The two new managing directors of the German Football League see themselves under pressure immediately. "There is no warm-up phase," said Marc Lenz on Thursday in Frankfurt, who took over the management of the DFL together with Steffen Merkel at the beginning of the month. "We have no shortage of tasks," Merkel said.
"We are taking over our positions in turbulent times in German football," emphasized Lenz. "There are definitely challenges that we as the DFL and with the 36 Bundesliga clubs have to face." There are still no solutions to the challenges. He said: "On day four it is clear that the path to a positive future will not be a two-man show."
Most recently, the clubs had argued about the possible entry of a financial investor. In a vote at the end of May, the necessary two-thirds majority among the 36 professional clubs was missed. It's only possible with a "collaboration," Merkel appealed to the professional clubs.
TV rights tender in focus
The strategic priority for the next 12 to 18 months is the tender for the TV rights, Merkel said: "It's so important because the results set the framework for the clubs." The income from the domestic marketing of media rights is currently around 1.1 billion euros per season.
In the current concept there are no new kick-off times, explained Merkel. On the other hand, the plan is to abolish the so-called single-buyer rule, according to which one company cannot buy all of the league's pay-TV rights. The concept is currently with the Federal Cartel Office, which must approve it.
Merkel responds to rumors that the league association is in need of renovation: "That has nothing to do with the reality of the DFL." There is no total reorganization, but personnel reinforcements are being considered. Lenz and Merkel were promoted at short notice because the DFL Supervisory Board and Executive Committee had previously received a number of rejections. Axel Hellmann and Oliver Leki had previously taken over Donata Hopfen's duties on an interim basis and ended this job on Friday.