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German football supreme ahead of Champions League final

The Champions League final is to be played at Wembley on Saturday between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund but the focus is as much off the field as well as on it, on how the German clubs do their business.

With no English clubs playing in the final and the richest Premier League clubs falling by the wayside early on, the German leagues show more respect to football fans with a fairer structure to promote success rather than the inequality in the English game on how the TV revenue is distributed and who gets the Lion's share.

Bayern and Dortmund are the top two teams in the Bundesliga where clubs boast the largest crowds in Europe, keep ticket prices low, are largely profitable and have produced a crop of talented young players.

"The German clubs best balance the economic, social and cultural requirements of football teams in Europe," said Ben Shave of Supporters Direct, an organisation that campaigns to get fans more involved in the running of clubs.

"There is a feeling within Germany that it is fitting that they have made it through to the Wembley final," he added.

With the financial Fair Play rules that UEFA, European soccer's governing body, is trying to enforce, the German's are seen by many as the role model for the future of the game.

HJ

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