16.12.2021Bayer 04

DFL Members Assembly: Sustainability as licensing criterion

Working out the content for the licensing regulations for the 2022/23 season was centre stage at the DFL Members Assembly held in Frankfurt in the middle of this week. This primarily involved binding sustainability criteria for all 36 professional clubs. In addition, Hans-Joachim Watzke was elected as the new chair of the supervisory board – an overview of the most important decisions.

The clubs are sending out a clear signal on the subject of sustainability. As the first big professional football leagues, the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 are including sustainability criteria into their licensing regulations on obligatory basis next season. In addition, the commitment to seeking to act in an economically prudent, ecological and socially sustainable manner is being incorporated in the DFL e.V. constitution.

The specific content will be finalised in the coming months and will be based on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the United Nations, the assessment of external experts, cooperation with the DFL working party on sustainability as well as the club working party on responsibility.

Implementation will initially start with a pilot stage in the 2022/23 season where the clubs will receive an overview of the relevant status quo as well as their potential. That will be followed by a transition period where necessary subsequent developments can be implemented. 2023/24 will see the implementation with the appropriate requirements and sanctions in the event of non-fulfilment of criteria. At the same time, the economic and structural conditions of each individual club are to be taken into account.

parameters set for licensing procedure

In addition to sustainability, further aspects of the licensing regulations have been set. That includes the parameters for the licensing procedure for the coming season. The only difference from last season is that affected clubs can again be subject to capital and/or planning quality constraints. Capital constraints will be applied according to existing financial constraints in a modified form due to the pandemic: Negative equity must not immediately be improved but it must not allow to become significantly worse.

compulsory emergency training

Furthermore, annual emergency training for medical personnel in the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 will be obligatory in the future. The content of the courses will include for example life-saving measures in the event of cardiac arrest including the use of a defibrillator, the identification and treatment of acute head injuries such as concussion such as emergency treatment of spinal injuries.

club-Fan dialogue strengthened

From the 2022/23 season, the licensing regulations will also include for the first time binding provisions for club-fan dialogue. This includes forthwith the obligation that all subjects are covered that directly or indirectly affect fan groups and that the people represented in the club-fan dialogue reflect the diversity of fans at the ground. The DFL fan affairs department will produce guidelines for explanation and clarification of the dialogue regulations in the coming months.

VBL to be third official DFL competition

The club is also show their commitment to the Virtual Bundesliga (VBL): The VBL should join the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 as an additional competition in the DFL statutes to continue to develop professionalisation and establishment of the E football competition. That was decided by the assembly on principle. In the next step, the DFL will prepare a concrete resolution to be voted on at the next Members Assembly.

Hans-Joachim Watzke succeeds Peter Peters

Finally, Hans-Joachim Watzke, CEO at Borussia Dortmund, was elected as the chair of the supervisory board of the DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga GmbH and first deputy speaker of the DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga GmbH e.V. steering committee. He will replace Peter Peters on 11 March 2022, who has been on the supervisory board of the DFL since 2004, and took over as chair of the committee following the resignation of Reinhard Rauball in 2019.

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