For millions in court?
There is a risk of a serious crash between DFL and DFB
03/27/2023, 6:50 p.m
The German Football Association currently collects around 25 million euros a year as training compensation from the German Football League. In the future, the sum should increase massively, says the DFB – which DFL boss Hans-Joachim Watzke rejects in clear words. And explains why he fears permanent damage.
DFL supervisory board chairman Hans-Joachim Watzke has addressed warning words to the German Football Association (DFB) in the dispute over new financial rules. The partnership between the DFB and the German Football League (DFL) would be “permanently damaged” if the dispute ended up before the arbitral tribunal, Watzke said in an interview with the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” (SZ). At the association one should not expect “that the Bundesliga is the fully comprehensive insurance for the mistakes of the DFB in the past,” said Watzke, who is automatically also the DFB vice president through his position at the DFL.
The dispute between the DFB and DFL is about negotiations on a new basic contract that regulates the relationship between professional and amateur camps. The previous one expires on June 30th. The DFL currently pays around 25 million euros a year to the DFB, among other things, as compensation for the training of professionals. According to SZ information, the association should now demand two to three times the previous amount.
The 36 professional clubs in the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 are “ready to pay significantly more,” said Watzke, who is also the managing director of Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund: “Although professional football hasn’t had any growth in income in recent years. On the contrary. After three years of Corona, our scope is limited to the maximum.” According to Watzke, the clammy DFB demands “exorbitantly more” money.
Watzke hints at “Ultima Ratio”.
The DFB is currently in financial difficulties after being revoked its non-profit status twice for a number of years due to tax affairs. According to Watzke, the situation is dangerous. “Everyone has to understand that there is a considerable need for renovation and make the right decisions,” he said.
Due to the high demands of the DFB, according to Watzke, “the starting positions are so far apart that I am very, very skeptical that we will find a solution without going to the arbitration board”. Should that happen, relations between the DFL and the DFB are likely to suffer significantly. “If we end up in court, I think: partnership and arbitration are mutually exclusive! Then this way of partnership, then the attempt to bring this little plant to bloom again is permanently damaged,” said Watzke. “I don’t know whether you’ll recover from that, you have to judge that in the DFB.”
In the event of an escalation, the DFL could even get out of the basic contract. But this is not what he meant. “That can only be the ultima ratio and nothing really worth striving for,” said Watzke.