November is traditionally the month of meetings at Borussia Dortmund. The events in November 2015 were marked by real unity and a wide backing both from the club members and also the shareholders for the work done by the board and the management.
Hans-Joachim Watzke told the shareholders: “we have made a clear decision not to hold back one of the greatest histories of growth within European football and instead we will keep all the players in the squad and suffer the consequences if this possibly means that the next year will not be as successful financially.” After failing to qualify for the Champions League, the income from international games is less than in the previous years. Considering that Borussia Dortmund has ’50 million Euros cash’ (Watzke) and they made a net profit of 101.6 million Euros in the past five years, Borussia Dortmund does not have a problem to follow this path, especially as there are growth opportunities in the future: this applies to Sponsorship, Catering, and their own marketing possibilities within the league. Watzke’s summary was as follows: “we feel like we have a good set-up, we have a high social standing, we are successful again on the pitch, and we have very good liquid assets and are undergoing a period of growth.”
BVB president Dr. Reinhard Rauball leads the way through the member’s general assembly with four key statements. He confirms: “Borussia Dortmund is very healthy, this applies both to the club and the KGaA”. He thanks all the voluntary helpers at the club and working within sport in general. (“if we leave out the ‘unsalaried’ part we would have a problem in Germany”), he reconfirms the attitude of the club (“we are fully supportive of the fight against the right”) and he says after the terrorist attacks in Paris: “we stand behind the rule of the law and freedom, we will defy terror and not accept any violence. And we will not give up the freedom of our way of life.”
Borussia wins the 147. local derby
On the sports side, the month starts with two big exclamation marks. By clearly beating Gabala 4-0, Borussia Dortmund qualifies for the first knock-out round after just four of the six groups stage games. Marco Reus, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan all score goals and there is also an own goal after a corner by Adnan Januzaj. Three days later the celebrations on the terraces know no end when the finale whistle goes for the 147. local derby. Shinji Kagawa gave Black Yellow the lead (30.), Klaas-Jan Huntelaar then equalised straight away (33.). Just before half time Matthias Gunter headed home to make it 2-1. Right after half time Aubameyang scored to make it 3-1 (47.). After that S04 goalkeeper Ralf Fährmann prevented the goal that would have decided the match, which meant when Schalke scored with their first shot on goal in the second half (Huntelaar made it 2-3), there were 20 minutes of high intensity and exciting minutes of football still to go.
Three Borussia players experienced the terrorist attacks first hand during the international break. While Mats Hummels, Matthias Ginter and Ilkay Gündogan were on the pitch in the Stade de France, bombs went off, people were taken hostage and others were being shot. Four days later the BVB trio were on their way to their next international when they found out five minutes before reaching the stadium that the next terror attack had been planned. The match against Holland was cancelled.
After winning seven games in a row in all competitions, Black Yellow’s run of success was halted in Hamburg even though they had 21:7 shots on goal. Seven days after the terror attacks in Paris and three days after the cancelled international in Hannover, Borussia lacked concentration in defence and they were not cut throat enough in attack. HSV was 3-0 up after 55 minutes. They actually only took advantage of three of their two chances on goal, because the third goal was an own goal. However the team showed great morale, they ran and ran right to the end, but the 1-3 through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the 86.minute was too late to win a point from the match. The excellent HSV goalkeeper Adler and the post prevented further BVB goals.
Four times against the post in Krasnodar, four goals against Stuttgart
The team hit the post four times when they played away in the UEFA Europa League against Krasnodar – and they also had just as many attempts thwarted by the opponent goalkeeper. For the first time in this season they didn’t score a goal and they lost by 0-1. Michael Zorc said: “at the moment we have a problem being effective. We don’t score enough goals from the chances that we create. This is why we lost both games.”
However the dip in results is over soon enough. They have a decisive 4-1 home win over VfB Stuttgart. Gonzalo Castro and Aubameyang (2) score the goals. By the end of October BVB has a seven point cushion between them and the third placed team in the Bundesliga, VfL Wolfsburg. Boris Rupert