Ready for Investors – Sports

The DFL is making a new attempt for a partnership with external donors. That should bring in 2.5 to three billion euros – but it is unclear whether the clubs will go along with it.

The top of the German Football League is making a new attempt to attract an investor. According to the association, the “Future Scenarios Working Group” has agreed on “guard rails for a possible strategic partnership”. In the AG sit such influential forces as the two acting DFL managing directors Axel Hellmann (Eintracht Frankfurt) and Oliver Leki (SC Freiburg) as well as the CFO of FC Bayern, Jan-Christian Dreesen.

one BildAccording to the report, the AG wants to recommend to the Executive Committee and the Supervisory Board of the DFL this Thursday to sell 15 percent of the shares in a new subsidiary to which all national and international TV rights are to be outsourced. The Bundesliga makers are said to be hoping for income of between 2.5 and three billion euros over a period of 25 to 30 years.

Discussions about getting an external investor involved have been going on around the DFL for several years. As recently as May 2021, the 36 clubs in the first and second leagues decided at their DFL general meeting not to continue talks about investor participation in a DFL subsidiary for foreign marketing for the time being. A year later, however, a new trial was started. The topic of marketing and investor participation was reportedly also a key reason why DFL Managing Director Donata Hopfen had to leave at the end of 2022, after less than a year in office.

The Bundesliga receives around 1.3 billion euros in TV money – the Premier League almost three times as much

So now the DFL management is making a new attempt – with the formulation that “it is not a question of selling shares in the Bundesliga and 2nd Bundesliga, but of a temporary minority interest in license revenues from the exploitation of Bundesliga rights”. . It is also emphasized that “the sovereign rights and tasks of the DFL as well as the influence and participation rights of the clubs are fully preserved at all times”.

The DFL currently earns around 1.3 billion euros per year from the marketing of television rights (national and international). Compared to the Premier League in particular, which generates almost three times as much, it is behind in an international comparison. Seven investors are said to be currently interested in a DFL partnership, including those from the USA and Asia. A decision should be made by summer. It is still unclear how the new income will be distributed to the 36 clubs. The AG is working on several models. However, this should be one of the decisive factors in how the new initiative is received by the clubs, which ultimately have to decide on entry.



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