A new six-year contract between German soccer’s two main structural entities, the DFB national governing body and the Deutsche Fussball Liga (DFL) professional league body, has been approved.
The contract has been approved by committees at both the DFB and DFL and will run from July 1 until June 30, 2029. However, it will be subject to confirmation by the DFB’s Bundestag and the DFL’s general assembly. These confirmations are expected to be secured in September.
Through the deal, the DFL will pay the DFB 3% of its domestic and international media revenues each season. As opposed to the current payment levels of €26 million ($28.3 million), the DFL will pay between €34.5 million and €39 million each season.
The DFL, meanwhile, will continue to receive a 50% share of economic surpluses from revenues received by the DFB from men’s national team tournaments.
Due to the poor performances of the team at the last two FIFA World Cups and at the 2021 UEFA European Championship, these surpluses have been significantly lower than would have been expected.
The DFB will hope to make up this shortfall at the 2024 UEFA Euros, which Germany is hosting.
The DFB is also reducing the amount it has to pay the DFL for advertising rights to national team players while at their clubs. This figure has been €20 million up until now but is dropping to €12.5 million.
The DFL has said the new agreement “represents a central element for the unity of German soccer."
It added: “The committees of the DFL and DFB agree that the joint further development and promotion of all soccer in Germany … will be further strengthened.
“The funds flowing to the DFB from the DFL contribute to maintaining the broad base in the member clubs of the regional and state associations.”
Earlier this month, the DFL appointed Marc Lenz and Steffen Merkel as joint chief executives.
They will start on July 1, replacing current joint chairs Axel Hellmann and Oliver Leki. The latter pair are both stepping down as part of the fallout from the DFL’s recent failure to convince the 36 clubs across the top two German soccer divisions to proceed with talks around private equity investment.
Bernd Neuendorf, president of the DFB, said: “In addition to the many measures associated with Euro 2024, the new basic contract is an important building block for strengthening and promoting soccer at grassroots level in the long term.
"In the interests of our more than 24,000 clubs, we have found a good solution together with the DFL, not only with regard to the financial volume of the basic contract but above all with regard to numerous structural issues with which we want to make football future-proof.”
Hans-Joachim Watzke, the DFL supervisory board chair, added: “Of course, it was a very difficult process when funds were scarce. However, everyone involved was always aware of their shared responsibility for German football, and this compromise, which was workable for everyone involved, was logically reached."
Watzke did admit that “in times of scarce financial resources, it was a very difficult process.”
Image: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images