Statement from the Fan and Supporters Department

Dear Members, Dear Media Representatives,

In light of recent media reports regarding a potential sponsorship by Rheinmetall AG with Borussia Dortmund, we received numerous inquiries from our members and various media outlets. As representatives elected from within the membership, we consider it our duty to address this matter with a brief statement.

During a monthly committee meeting in May, BVB fans were informed by representatives of the BVB management about discussions concerning a possible partnership with Rheinmetall AG. Feedback on this matter was requested during the meeting. The topics of these sessions are regularly classified as "confidential," which is why no public discourse followed.

In line with our mandate, we provided our feedback promptly after the meeting. In a subsequent open exchange with BVB management representatives, the fan representatives expressed general concerns, doubts about the partnership's communication, and questioned its alignment with Borussia Dortmund's values.

We categorically deny recent media reports suggesting that there was democratic consensus or even a vote among the fans on this matter.

We value the established dialogue structures that allow the club and its fans to regularly discuss even controversial topics in a trusting manner. However, these dialogues do not always result in a consensus, as seen in this case.

Given the upcoming Champions League final, we kindly request that no further media inquiries be made.

- The Board of the BVB Fan and Supporters Department

During the current transfer period, we received numerous critical and concerned messages from our members. As representatives of the members of the Fan and Supporters Department, we were asked to question how the personnel decisions made align with the core values outlined in Borussia Dortmund's code of conduct.

We appreciate your patience as our response took some time. We ask for your understanding. It is important to us to first have internal discussions on club and socio-political issues and also to listen to those affected. We can assure you that we have taken all members' messages seriously. We addressed the issue internally early on, repeatedly and emphatically, with questions about the matter and references to the perspectives of the Fan and Supporters Department and its members.

Our understanding is that the Fan and Supporters Department should provide a platform for discussions with fans, network partners, and within the club, and also bring sensitive topics to the management's attention. Naturally, not every discussion will result in a consensus, but we are pleased that the network partners will continue to be available for constructive exchanges.

The intense discussions and the public debate, along with their consequences, have shown us that now is the time, more than ever, to stand up for our core values and for a discrimination-free environment within the club and its surroundings.

Therefore, we welcome the club's efforts to address and focus on queer-hostility in the future. We also welcome the club's continued initiatives that make a statement against all forms of discrimination. We explicitly offer our support in these efforts.

As the Fan and Supporters Department, we clearly stand for diversity, tolerance, and a vibrant BVB family, where everyone feels comfortable regardless of their sexual orientation. Therefore, we will ensure that we meet our members' wishes and continue to uphold Borussia Dortmund's core values. We will also continue to listen to your concerns and represent them to the BVB committees.

We are happy to discuss this further during the upcoming departmental meeting in November.

- The Board of the Fan and Supporters Department

With great skepticism, the AG Fankultur of the BVB Fan and Supporters Department has taken note of the recent statements by the German Football League (DFL) and its CEO Donata concerning the plans for an "Innovation Game" between 1. FC Köln and AC Milan.

"We welcome the debate on the lack of attractiveness of the Bundesliga. However, we believe that the proposals presented by the league so far are not suitable for making the Bundesliga more attractive. Rather, it feels like old Berliners are being spruced up with some fresh powdered sugar," said Tobias Westerfellhaus, Board Member of the Fan and Supporters Department. To be specific: Technical gimmicks like so-called innovative TV images - such as body cameras or drone footage - will not make a Bundesliga game between the 9th and 13th place teams on a Sunday at 7:30 PM more attractive to viewers. The Bundesliga must refocus on the excitement and fascination of the national competition as well as the fans in the stadium. Fan culture and fan stands have long distinguished the Bundesliga from other European leagues and made it attractive to viewers both nationally and internationally. Sporting attractiveness is the core that has made football overall and the Bundesliga successful. This sporting attractiveness has been lacking in too many Bundesliga games for several years now, as well as in the overall setup. With a serial champion from Munich, little fluctuation in the Champions League spots, a participant field that can operate in parts outside of economic seriousness, and clubs that are almost relegated by the start of the second half of the season due to vastly differing starting conditions, the Bundesliga and many of its games have become unattractive and irrelevant events. In our view, the increasing digitization of the accompanying offerings and stadium visits will not attract new fans to the Bundesliga and its clubs because they do not solve the real problems and future issues of the Bundesliga. For the members of the BVB Fan and Supporters Department, it is clear: To make football Saturdays an exciting experience again that attracts young and old to the stadiums and in front of the TV sets, the DFL must primarily reduce the financial disparity between the clubs to ensure an exciting and fair competition. The often-cited solidarity and fairness in sports must finally also apply to the distribution of money within the league.

We demand:

  • The games of national competitions should be held exclusively in Germany;
  • Fair and solidary distribution of TV revenue from Bundesliga marketing;
  • Genuine solidarity from top clubs to involve the league in Champions League revenues;
  • Consolidation of kick-off times and strengthening of the Bundesliga conference;
  • Concepts for engaging young fans and fostering enthusiasm for the stadium experience;
  • Ensuring the availability and affordability of tickets for young people;
  • Maintaining and expanding standing areas to ensure affordable stadium access and promote fan culture.

The evening of April 18, 2021, marks a turning point in professional football. Twelve of Europe's most prominent and largest clubs are breaking away from UEFA and its competitions to form their own Super League.

A league that breaks with the fundamental principles of performance and fair competition in football to maximize profits. This endeavor is a slap in the face to all who love the sport.

We demand that our club, Borussia Dortmund, particularly the KGaA, does not participate in this venture or any similar plans, such as a deep restructuring of the Champions League. Neither today nor in the future.

We demand that Borussia Dortmund commits to the values our club stands for, regardless of any planned projects within the ECA, UEFA, or a national alliance with FC Bayern Munich.

We demand that the members of Borussia Dortmund have a say when it comes to positioning the club against such a departure from everything that makes football what it is.

We demand that BVB commits to a sustainable, fan-friendly, and value-oriented football and clearly communicates this publicly.

- The Fans of Borussia Dortmund

Reform of UEFA Club Competitions: No Compromises on Leagues and Fairness!

This spring, UEFA is aiming to reform international club competitions and the revenue distribution model. More detailed proposals have already been explained by Football Supporters Europe and Unsere Kurve in their statements.

As representatives of active fans from FC Bayern Munich (Club No. 12) and the BVB Fan Department, we fully endorse the positions of these fan organizations.

At this crucial juncture for German and European club football, we emphasize:

  1. We reject any further expansion of European club competitions that would result in additional matchdays for fans and players. Football is already at a critical saturation point and should not be further strained.

  2. We demand that any additional Champions League spots be awarded solely based on sporting merit from the previous season. Exceptions allowing top clubs through multi-year coefficients are unacceptable.

  3. We, as fans of FC Bayern and BVB, stand for solidarity in football. Therefore, we join other fan groups represented by FSE and UK in demanding a more equitable distribution of revenues from UEFA competitions.

  4. By gradually increasing the solidarity contribution up to a 50% distribution between national leagues and their competition participants (currently 4%), the integrity of both national and international sporting competitions can be ensured in the long term.

We understand that these measures may result in financial losses and decreased security for our clubs in the short term. However, we firmly believe that maintaining the integrity of our sport depends on preserving fair competition.

While financial sacrifices may be painful initially for our clubs, fairer and more balanced competitions at both national and European levels will ultimately benefit everyone: fans, players, and clubs big and small.

Fair distribution of revenues!

Sporting merit for international competitions only!

No additional games due to Champions League reforms!