"Corona posed us our biggest challenges since 2004"
For the first time since 2019, the Borussia Dortmund GmbH & Co. KGaA shareholders gathered at the Westfalenhalle for a general assembly. The 2021/22 financial year was once again significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Shareholder representatives nonetheless expressed their satisfaction and praised the management: "You've led us through the crisis well."
For the period from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022, Borussia Dortmund GmbH & Co. KGaA reported total assets amounting to €455.06 million (previous year: €450.52 million). The consolidated net loss halved from just under €73 million in 2020/21 to €35 million. The operating earnings (EBITDA) amounted to €80.76 million, which represented an increase of €41.81 million. "The three-year rollercoaster ride during the corona period was no fun for anyone," declared managing director Thomas Treß, who continued: "We've nonetheless come through the crisis very well; in part because you, dear shareholders, believed in us." Another reason for this was the capital increase carried out in the autumn of 2021.
"Corona posed us our biggest challenges since we almost went bankrupt in 2004," explained Hans-Joachim Watzke, who – in reference to the spring of 2020 – admitted: "I didn't know for weeks how to move forward." The consequences of the pandemic have cost the Bundesliga club more than €150 million to date. "The business model doesn't work with behind-closed-doors matches. That only allowed us to bring in the television money," said the chief executive officer, who expressed his hope "that at least that's over now". Nonetheless, the consequences of the war in Ukraine, the energy crisis and inflation are still putting a strain on the eight-time German champions. As Watzke put it: "We've now put the most difficult phase behind us, but we still have a lot of cleaning-up to do."
The positive development in the field of sponsoring, among other things, leaves the management feeling optimistic. Hans-Joachim Watzke is expecting an "all-time high turnover" in the region of €150 million for the current financial year and significant additional revenues from 2024 due to the restructuring of the UEFA Champions League ("It will be more interesting from a sporting and economic point of view"). "This year, we will already return to a comparable turnover to four or five years ago," forecasted Watzke. "There is an eight-figure sum on the way for the Champions League last 16 against Chelsea. I see further opportunities in the DFL's investor process. I'm also expecting a significant boost for BVB as a result." The CEO underlined Borussia Dortmund's support for the "50+1" rule and opposition to a European Super League, adding: "We want the best teams to go up against each other. But everyone must have the chance to be a part of it. We want all sections of society to be able to participate in football."
BVB are aware of their responsibility. "We have become more sustainable, we've become more environmentally friendly – in part thanks to our abolition of two million paper tickets," said Watzke, who described the North Rhine-Westphalia transport ticket on home matchdays as "exemplary" and went on to add: "We've become much more female. That does us good too."
Watzke expressed his confidence in the sporting management: "We will achieve Champions League qualification. There are still 19 games to play." BVB have been an ever-present in Europe's elite club competition. "Since 2011, there have been four clubs in Europe that have always qualified, and then there have been three more who have made it 11 times – including us! We're going through the most stable and consistent period in our history." This was also underlined by the Chairman of the Supervisory Board. "The company is stably positioned and has no financial liabilities," said Christian Kullmann. Björn Gulden, who is departing Borussia Dortmund's supplier and strategic partner PUMA for Adidas, will leave the Supervisory Board at the end of the year. "His departure will leave a hole," said Watzke. Kullmann emphasised: "He has helped us to make Borussia Dortmund better. We're very grateful to Björn Gulden for that."
The speech of Hans-Joachim Watzke (German Version)
The speech of Thomas Treß (German Version)