Bundesliga: Austria and the fight for the license

For the “violets” it is a familiar annual tremor. In April of the previous year, Austria was initially refused a license, as was the case in 2021 and 2022. The protest committee then gave the green light – but it shouldn’t get that far this year. “Our goal was always to get the next license in the first instance,” Gollowitzer announced at the club’s general meeting at the end of February.

He is “convinced that we will succeed this time.” Ultimately, says the President of Austria, who has been in office since May 2023, “we want to be a serious and reliable partner of the Bundesliga in the future.”

GEPA/Armin Rauthner Austria President Kurt Gollowitzer looks forward to the licensing process

Financial situation remains tense

The competition sometimes sees the situation differently in Vienna-Favoriten. The fact that Austria, which is still in the red year after year, receives the license with a lot of hassle is viewed critically. The negative annual result in the past 2022/23 financial year was 6.85 million euros.

The increase in visitor numbers was positive, the team missed the top six in terms of sport and transfer income in the millions failed to materialise. If Matthias Braunöder moves to the Italian second division club Como, which is fighting for promotion to Serie A, in the summer, Austria will receive a rumored transfer fee of 1.7 million euros. Given the current situation, it’s more of a drop in the ocean.

Stadium sale urgently needed

Patrons and investors had to step in once again. In order to remain liquid, funds in the range of several million euros were injected again this season – as was the case last year. The sale of the home arena should provide a real remedy.

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The venue on the distribution circuit costs Austria an (excessively) high amount to operate due to the high interest rates. The sale is now scheduled to take place by the end of the second quarter – i.e. the end of June. With the income in the area of ​​the targeted 40 million euros, a haircut is to be carried out with the largest lender, Bank Austria. Then Austria could look forward financially again.

“Fighting with blunt weapons”

The club wants to rent space in the Generali Arena and – according to the plan – also negotiate a management contract. The club would then remain the master of its own house. If the deal goes through in the planned time, the favorites’ prospects in sporting matters would also improve.

As Jürgen Werner noted, the club’s expenses for the figurehead are manageable. “No European team spends less than 50 percent of the total budget on its first team, Austria is at 30 percent,” the sports director was quoted as saying by Sky a few days before the license documents were handed in. That’s why people in the transfer market “often fight with blunt weapons,” said Werner and hoped “that we can move better again in the summer.”

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