Near unanimity in elections and motions at general meeting
Ballspielverein Borussia 09 e.V. has a new vice-president and a new treasurer. The annual general meeting elected former treasurer Dr. Reinhold Lunow to succeed Gerd Pieper in the role of vice-president after the latter resigned due to health reasons. The new treasurer is Bernd Möllmann, who will leave the management of the table tennis department in other hands.
The first general meeting held in two years due to the pandemic was graced by the presence of the DFB-Pokal trophy won by the men's football team and the women's handball championship shield. 606 of the club's 157,191 members were in attendance. 2021 has witnessed an overall increase in the membership, with 1,402 more members than last year, despite 5,200 resignations and 1,800 expulsions.
The combined meeting for two business years was marked by a strong sense of harmony. Dr Lunow was elected unanimously, with one abstention for Möllmann's election. The two motions to amend the statutes were also approved with an overwhelming majority. The "introduction of a code of fundamental values" as a cornerstone for the actions of the members was approved with just one dissenting vote.
For the continued existence of professional sport under the umbrella of the registered association and thus for the future of the Bundesliga handball players as well as the second division table tennis players, a change in the contribution regulations is indispensable, as both departments on the one hand exceed the order of magnitude of 45,000 euros on the revenue side (entrance fees, sponsoring) and thus fall into the taxable economic business operation, but on the other hand do not cover their costs. Before the pandemic, such losses could be offset by dividend payments and profit distributions from the KGaA (partnership limited by shares). They may not be offset, however, through membership fees. Through a partial reallocation to a levy, a solution has now been found - in close consultation with the tax authorities - that does not jeopardise the non-profit status. This will not result in any additional costs for members! "We have made a monumental decision to allow these two successful departments to keep going," said President Dr. Reinhard Rauball after the vote (no votes against, four abstentions).
The contribution rules now specify:
Up to half of the contributions collected may be exempted from the current financing of the association's activities in accordance with an annual resolution of the Board of Directors and used as a levy to compensate for losses incurred in the past financial year in taxable commercial business sports operations, in particular with the women's handball first team. In this case, the amount of the contributions, including the levy, shall remain unchanged.
In his last report as treasurer, Dr Reinhold Lunow gave an image of a healthy club that continues to be debt-free, closing the 2019/20 financial year with a loss of €237,000 on a turnover of €9.5 million, and the 2020/21 financial year (turnover €9.1 million) with a profit of €12,000. Dividends and distributions from BVB Geschäftsführungs GmbH fell from €805,000 (2018/19) to €306,000 (2019/20) in the past year. Three million euros were invested in the Borusseum, which is "about to reopen".
Remarkably, neither the e.V. (registered association) nor the KGaA have had to lay off staff or put them on short-time hours during the pandemic. "We have to keep fighting to keep a grip on the huge challenges we're facing," said Hans-Joachim Watzke: "We won't let Covid knock us down!" Despite a combined €117m loss in the 2019/20 and 2020/21 pandemic seasons on the part of the KGaA, "we are in a good situation because we have always been careful with the money we've gained over the past few years." Watzke made it clear that he will fight to ensure that there will be no return of matches played behind closed doors: "We do not want to be taken hostage by regions where the vaccination rate is significantly lower than here in North Rhine-Westphalia. There have not been any issues linked to a Borussia Dortmund match held in the open air."
The members in attendance bid farewell to Gerd Pieper, who was unable to attend for health reasons, with prolonged applause. "Gerd Pieper was vice president of Borussia Dortmund for 13 years and has represented our club on the supervisory board of the KGaA for the past 18 years - in 17 of those 18 years as chairman of this crucial body," said Dr. Rauball emphasised as he expressed his thanks: "He has shown great personal commitment to promoting the interests of Borussia Dortmund through his sensible and level-headed manner." Pieper's successor, Reinhold Lunow, also commented: "It is not always a matter of course that colleagues on the board of one of the biggest clubs in the world work together in a spirit of trust over such a sustained period of time and then also become friends."
Bernd Möllmann has newly joined the executive committee. The banker was honoured at the beginning of the meeting for his 50 years of club membership and later elected to the post of treasurer. Möllmann's successor as head of the table tennis department will be decided in due course. As Günter Kutowski's successor, Roman Weidenfeller - together with Peter Noisten - was elected cash auditor. In addition to the four members of the economic council appointed by the executive board - Ute Wolf, Reinhold Schulte, Thomas Westphal and Prof. Dr. Volker Gruhn - the general assembly also elected Dr. Winfried Materna, Michele Puller, Dr. Thomas Steg and Oliver Hermes.