Hans-Joachim Watzke will stay with Borussia Dortmund until 2025. The captain postpones his approaching farewell because he knows about the “stormy seas”.
In the “perfect storm”, Hans-Joachim Watzke stands firmly on the command bridge. At Borussia Dortmund, the managing director remains the captain who steers the groaning thick ship through the biggest crisis since the near bankruptcy in 2005. The 61-year-old is postponing his retirement and extended his contract, which will expire in 2022, by three years until December 31, 2025.
“After intensive discussions, we succeeded in winning Hans-Joachim Watzke as chairman of the management board for a further three years,” said President Reinhard Rauball in a message from the German vice-champion on Monday.
Despite “dramatically changed parameters” due to the corona and major revenue losses, Watzke and his comrades-in-arms managed to “keep BVB stable on course in stormy seas”.
Rauball’s choice of words reveals: Watzke’s whereabouts are eminently important. Born in the Sauerland, he joined the heavily indebted BVB in 2001 as treasurer, saved the club from bankruptcy in dramatic weeks and, as managing director, gradually made it the second power in German football since 2005. Before the corona pandemic, Watzke repeatedly toyed with the idea of ending his era in Dortmund after his planned end of contract in 2022.
Watzke: “Then I would have resigned”
In the spring, Watzke emphasized in an interview with the Handelsblatt: “I know my responsibility to this club very well. It is completely out of the question that I will disembark in the greatest crisis.”
The Westphalia fear further huge losses – despite high income from the Champions League. There will be at least 90 million euros shortfall in income.
Chief Financial Officer Thomas Treß, who signed a new contract with Watzke and Head of Marketing Carsten Cramer until 2025, confirmed a loss of 43.5 million euros for the Ruhr Nachrichten for 2020. Due to the ongoing corona crisis, the result this year will even “turn out to be significantly worse”.
BVB also threatens to miss the otherwise securely leased premier class this season – this would mean missing another 30 million euros, which would have to be added up. According to Tress, the club had “obtained credit lines of up to 120 million euros for two years,” of which BVB had drawn up 28 million euros by the end of the year.