives him an income which most family men cannot gain after years of hard work, something is wrong."

Lammert went on to defend the recent decision to hand Germany's politicians a nine percent pay rise, but his comments come after calls to Germany's parliament to limit the multi-million pay packets of the Bundesliga's top coaches.

Frank Bsirske, the boss of Germany's United Services Union, one of Germany's biggest trade unions, has called for higher taxes on Germany's highest salaries - particularly their sports stars.

And Juergen Thumann, the boss of the Federal Association of German Industry, has asked Germany's government to limit the amount football managers can spend on buying players. - Sapa-AFP

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