Dr. Reinhard Rauball will continue to lead BVB for the coming three years. The lawyer was returned to office almost unanimously during the BV Borussia 09 e.V. general meeting. Rauball gave his thanks, saying: "Please accept my gratitude for this excellent vote". He takes office for the eighth time in total, and for the sixth consecutive term since 2004.
"Yesterday", observed Rauball, acknowledging the victory over FC Bayern, "was the overture to today's event. BVB is in an excellent place this autumn 2016, both sportingly and economically." He paid the club's foundation a great compliment: "We have the most committed fans in Germany."
"I think it is great that you will be at the helm for a further three years", said Hans-Joachim Watzke in front of about 1,200 club members who were present in the Westfalenhalle, from a total of 145,207. Dr. Winfried Materna, head of the Economic Advisory Council, declared it a "great piece of luck that we keep this particular dual leadership" with regard to club president Rauball and joint stock company head Watzke. The board was then ratified unanimously.
"Seventh behind heavyweight competition"
Hans-Joachim Watzke felt "no great desire to speak of numbers" during his speech, even though these were more than impressive, with a turnover of €376 million ("a record revenue: hopefully that will become standard across the next few years"), an operating profit of €86 million, €36 million after deductions, and ultimately a net income of €29.4 million after taxes for the group. "We can live well from that." Borussia Dortmund has at its disposal equity to the sum of €309 million and was able to report on the closing date, the 30 June 2016, funds to the amount of €51.7 million in the bank ("Uli Hoeneß always called that a time deposit").
Another imposing number: BVB has placed seventh in the UEFA rankings of the best clubs in Europe "behind heavyweight competition", and in front of Manchester City (13) and Manchester United (22). Watzke: "Economically, they are on another planet, but not so sportingly! My compliments to Michael Zorc and all the others involved!" He determined with regard to the current situation: "We had a difficult summer because we lost three quality players who we did not necessarily want to give up. We decided to do the braver thing, namely, to do what we did until 2011: Build a team of highly talented players."
"The greatest club in the world"
Watzke praised the club's committees ("they characterise themselves in that they direct their advice inwards, not outwards"), announced the building of a spectator stand at the youth development training facility in Brackel ("since we are now more regularly participating in semi-final matches"), reassured the Supporters Association of his support for the planned building of a 'fan house' and made clear: "We are now the second largest club in Germany, and the fourth largest in the world. Our club is cherished like no other club in Germany. I have come to the understanding that we must once again show a little more emotion. Borussia will never disown its roots, we are committed with all our heart to our origins at Borgisplatz, but we cannot draw up our borders at the edge of the city." After great applause from the assembled club members, the BVB boss observed finally: "A combination of great success, great tradition and inimitable solidarity makes this the greatest club in the world."
Treasurer Dr. Reinhold Lunow had likewise only positive things to report as he went through the numbers for the registered association. Revenue had risen in comparison to the previous year from €7.8 million to €8.6 million, meaning a net income of €1.6 million and as such, €40,000 more than in the previous year.
Silence was observed, as those 'Borussen' present thought of those who are no longer with us, such as Paul Burchardt, who, just two years ago, was honoured for having been a club member for 80 years (!). Burchardt passed away at the age of 99. Tribute was also paid to Alfred Schmidt, the BVB legend. Subsequent to proceedings, as pea soup and beer were being consumed, it occurred to Hans-Joachim Watzke that he had "forgotten to read out a large thank you from my manuscript directed at the initiators and implementers of the choreography. I apologise for having skipped over that part of the cue sheet, I was feeling quite emotional in the moment."
Norbert Dickel on Senior Advisory Board
Positions on the Senior Advisory Board were also open to election. Norbert Dickel comes onto the board in place of the late Alfred Niepieklo, who passed away in 2014 (Rauball: "Heroes get old too, dear Norbert"). Cash auditor Stefan Klos was obliged to forgo his office after three terms of office, and was replaced by the former head of the Supporters Association, Marco Blumberg. Markus Schäfer's proposal of a nationwide fair ticket pricing scheme won not only the approval of the members, but also that of the entire club. With respect to this, Hans-Joachim Watzke announced that a "second-hand platform" would soon be forthcoming.