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End of an Era: Hans-Joachim Watzke Announces Departure from Borussia Dortmund in 2025.

Roger Hampel

Watzke Borussia Dortmund
Watzke Borussia Dortmund

In a move signaling the end of a significant chapter in German football, Hans-Joachim Watzke, the long-standing CEO of Borussia Dortmund, has announced his decision not to extend his contract beyond 2025. This news was shared by Watzke himself in Marbella, Spain, where Borussia Dortmund is currently conducting its winter training camp.

Watzke's Journey and Impact

Hans-Joachim Watzke, 64, has been a pivotal figure in shaping the destiny of Borussia Dortmund. He informed the Presidential Committee of the Advisory Board of Borussia Dortmund GmbH, led by President Reinhold Lunow, of his decision, also requesting to be relieved from the overall responsibility for the sports division as early as June 30, 2024. This request marks the beginning of a well-structured transition period for the club.

His tenure, which spans nearly two decades, has seen Borussia Dortmund solidify its position as a powerhouse in German and European football. Under his leadership, the club has experienced notable highs, including Bundesliga victories and significant progress in European competitions.

Watzke's Legacy and Future Plans

Reflecting on his upcoming 20th anniversary in the role, Watzke expressed a strong sentiment that the time was ripe for a change. "Next year, I'll be 20 years in office. I have increasingly felt that the moment has come when I say: It's also enough at some point," he remarked. His desire for an early public announcement was to ensure a smooth transition over the next one and a half years. This timeframe is seen as optimal for making all necessary arrangements for the club's future.

Watzke emphasized his intention for a self-determined departure from his position, expressing gratitude for the trust and privilege he has experienced throughout his years at the club. His leadership has been marked by strategic decisions that have significantly influenced Borussia Dortmund's standing in football.

The Search for Succession

In response to Watzke's wishes, the Presidential Committee has requested him to develop and present proposals for his succession in the sports business area. This step is crucial in ensuring that Borussia Dortmund continues to thrive post-Watzke's era. of its most influential figures, navigating the challenges of finding a worthy successor to carry on the legacy of one of Germany's most storied football clubs.


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