'Referees must stop respecting Bayern'

The Bundesliga champions have been accused of receiving favourable treatment from officials

Referees are respecting Bayern Munich to the point of reverence and it is damaging Bundesliga football, according to Werder Bremen general manager Thomas Eichin.

Eichin, who has been in his role since February 2013 having managed ice hockey club Kolner Haie, hit the headlines ahead of Bayern’s visit to Bremen at the weekend by claiming the reigning champions are given preferential treatment by officials.

Bayern sporting director Matthias Sammer waded into the public debate, dismissing Eichin’s claims as baseless and asking if the Bremen boss had been hit in the head with an ice hockey puck.

Pep Guardiola’s men silenced Eichin, however, by running out comfortable winners over Bremen in their 4-0 rout of the mid-table hosts in a game that passed by without refereeing controversy.

However, Eichin has refused to let the issue die and has stressed there needs to be a more open discussion about how referees venerate Bayern, because their rivals cannot match them financially.

“I do not regret my statement,” the 48-year-old told Sport Bild. “The referees have an automatic respect for the players and staff of Bayern.

“This is not an accusation, it’s an observation. People just dare not address it for fear of reprisal.

“We have to sideline all of the respect and reverence for the Bavarians if we want to stand a chance over 90 minutes against them as we simply can’t go toe-to-toe in an economic sense.”