Debt-free Dortmund to fund growth after cash injection
Borussia Dortmund will be debt-free by the end of the year and flexible to fund growth on and off the pitch after a 114 million euro ($147 million) capital increase was completed on Wednesday, said club CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke.
Berlin: Borussia Dortmund will be debt-free by the end of the year and flexible to fund growth on and off the pitch after a 114 million euro ($147 million) capital increase was completed on Wednesday, said club CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke.
Last season`s Bundesliga runners-up, who almost went broke in 2005, got the considerable cash injection and saw sponsors Puma, Evonik and Signal Iduna buy a stake in the traditional German club.
"Borussia`s financial debts will be a thing of the past by the end of the year," Watzke told Reuters in an interview on Friday.
"I expect that in the coming weeks the financial debts will be zero. Now it is more about settling the amount of the pre-payment penalty."
"Obviously our fixed deposit account will greatly benefit from this capital increase but we need that in order to fund our growth."
Dortmund were on the brink of bankruptcy less than 10 years ago but have now become the second richest German club behind Bayern Munich, posting a turnover of 260 million euros for the 2013/14 season, with Watzke at the helm.
The 55-year-old said while any turnover forecast for 2014/15 was dependent on how the team perform in Bundesliga, Champions League and German Cup, the club still planned to break the 300 million euro mark by 2018.
"It makes a difference if you reach the Champions League quarter-finals or if you are eliminated in the group stage. But what we as a club want is to top 300 million without transfers by 2018."
With the three sponsors now shareholders of Dortmund, the club, which has the world`s highest average league game attendance of about 80,000 spectators, could grow on many levels, Watzke said.
"These companies did not come here to give money away. We were well equipped with our performances in recent years on and off the pitch. For us it was important that it was our sponsors who bought a stake."
"Companies who deal with sporting or economic development. Not any company would do for us. I did not want to have locusts who will just come in and suck the club dry."
Dortmund will kick off their partnership with joint offices with Evonik in Southeast Asia.
"For us it was important to secure growth as well as access to international networks of these companies," Watzke said.
"We are opening up offices in Singapore. There for example we are sharing space with Evonik. These kinds of projects can be profitable for all involved."
Dortmund have already resigned their biggest Asian poster boy with Japan international Shinji Kagawa returning to the club after two seasons at Manchester United.
A crowd favourite at Dortmund when he won consecutive league titles in 2011 and 2012, Kagawa has already settled in, Watzke said.
"It made absolute sense (to sign him). He was already integrated when he arrived. He only needed a couple of days to adjust," he said. "Because if you can buy a player of that calibre for comparatively little money then you do it."
Dortmund will need all the midfield help they can get with Marco Reus, Nuri Sahin and Jakub Blaszczykowski out of action and their Champions League starting next week with a group opener against Arsenal.
"That is the price you pay when you compete on several levels. It (injuries) is not a Borussia problem," said Watzke.
"It is a problem for every club that is dancing at three weddings and also has a large number of international players."
Dortmund, on four points from two games in the Bundesliga, take on Freiburg on Saturday.