The “Taskforce Zukunft Profifußball” (task force for the future of German professional football) is commencing its operations. The Executive Committee of the DFL appointed the 36 experts from sport, society, politics and business in September, and their first meeting will take place this week. In the coming months, the participants will hold open-ended discussions on the following topics and questions in three working groups:
• Consideration of fans’ interests: How can cross-club dialogue with fans be intensified in a meaningful way? What are the requirements to consider here?
• Ethics guideline/set of values/code of conduct: Would it be useful and practical to introduce certain guidelines for managers, players and fans (e.g. code of conduct) that go beyond the principles set down in the statutes? What are the reasons for/against?
• Promotion of women’s football: Should clubs of the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 be obliged to step up their involvement in women’s football? If yes: What steps seem reasonable?
• Social integration: What measures could the league and the clubs take with regard to the social integration of professional football in Germany (e.g. from a social or ecological point of view)? What are the reasons for/against such measures?
• Balanced competition in professional football: What are the arguments for/against a targeted promotion of balanced competition in the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2? What targets and measures to optimize the balance of competition seem useful?
• Economic stability in professional football: Are further measures to establish financial reserves – at the clubs or the DFL – desirable? If yes, what measures might be useful? What would be the advantages and disadvantages of these specific measures?
• Cash flows in professional football: What are the reasons for/against limiting certain cash flows within professional football (e.g. salary cap or agent fees)? What are the options for implementation?
The three working groups will consider these initial questions devised by the Executive Committee of the DFL independently of one another. Of course, further items may arise as the working groups address the content involved. The task force’s approach will essentially consist of reflecting on past developments, discussing matters and devising practical ways forward, when required. The meetings will be chaired by Prof. Heidi Möller, psychologist and Managing Director of the Department of Psychology at the University of Kassel, where she is Professor of Theory and Methodology of Counselling. It is also intended that two members of the Executive Committee of the DFL will attend each meeting.
“There has never been such wide-ranging dialogue on the fundamental issues of German professional football,” says Christian Seifert, Speaker of the Executive Committee of the DFL and DFL CEO: “The working groups will discuss questions regarding some of the most relevant aspects at the interface of sport, business and society. Against this backdrop, the composition of the working groups with participants from a wide range of fields is very important in order to cover various external perspectives and thus enable interdisciplinary discussion of these complex questions.”
The plan is for the entire Executive Committee of the DFL and the DFL Members Assembly with the 36 clubs of the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2, as the bodies responsible, to review the findings of the working groups.
The composition of the task force, which the Executive Committee of the DFL finalised back in September, is as follows:
• Dr. Cornelius Baur (Managing Partner of McKinsey Germany)
• Oliver Bierhoff (Director of the National Teams and Academy at the DFB)
• Fredi Bobic (Management Board at Eintracht Frankfurt; DFL Football Commission)
• Helen Breit (Fan Culture Working Group)
• Britta Dassler (FDP, Member of the German Bundestag, Member of the Sports Committee and spokesperson)
• Max Eberl (Sporting Director at Borussia Mönchengladbach; DFL Football Commission)
• Dr. Vera-Carina Elter (CHRO and Managing Partner for Family Owned Businesses at KPMG)
• Tanja Ferkau (Founder and CEO of IMPCT gGmbH)
• Manuel Gaber (Fans working group “Future of Professional Football”)
• Dr. Peter Görlich (Managing Director at TSG Hoffenheim; DFL Internationalisation Commission)
• Jan-Henrik Gruszecki (Fans working group “Future of Professional Football”)
• Dr. Mario Hamm (Director Finance at 1. FC Nürnberg; DFL Finance Commission)
• Lutz Hangartner (President of the Association of German Football Coaches)
• Anna-Maria Hass (Fans working group “Future of Professional Football”)
• Robin Himmelmann (Player at FC St. Pauli; Professional Footballers’ Union VDV; Players’ Alliance)
• Daniela Huckele-Görisch (Director of Strategic Initiatives at SAP; S20 The Sponsors’ Voice)
• Dirk Huefnagels (Head of Marketing at UniCredit; S20 The Sponsors’ Voice)
• Jörg Jakob (Editor-in-Chief of “kicker”)
• Alexander Jobst (Chief Marketing, Sales and Organisation Officer at FC Schalke 04; DFL Marketing & Sponsoring Commission)
• Lars Klingbeil (SPD, General Secretary)
• Philipp Köster (Editor-in-Chief of “11 Freunde”)
• Katja Kraus (Managing Partner at Jung von Matt/Sports)
• Carsten Linnemann (CDU/CSU, Chairman of Mittelstands- und Wirtschaftsunion (MIT), Deputy Chairman of the Parliamentary Group)
• Andreas Luthe (Player at 1. FC Union Berlin; Professional Footballers’ Union VDV; Players’ Alliance)
• Prof. Dr. Martin Nolte (Head of Institute for Sport Law at German Sport University Cologne)
• Cem Özdemir (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen, Chairman of the Committee on Transport and Digital Infrastructure, Deputy Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs)
• Fabian Otto (Director of Finance and Personnel at Bayer 04 Leverkusen; DFL Finance Commission)
• Dr. Frank Rybak (Professional Footballers’ Union VDV, legal advisor; Specialist Sports Lawyer)
• Sylvia Schenk (Chair of the Sport Working Group at Transparency International Germany)
• Carsten Schmidt (formerly CEO of Sky Deutschland; from 1 December 2020 CEO of Hertha BSC)
• Christian Schmidt (Fan Culture Working Group)
• Prof. Sascha L. Schmidt (Director and Chairholder of the Center for Sports and Management at WHU)
• Martin Schulz (SPD, member of the German Bundestag; former President of the European Parliament)
• Ramona Steding (Fan Culture Working Group)
• Dr. Martin Stopper (Sports Lawyer)
• Heike Ullrich (Deputy General Secretary at the DFB)