Bundesliga News

Gladbach executive warns against driving top clubs away with TV-revenue reform

By Peter Vice

Borussia Mönchengladbach managing director Stephan Schippers warned of serious consequences if a new TV-revenue redistribution model is approved. 

In an interview with Germany's "SportBild", the DFL-executive-committee-member referenced the recently proposed European Super League and expressed fear that large clubs like Bayern München and Borussia Dortmund could be driven out of the Bundesliga.

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The positional paper submitted by 14 professional German clubs continues to dominate the footballing discourse in the Bundesrepublik. A meeting of 15 clubs specifically convened to consolidate opposition to the reform met on Wednesday.

A representative of one of the invited clubs also voiced his opinions in a lengthy interview with one of Germany's leading sporting publications. Top Gladbach administrator invoked the specter of the latest very unpopular "European Super League" proposal to accentuate his stance on the issue.

"Of course, the Superliga also factors in," Schippers told Germany's SportBild, "The more one wishes to make things equitable on a national, the more one drives the top clubs, who for now remain committed to the Bundesliga, in this direction. That's why you have to be very careful."

Aware that the notion of German football taking part in a new athletic confederation backed by the likes of JP Morgan Chase is absolute anathema to the German public, Schippers took care to emphasize that he did not broach this topic lightly. The executive also pointed out that the current revenue model is actually quite progressive. He treaded carefully with his words.

"I can only warn against calling into question [the current hybrid system of] centralized TV-marketing and a solidarity-based redistribution of TV Revenues," Schippers told the newspaper, "For years, Borussia Dortmund and Bayern München have been the driving force behind [these increased revenues]. If we had individual marketing, at least three quarters of the 36 professional clubs would only receive a fraction of what they receive now."

Schippers seemed to suggest that his DFL committee remained open to approving a different revenue ratio split between the first and second league, then turn the final decision over redistribution over to clubs occupying the respective leagues.

"Perhaps, after the DFL executive committee has approved the basic distribution, each league could decide for itself," he noted.

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