The Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 are the first major professional football leagues to include mandatory sustainability criteria in their licensing regulations. The clubs approved this resolution at the DFL Members Assembly on Tuesday.
The process is planned to be implemented in several stages:
• At today’s Members Assembly, the clubs committed very strongly to sustainability, by integrating sustainability as a guiding principle in the preamble to the statutes of the DFL e.V. which is the association of the 36 professional clubs.
• As part of this, and to reinforce its importance, the clubs confirmed to include sustainability criteria in the licensing regulations.
• The criteria are currently being developed on the basis of all three dimensions of sustainability (economic, social, environmental) and will be finalised together with the clubs. They are based on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and complemented by external experts. In addition, insights from intensive discussions with a dedicated working group as well as clubs plus decision makers have been integrated. The plan is for the DFL Members Assembly to approve the criteria in the next few months. It will be ensured that clubs that are already carrying out extensive activities individually can continue and extend, with a focus on their respective strategic priorities.
• A pilot phase will start in the coming 2022-23 season in order to enable a transition period. Such a wide-ranging process with an influence on many aspects of the core business cannot be completed overnight and must account for the variety of economic and structural conditions between UEFA Champions League participants and those promoted from 3. Liga. The DFL will therefore coordinate closely with the clubs during the pilot phase and beyond.
• The first licensing-relevant implementation of the sustainability criteria is scheduled for the licensing process of the 2023-24 season.
A “fundamental commitment to sustainability for German professional football” was also one of the recommendations in the summary report of the task force “Future of Professional Football”, which was published in February 2021. As part of the task force, 37 experts from the fields of sport, society, science, politics and business addressed major issues and questions relating to the future of professional football in interdisciplinary discussions.
(DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga)