Hans-Joachim Watzke has had some strenuous days. On Wednesday, the club boss of Borussia Dortmund was in demand on two fronts.
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Setting the course at the DFB (sporting orientation with regard to the EM 2024 in Germany and search for a Bierhoff successor) is not the only major construction site in German football.
Hans-Joachim Watzke sacrifices hops to Donata
Watzke has been head of the controlling body at the DFL since February 2022 and since then he has followed the work of the 46-year-old with eagle eyes. Nine months later, hops are history and with it the attempt to establish a bit of “diversity” in the male domain of professional football.
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Watzke is not interested in that. According to his own statement, it is only about the matter. “I’ve always felt in my life that there is only one German football. And against the background of the great opportunity of the European Championship at home in 2024, we have to join forces,” said the 63-year-old on Thursday at the DFL press conference about the personnel changes.
Hans-Joachim Watzke doesn’t want to know anything about power
Watzke’s influence in German football is now enormous. The “Süddeutsche Zeitung” appreciatively calls him the “multifunctional functionary”. Whether DFB, national team, EM 2024, DFL, Bundesliga, UEFA (here he is a representative of the DFB) – Watzke has his fingers in everything. No (personnel) decision can be made without his consent.
However, Watzke does not want to know anything about all-encompassing power. “In the last few days I’ve read a lot about the power I now hold. Power is a word that I personally can’t do anything with, power is not a criterion for me,” said Watzke.
“He wanted to emphasize that he had several offices, but only aspired to one of them. “That of the chairman of the DFL supervisory board,” said the 63-year-old. “My position on the DFL supervisory board automatically leads to the position of first vice-president of the DFB. I didn’t apply for it, the position fell to me. It’s not an abundance of power at all.”
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And because the well-being of German football is so important to him, he always tries not to mix up his offices. “I don’t go to the DFB Executive Committee as a DFL representative to represent DFL interests there. When I’m with the DFL, I feel responsible for the DFL, when I’m with the DFB, I feel solely responsible for the DFB “Watzke said.
FC Bayern Munich offers support
Watzke here, Watzke there, Watzke everywhere. The boss of Borussia Dortmund is stirring up the whole of German football. For many years, that was reserved for Watzkes BVB’s biggest competitor.
FC Bayern Munich claimed to interfere in the affairs of the DFB and the DFL. Uli Hoeneß and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge appointed national coaches (master plan 2000: first Völler, then Daum) and reprimanded them (“Klinsmann shouldn’t hang around in California and let us do shit here”).
In December 2022 there was a lot of noise in German football and yet remarkably little was heard from Munich. In an interview with “DAZN”, club president Herbert Hainer tried to present the influence of FC Bayern positively.
A strong DFL is “very, very important” for FC Bayern Munich and for the entire Bundesliga, said Hainer and announced: “We all have to unite, and FC Bayern will be very active there, especially Oliver Kahn in the person as CEO, contribute to the process of further strengthening the DFL.”
Watzke wants to involve FC Bayern Munich
The Bayern bosses don’t have much more in their quiver than the diplomatic offer to get involved to save German football. After all: Watzke allows the goodwill of his eternal rival from the south.
“We now need this alliance for 2024. It is therefore very important and logical that the largest and most successful German club is always included in our considerations,” said Watzke. He had therefore “had talks with Oliver Kahn and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge” in the last few days.
It is quite possible that Watzke will soon no longer be able to “rule” without Bavarian influence. Discussions are being held behind closed doors in the DFB atmosphere about finding an office for Rummenigge in German football.
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