Borussia Dortmund are restructuring their sporting operations. The executive committee of the advisory board of Borussia Dortmund Geschäftsführungs-GmbH, chaired by BVB president Dr Reinhold Lunow, has decided to add a new position to the management team. Lars Ricken, 47, director of the youth academy since 1 January 2021, will assume the role of managing director for sport from 1 May 2024 and will be responsible for the sporting activities of the eight-time German champions.

Ricken, who in his previous role was responsible for the strategy, personnel and budget of BVB's largest department, will sign a contract that runs until 30 June 2027.

This follows the announcement of contract extensions for managing directors Thomas Tress (finance, organisation, legal & investor relations) and Carsten Cramer (sales & marketing, internationalisation, digitalisation) until 30 June 2027. Hans-Joachim Watzke, who will leave the executive board at his own request at the end of 2025, will continue to be responsible for human resources, communication and strategy until this date. Watzke had already announced in January of this year that he intended to hand over responsibility for sporting affairs in the summer of 2024. The executive committee has now honoured this wish with the appointment of Rickens.

"We are delighted that Lars Ricken is taking over responsibility for sport within the management team. He has played a key role in making Dortmund's youth academy by far the most successful youth academy in Germany over the past ten years. BVB regularly celebrate titles with their own young talents, many of whom have made the step up to the BVB first-team squad, Many of our talented youngsters have gone on to play in the various European professional leagues and have multiplied their market value. Lars Ricken's expertise, his large network and his enormous identification with his home club, where he also celebrated great success as a player, will enrich the management team," says BVB president Dr Reinhold Lunow.

Ricken will take over responsibility for the "sport" department from 1 May, with Sebastian Kehl continuing in his role as director of sport. Lars Ricken will begin talks in the summer regarding a possible contract extension for Sebastian Kehl. In addition, 52-year-old Sven Mislintat, an expert with vast experience and a successful history at BVB, will take up his position as technical director on 1 May. He will have a focus on squad planning and will report directly to Ricken and Kehl in his new role.

"I would like to thank the executive committee and the management for their trust in appointing me as managing director of sport. I am convinced that with the incredible strength of this club and the passion of our many motivated team members, we will achieve great successes together and steer Borussia Dortmund into a successful future," said Lars Ricken, who will not publicly discuss his new role in detail until after the final Bundesliga match of the current season.

Hans-Joachim Watzke, the club's CEO, commented: "I am delighted that Lars Ricken is taking over the position of sporting director. I am certain that Borussia Dortmund will continue to be in a first-class position in the future with Thomas Tress, Carsten Cramer and Lars Ricken as managing directors."