Dispute between dfl and dfb: league calls for new structure

An open and unusually violent dispute has broken out between the german soccer league and the DFB.

In the FAZ, DFL managing director andreas rettig called for a new management structure at the association and a say in the appointment and, above all, the content of the sports director post.

DFB president wolfgang niersbach reacted more sharply than ever before: "when a man who has been employed by the DFL for less than half a year questions just about everything and anything in our association, and does so in a factually incorrect manner, this is anmabend and completely inappropriate." he had already talked to league president reinhard rauball and would "also raise the issue at the DFB’s prasidium meeting on friday.".

The search for the new sport director is only the ausloser of the controversy. In fact, there is much more at stake: the power to be given to the successor to matthias sammer and robin dutt, how the german soccer association will generally position itself at the top, and how it will conduct itself in sports policy matters such as the european championship in 2020. Rettig also accused the DFB of "anticipatory obedience" and neglecting the club’s interests on the international stage.

The association is being put on the defensive by this attack, because rettig’s remarks in the FAZ are not – contrary to what niersbach would like to portray – a solo effort. At the end of may, even before dutt’s departure for werder bremen had been decided, league president rauball had called for more continuity and, above all, a new profile of requirements for the job of DFB sports director.

The early elimination of the german "U 21" team from the european championship in israel has confirmed all the critical questions raised by the dfl: why was national coach joachim low able to decide completely independently that those senior players who could also play in the "U 21" team should not go to this tournament?? Why does the DFB have so much responsibility in the hands of just one general secretary (helmut sandrock), or why isn’t he assisted at the highest level by a sports director who would also be a kind of superior to the national coach??

"I have my doubts that the management of such a rough association can be done by a full-time person," rettig said. "At this point in the DFB, a great many tasks come together."According to a report in the FAZ, the league association wants the new sports director to have significantly more authority than his predecessors matthias sammer and dutt. That’s why the DFL wanted to have a say in filling this post. "The decision about the sports director cannot be an exclusive decision of the DFB. This is also about the interests of the league association," rettig emphasized.

DFB secretary general sandrock thinks nothing of his ideas. "The personalie sport director is an original task of the DFB", he clarified. The 56-year-old had already spoken out against a reorganization of the athletic department in the "suddeutsche zeitung" on saturday. "There is no superordinate sports director in any other major association," said sandrock. "Today, we have a clear authority to set guidelines for the content of the game, from the playing philosophy to the preparation for training – and that lies with the national coach. That’s why the national coach is called the national coach and not the coach of the senior national team."

But the DFL’s criticism goes much further than that. Rettig complained that both the DFB’s approval of the controversial U19 champions league and its behavior on the subject of the 2020 european championship went against the interests of the german professional clubs.

The long-serving manager of FC augsburg called it "anticipatory obedience" for the DFB to forego a bid for the two semifinals and the final if turkey also applies for this final package. "We know about arrears of several million euros that turkish clubs have owed our clubs for a long time," rettig said. "With all sports policy, one should always keep an eye on the big picture."In concrete terms, this means that the DFB is far too half-hearted and too close to UEFA in its international activities.

Niersbach defends himself against this accusation: "i can only wonder," he said. "Because in my constant contacts with league president reinhard rauball, we have always agreed amicably, for example on such important topics as the 2020 european championship bid or the security issues – in this spirit, we have also demanded the basic contract until 2017." there were bound to be some heated discussions at the DFB presidium meeting on friday.

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