Missing billions: DFL deal burst and the consequences: no more solidarity?

Missing billions: DFL deal burst and the consequences: no more solidarity?

After the abrupt end of the investor process in the DFL, is the future of the “solidarity community” in German football in question? It’s about the money. Looking for someone who can mediate.

German professional football is only too familiar with so-called “ordeal tests”, especially when a lot of money is involved. After the DFL billion-dollar deal burst, the dispute over direction among the 36 clubs seems so deadlocked that the break between big and small is a threat of a new magnitude.

The industry leaders FC Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund see their international competitiveness in acute danger – and so far the most important arbitration board has been vacant since June 30th. The larger clubs will “certainly also think about how things will continue for them,” said DFL supervisory board chairman Hans-Joachim Watzke, who is also chairman of the BVB management board, at the end of the press conference in Frankfurt / Main. Slightly acidified, he added that “please no one should come to him in the near future” with “solidarity issues”.

Will the league remain competitive?

That opened up space for speculation and speculation, such as the reorganization of the Bundesliga without the substructure of the second division as in the super-rich English Premier League. Or the (partial) marketing of the big clubs on their own, which until a few years ago led to the enormous imbalance within the Primera División in Spain. “For many in the league, the issue of competitiveness is obviously not that important, otherwise the way could have been cleared (for the entry of investors),” said Watzke.

So far, income from professional football has been generated and distributed via the central marketing of the DFL: one person negotiates for everyone. Hence the term “solidarity community”. There are regular arguments about the exact distribution of the money, from the national income it is currently an average of 1.1 billion euros per season. The current column model, with which slightly less than half is distributed according to performance, will expire after the 2024/25 season.

The DFL leadership had hoped that the entry of an investor would also give a boost to foreign marketing, which has so far been less profitable than in the other top leagues. “The goal was to strengthen the Bundesliga and the second Bundesliga,” said Bayern boss Oliver Kahn of the German Press Agency. Watzke said: “My people have calculated quite clearly for me in the last few months what Borussia Dortmund would cost each year – and it was similar at Bayern.”

Two-thirds majority not reached

Of the 36 clubs – 18 Bundesliga clubs and 18 second division clubs – 20 clubs voted in favor of the investor process, but eleven opposed it and five abstained. A two-thirds majority would have been required. After the public statements by 1. FC Köln and VfB Stuttgart against the DFL plans, the cut cannot be clearly drawn at the league border. “In the Bundesliga, about ten clubs have international ambitions,” said former DFL boss Christian Seifert on Wednesday evening at an event organized by the Frankfurt law firm Klinkert. The decision against an investor will “result in a few clubs having an even harder time internationally”.

Since his departure at the end of 2021, the 54-year-old has been considered the best person to fill the position of managing director. Successor Donata Hopfen was still unsuccessful during the preparation of the investor talks, the interim bosses Axel Hellmann (Eintracht Frankfurt) and Oliver Leki (SC Freiburg) who have been leading since then must also understand the burst deal as a defeat, both stop at the end of June.

“It is clear to us that we will present a new CEO in July,” said Watzke on Wednesday. According to reports, Bayern board member Jan-Christian Dreesen is in the conversation, but he should also play a role in the future plans of the troubled record champion. The new person will have to mediate and arbitrate in the coming months, especially since the important tender for media rights from 2025 is pending.

“Defeat for central marketing”

“The clubs need capital, which looks different in the second division than in the international clubs,” said Hellmann and described the rejection of the investor plans as a “defeat for central marketing”. The decision “will tend to widen the gap within the Bundesliga”. Leki prophesied: “You have to be aware of the consequences: in the next two years it will be a complicated undertaking.” The critics of the investor plan, which include loud sections of the fans, have a different focus.

They call for a continuation of the debate on how the league can ensure the financial growth it needs in other ways. “Significant further development only arises from a controversial discussion. That’s why we at FC Schalke 04 stand for not stopping the discourse now, but intensifying it,” appealed the chairman of the Revierclub, Bernd Schröder. Oke Göttlich, President of the second division club FC St. Pauli, struck a similar note. “We first have to develop a clear strategy, together and constructively – and then we can finance it in a targeted manner in order to achieve our clearly defined goals,” said Göttlich.

Source: Stern

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Posts