The two Bundesliga managers Axel Hellmann (Eintracht Frankfurt) and Oliver Leki (SC Freiburg) will temporarily lead the DFL as a double head until June 30, 2023 after the departure of the previous boss Donata Hopfen. This was announced by DFL supervisory board boss Hans-Joachim Watzke on Thursday.
The final hop successor is to be settled in the coming months. Watzke also prefers two top executives. “I’m not a supporter of management. With the range of requirements, you can no longer deliver a one-man show,” said the 63-year-old: “There should be at least two shoulders.”
The Freiburg CFO Leki (49) and the Frankfurt board spokesman Hellmann (51), both of whom already hold important positions in DFL committees, should take care of the numerous problems of professional football. Both officials speak for their good club work. Both the Sport-Club and Eintracht stand for sporting success and sound management.
“We have to be able to act immediately. If someone had come from outside, the time we don’t have would have passed,” said Watzke: “Both have the absolute abilities. I have great trust in both of them. So we have time to to find a viable solution.”
Hopfen had to vacate her post on Wednesday after less than a year in office. The 46-year-old succeeded long-time boss Christian Seifert on January 1, and her contract originally ran until the end of 2024.
Large parts of the DFL committees and the 36 professional clubs were dissatisfied with Hopfen’s work. This was mainly due to the fact that, according to her critics, she had not made any decisive progress on numerous construction sites such as the 50+1 rule, digitization, the entry of an investor, foreign marketing, the new basic contract with the DFB and the upcoming tender for media rights .
“We are in a challenging situation in German professional football, in which decisions have to be made that are of great importance for the future,” said Hellmann: “It goes without saying that I, together with Oliver Leki and a strong team face this challenge and take responsibility.”