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“To drill thick boards for the future”



German football "not ruled by dark forces"

Hans-Joachim Watzke has been confirmed in office as chairman of the supervisory board and first deputy spokesman for the executive committee of the German Football League (DFL).

The managing director of Borussia Dortmund, who was the only candidate, was elected at the DFL General Assembly in Dortmund on Wednesday with 35 votes in favor and one abstention. Watzke succeeded Peter Peters in February.

“I thank you for the trust and will try with my colleagues to do my best for the league in the next three years,” said Watzke after the election.

In the future, the nine-member Executive Committee will also include Oliver Leki (SC Freiburg), Steffen Schneekloth (Holstein Kiel), Jan-Christian Dreesen (Bayern Munich) and Axel Hellmann (Eintracht Frankfurt), Oke Göttlich (FC St. Pauli) and Holger Schwiewagner (SpVgg Greuther Fürth) belong. The board is completed by Managing Director Donata Hopfen, who is not up for election at the meeting, and DFL Director Ansgar Schwenken.

Watzke sees a lot of work to do in German professional football for a positive development. “We are in the process of drilling thick boards for the future,” said the BVB managing director. “Thick boards have the unpleasant property that it takes longer to drill the necessary holes.”

DFB President Bernd Neuendorf sees a need for reform

But he feels great confidence that the non-public exchange among the 36 first and second division teams on Wednesday was “a very good event”, stressed Watzke. “Sometimes you have to lock the door from the inside and talk to each other. There was a lot of agreement. That was very good and very focused on the tasks ahead.”

In order to be successful between international competitiveness and the preservation of national traditions, “reforms and smart decisions for the future are needed,” said DFB President Bernd Neuendorf: “We have to find a balance between necessary innovations, generating new sources of income and our tradition as well as Culture.”

The most important topics German football is currently addressing are foreign marketing, strategic partnerships with investors, the basic agreement and the 50+1 rule. Neuendorf sees no “guarantee of success” for German football with the repeatedly discussed abolition of 50+1: “A purely capital-driven event would make the Bundesliga a pawn for investors,” he said.

This is neither “desirable nor communicable” and “cannot be reconciled with the historical and social roots of football in Germany,” explained the DFB boss.