Borussia Dortmund has a new president. Dr. Reinhold Lunow was elected to the highest office of the club as successor of Dr. Reinhard Rauball at the Annual General Meeting of BV Borussia 09 e.V. As a result of a change in the club's articles of association, we will have an honorary president for the first time. He goes by the name of Reinhard Rauball. Silke Seidel is the first woman to be named deputy president. In addition, BVB laid down a "Code of Core Values" of the club.
Boris Rupert reports
With a standing ovation and several minutes of applause, all 989 of the 168,163 BVB members present at the AGM celebrated the life's work of Dr. Reinhard Rauball, among them several professional footballers and handball players. The 75-year-old has been the head of the club ever since 2004 – a period spanning some 23 years. With more elections and votes on the agenda than normal, the 2022 Annual General Meeting lasted about five hours. It was characterised by great harmony.
Dr. Reinhold Lunow received 99.5 percent of the votes in the election. The 69-year-old therefore becomes the 18th president in the history of Borussia Dortmund. "I am following in great footsteps," said the physician, who lives in Bornheim near Bonn. He grew up in Hemer, just outside Dortmund, "and has been a BVB fan since childhood". From 2005 to 2021, he was treasurer of BVB, and served as deputy president from 2021 to 2022.
"Borussia Dortmund is much more than a Bundesliga football team", stressed the CEO of the partnership limited by shares, Hans-Joachim Watzke, who, "after three years in crisis mode", commented on the financial figures of the professional football division already announced. Watzke spoke about the negative annual financial statements, "which we could not properly get to work on turning around, because we were only able to sell one third of our tickets in the last financial year." During the Coronavirus crisis, Borussia Dortmund lost a total of more than €150 million, but "survived [the pandemic] based on a stable foundation. We are proud that we do not have any financial liabilities. And we didn't have to make anyone redundant or put them on short-time work." Against the backdrop of the energy crisis, Watzke announced savings of 15 to 20 percent in this area.
The registered association earned €9.7 million in the past financial year, and thus generated a net profit of €110,000 (previous year: €12,000). Treasurer Bernd Möllmann was not only pleased to get the numbers in the black, but also about the 1000 fan clubs, "of which 200 are abroad, further underlining the power of our club." Möllmann announced the 09-year membership card in the future in the interests of sustainability. The registered association is also debt-free. The actions of the board were unanimously approved.
At 14:26 CET, Reinhard Rauball came to the lectern for the last time. He thanked "all my comrades in arms, who were at my side even in situations that seemed almost hopeless". With a twinkle in his eye, he looked back at 1979, the start of his first term: "If I had known what lay ahead of me in the years and decades to come, I would have spoken more cautiously," when BVB were looking for a successor for Heinz Günther at the time. "I made a careless comment: but if you can't find anyone, you can come back to me…" Rauball recalled 2004, "the hour of the greatest danger for the existence of our club. We were gazing into the abyss, our fate was no longer in our own hands, but we came back through hard work, passion, and the values of BVB." During Rauball's tenure, the club won two league titles, three cups "and yes, we were once in the Champions League final. Today, I can rest easy. BVB are no longer in any imminent financial danger, rather they are a club that stands for passion, atmosphere, spectacular scenes, and success. I am very lucky to have been able to hold the most wonderful office in football, namely, president of Borussia Dortmund, for so long."
For several minutes, the 989 members present cheered the outgoing president. They voted Dr. Reinhold Lunow almost unanimously (five abstentions) as his successor. Silke Seidel (60) was elected as his deputy, receiving 959 votes (22 abstentions, 8 against). Former player Günter Kutowski was unanimously (re)elected to the Council of Elders.
For the first time, an honorary president was elected at the AGM in Dr. Reinhard Rauball, following a vote on a corresponding change to the articles of association. The election will become effective with the entry of the amendment to the articles of association in the register of associations. A resolution on the "Code of Core Values" was also passed at the AGM. Lunow spoke of a "milestone in the history of our club."