Bundesliga News

DFL gets green light from clubs to negotiate investor deal

By Rune Gjerulff   @runegjerulff

After receiving approval from the majority of the 36 clubs in Germany's top two leagues, the German Football League is pursuing a multi-billion dollar deal with an outside investor. Here's an overview of the plan.
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Photo: Sandro Halank, Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-SA 4.0
The German Football League (DFL) is looking to close a billion-euro deal with an outside investor by the end of March, after receiving permission from the 36 clubs in the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga clubs in a vote on Monday.

In its second attempt to clear the way for an investor deal, the DFL just managed to get the two-thirds majority it needed, with 24 of the clubs voting in favor, 10 against and two abstaining, according to a Kicker report.

A total of six companies have reportedly expressed interest, with talks already underway and set to intensify in the coming period. According to ARD, three bids are considered particularly promising.

Marc Lenz, one of the two CEOs of the DFL, says that all potential partners have accepted the guidelines set by the German Football League.

According to the DFL boss, the plan is to sit down with the bidders to discuss "a joint business plan within the framework of the key points and to examine the desired added value of a partner."

"We will continue the process with several interested parties," he added.

According to the Deutsche Presse Agentur (DPA), the hope is to generate up to €1 billion by selling eight percent of the DFB's licensing income from commercial rights over the next 20 years.

The report claims that €600 million is to be invested in a package of various digitalization and internationalization measures. These include setting up its own streaming platform to compete with foreign bidders, as well as expanding international marketing and legal protection against piracy.

€100 million will be earmarked for the promotion of foreign travel by Bundesliga clubs, while €300 million will be set aside as a reserve to repay investors' shares over the first six to seven years.

Fans have expressed concern about the deal, fearing that the uniqueness of German football could be lost in the pursuit of money.

The DFL, however, promises to handle the situation "very responsibly."

"There are red lines that will not be crossed," DFL CEO Marc Lenz assured.

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