Bayern Munich's uncertain start to the season under new coach Niko Kovac has moved club bosses at the dominant force in German football to point the finger at the media for what they say is "disrespectful and disgusting" reporting.
Bayern has won six consecutive Bundesliga titles, but ahead of Saturday's game at Wolfsburg, the Munich club is sixth in the table, four points behind leaders Borussia Dortmund following a four-match winless streak for the champion.
Business and industry sectors
Business, economy and trade
Continents and regions
FC Bayern Munich
Sports and recreation
Sports organizations and teams
"FC Bayern will no longer accept this manner (of reporting)," Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told reporters on Friday in a news conference called at short notice.
Referencing the German constitution -- "human dignity shall be inviolable" -- Rummenigge added that the media "no longer thinks about dignity and decorum anymore.
"There seem to be no boundaries anymore, especially for the media and even 'experts' who have played at this club."
Kovac has faced criticism, as has Bayern captain and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer -- whose form has suffered after twice fracturing his foot in 2017 -- as well as Jérôme Boateng and Mats Hummels.
"When I read about Manuel Neuer then I just have no words. I would like to remind you that Manuel was world goalkeeper of the year four times," said Rummenigge told reporters. "Same goes for Jérôme Boateng and Mats Hummels."
Friday's media conference had been called at short notice and the Bayern hierarchy warned reporters they could face expect "mail from our media lawyer" for false or inaccurate reports.
"I don't know if there are special laws for the media but we will not accept this kind of reporting any longer," Rummenigge said.
"We will protect our coach, players and club. It is outrageous, disrespectful and polemical."
- Bayern Munich will no longer accept 'disrespectful and disgusting' reporting
- Bayern Munich's sonic revolution
- Real Madrid beat Bayern Munich to reach Champions League final
- Bayern Munich accused of racism over Halloween party photo
- Real Madrid to face Bayern Munich, Liverpool gets Roma in Champions League semis
- Bayern Munich: Visualizing the sound of fans in football's sonic revolution
- Barkley 'disgusted' with Trump presidency
- Stormy Daniels' lawyer: I'm disgusted
- Elon Musk says he would no longer accept Saudi investment
- Munich Airport builds custom doors for world's biggest passenger plane