This coming Sunday, 21 November, Borussia Dortmund members are invited to the Annual General Meeting. "The organisation of this meeting is overlaid with health policy requirements," says President Dr Reinhard Rauball. "It was not nice not to have seen our members for two years. We would like to make up for that."
Corona case numbers are rising sharply. On Thursday, the Minister Presidents of the Federal states are meeting. Can this meeting have an impact on the AGM on Sunday?
We are following very closely what is happening and are also keeping ourselves informed about current trends. The Minister Presidents' Conference is not a legislative body, but an assembly of important political decision-makers. Decisions taken there must subsequently be cast in ordinances.
After the cancellation of the AGM in 2020, there are now practically two meetings in one. What impact will that have?
Although I have been working in this profession for over two decades, this is new territory for me as well. Indeed, there is a lot to consider in the sequence of agenda items. Nevertheless, I am convinced that we will manage it in accordance with the rules and the statutes.
In past years, about 1000 of the 157,000 club members came to the Westfalenhalle. What number do you expect on Sunday?
I don't expect the attendance figures of past years because some people - and I can understand this - are worried about their health. We have taken all the necessary measures to meet as safely as possible.
Among the measures taken is that teams will not be present.
Last weekend, due to the illness of one of our handball players, we had to experience once again how close the issue of Corona is, even in a sports club that has taken all precautions to protect its athletes. For this reason, too, we have decided that in view of the all-important Champions League match in Lisbon, to which our footballers are already travelling on Tuesday, the time on Sunday and Monday should be used for preparation. The women's handball team will not be able to participate because of the European Cup second leg in Esbjerg on Sunday afternoon. I very much regret that they cannot be present, as they would have deserved to be presented in person to the General Meeting both this year and last year to take the plaudits for two outstanding seasons.
The upcoming general meeting marks a caesura and the farewell of Gerd Pieper.
We are not only losing the long-time representative of the President and Chairman of the Supervisory Board within the KGaA, but also a great personality who has always shown great personal commitment to the well-being of Borussia Dortmund. He was thus an important moderator in the economic restructuring and in the ultimately successful economic recovery of our club. Unfortunately, Gerd Pieper is ill and cannot attend the meeting.
Who is standing for election as your successor on Sunday?
I have made a proposal to the election committee to nominate the current treasurer of the e.V., Dr. Reinhold Lunow, as a candidate to replace the president and to have his position filled in future by Bernd Möllmann, who has done an outstanding job as head of our table tennis department for many, many years. I hope that the General Assembly will follow these proposals.
There will also be a vote on four members of the Business Council.
At the end of the legislative period, we also have the agenda item "new elections" here. Four members of the Economic Council will be elected by the General Assembly, four more will be delegated by the Executive Board. Dr. Winfried Materna, Michele Puller and Dr. Thomas Steg are standing for re-election as long-standing members of the Economic Council and Oliver Hermes, CEO of Wilo SE Dortmund, is a new member. Appointed by the Executive Board of the e.V. are, as before, Ute Wolf, Chief Financial Officer of Evonik Industries AG, Reinhold Schulte, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Signal-Iduna Group, as well as the new Lord Mayor Thomas Westphal and Professor Dr. Volker Gruhn, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Adesso SE Dortmund.
There will also be a new election for the auditors. Can you name candidates for this as well?
I have proposed our long-time goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller to the election committee as Günter Kutowski's successor. I think it is good that someone who is so well known to the general meeting is available for this task. In the future, following the examples of Kutowski or Stefan Klos, we would like to continue to see deserving athletes in this position.
There are two motions to amend the statutes on the agenda. From the ranks of the members comes the proposal that the association should adopt a "code of basic values".
The Executive Board will support this proposal. Then we have a very important topic to deal with. With the second motion, we have to change our statutes in this point for reasons of non-profit status. This has been agreed with the tax authorities. Otherwise - and I must say this in no uncertain terms - the professional sports "Handball Ladies Bundesliga" and "Table Tennis Men 2nd Bundesliga" would no longer be possible under the umbrella of BVB e.V.. It is a question of giving the board the possibility to reallocate part of the membership fees to a levy.
Could this mean additional burdens for the members?
A very clear no. There will only be a redistribution from the membership fees, so that the board will then have the opportunity to use these funds accordingly. This will not lead to a higher financial burden on the members! It does not mean membership fees plus apportionment, but membership fees including any necessary apportionment.
Interview: Boris Rupert