“Make football shine” – Watzke has big plans for the DFL
The German Football League sets the course for the future in terms of content and personnel at its general meeting. BVB boss Hans-Joachim Watzke takes over the position of chairman of the supervisory board.
WITHTo say goodbye to the German Football League after more than 16 years, Christian Seifert gave the new Chairman of the Supervisory Board Hans-Joachim Watzke his best wishes. “The Bundesliga is very important for Germany. It’s the last big issue that brings people together. I am convinced: The league will continue to come through the Corona crisis well, “said the outgoing DFL boss to the future co-determiner at the side of the new managing director Donata Hopfen on Tuesday after the general meeting in Frankfurt am Main.
Watzke will take up office on February 11, 2022 as the successor to Peter Peters and already has clear ideas about how the league should position itself in dealing with the challenges exacerbated by the corona pandemic.
“After we have lived with the pandemic for two years and were rightly endowed with a great deal of humility, we as clubs have to become a little more combative again and exude more self-confidence. That means that we have a broad social dialogue, but maybe also have to fight a little more accentuated for our original rights, ”announced the managing director of Borussia Dortmund. His goal: “We have to make football shine more.”
“A very positive conversation”
The 62-year-old’s first contact person is Donata Hopfen, who will be following in Seifert’s footsteps as managing director on January 1, 2022. “We have already met. It was a very positive conversation, I have great confidence in her and will support her, “reported Watzke and made it clear:” I will not interfere in operational business, but will help determine the league’s strategy. “This includes one greater sustainability, which will be mandatory for the clubs from the 2023/24 season.
Watzke, who was elected with 32 of 34 votes and will also have a seat on the DFB Presidium in the future, also wants to try to cement the relationship with the German Football Association that has been broken for some time. “I know it will probably be the most difficult task to work together in a more constructive and harmonious way again,” said Watzke. Especially since he himself restricted: “I would not be prepared to give up positions that are clearly cemented.”
He assured his predecessor Peters, who wants to be elected president of the largest sports association at the extraordinary DFB Bundestag on March 11th next year, his full support. In the event of an election, Peters wants to bring some things from his time in the DFL into the DFB. “The league is strong because it has people who trust each other and has structures that work,” said the 59-year-old, who, however, has a major competitor in the DFB Bundestag in Bernd Neuendorf, who is supported by the amateur representatives.
envy and resentment
At the meeting of the professional clubs in a Frankfurt airport hotel, Peters, who has led the DFB on an interim basis with Rainer Koch since Fritz Keller’s resignation, presented his program on Tuesday. He deliberately renounced a clear commitment by the league for his candidacy. “I explained that I don’t want a vote because I will need a lot of support later to tackle and change things,” said Peters.
Seifert would like the future DFB boss to have more moderation skills. “In the end, it’s not about building enemy images, stirring up envy and digging trenches, as has been the case for some time,” criticized the 52-year-old.
He already has plans for his professional future, but he didn’t want to talk about them in public yet. He left the DFL “very grateful,” emphasized Seifert. “What I have become as a person and a manager, I have become through this job.” He made the future management team aware: “People expect good football, excitement and entertainment from the Bundesliga.”