The news of the passing of Matthias Naversnik has come as a shock to everyone at Borussia Dortmund. The longstanding director of the ticketing department died suddenly and unexpectedly at the age of 50 last Tuesday. 

''Matthias was not just a valued member of staff in an important role; above all, he was a warm and kind person and a face of our club,'' said managing directors Hans-Joachim Watzke, Thomas Tress and Carsten Cramer and club president Dr. Reinhard Rauball in a joint statement. ''We are in a state of shock and will greatly miss Matthias. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues.''

Matthias Naversnik was one of the longest-serving members of staff at BVB, having worked at the club for well over half of his life. It wasn't uncommon for him to stay at his desk until late at night during ''busy periods'', such as season ticket exchanges, advance sales for big games and September of last year, when fans were partially allowed back into the ground. Matthias Naversnik would have celebrated his 30th anniversary at BVB on 1 June 2021.

When he started work in the club offices on 1 June 1991, many things were still done by hand. Over the years, the passionate footballer and golfer took charge of the ticketing department and, as demand started to greatly outstrip supply, he advocated for a fair distribution of tickets. The "season ticket waiting list" and "secondary ticket market" projects were proposed and ultimately implemented by Naversnik. Many of his concepts were adopted by other Bundesliga clubs. Naversnik was a valued advisor to the DFB and FIFA for international matches and the 2006 World Cup, in which some games were held in Dortmund.

Matthias Naversnik will always hold a special place in our hearts.