BVB chief Watzke lifts lid on £20m fund to help cash-hit Bundesliga clubs

Hans Jjoachim Watzke

Borussia Dortmund chief executive officer Hans-Joachim Watzke says the club is determined to show solidarity with the rest of German football after he confirmed that BVB have contributed to a fund to help clubs in the top two tiers during the coronavirus crisis.

With matches suspended in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, clubs throughout football have started tightening their belts in readiness for the financial fallout from the lack of revenue generated by TV deals and match day revenue.

Now the Bundesliga clubs (including BVB, Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen) have put together a fund of around £20million as part of a so-called solidarity fund to help German clubs in the top two tiers during the coronavirus pandemic. The money comes from the clubs — all of who played in the Champions League this campaign — sharing revenue earned from national media as well as individual donations.

And Watzke says the money is just part of various ongoing initiatives to help football clubs who are facing financial hardships. He added:

“We have always said that we would show solidarity if clubs, through no fault of their own, should run into difficulties that they can no longer overcome themselves.

“BVB is currently having a major impact on society through a wide range of initiatives. And naturally we are prepared to help out other professional football clubs if it is ultimately a matter of cushioning the financial effects of the pandemic.”

Ordinarily there is a strong rivalry between BVB and Bayern Munich, but this is on the pitch and in these extraordinary times it is refreshing to see the clubs collaborate during what is without doubt a very testing time for the world and for football.

Bayern chief executive officer Karl Heinz Rummenigge says he is delighted that the club can contribute to allow the clubs to stand together. He, too, spoke of the solidarity being show in the current crisis.

He added:

“Together with the three other Champions League participants, we want to send a signal of solidarity to all clubs in the Bundesliga and 2 Bundesliga with this initiative. In these difficult times, it’s important that the stronger shoulders support the weaker shoulders. With this, we also want to show that football is standing together right now.”

Meanwhile, Christian Seifert, who is the head of the German Football League (DFL), said that he would be eternally grateful for the gesture from the league’s elite clubs. He added:

“This decision underlines the fact that solidarity is not an empty word in the Bundesliga. The DFL is very grateful to the four Champions League participants. This initiative underlines that solidarity in the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 is not just cheap talk.”