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Name Hans-Joachim Watzke
Gender Male
Ethnic German
Job CEO of Borussia Dortmund
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Affiliation

Club as Player Borussia Dortmund [CEO]
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2015 02 11 Retrieve

[Reus’ commitment to the cause will provide a huge boost to Jurgen Klopp’s squad as it finds itself in an unfamiliar relegation scrap, and Watzke believes the gesture will see him go down in Dortmund folklore] If you decide for your club in such a situation, you are down at the bottom of the table, you have offers from the biggest clubs on earth, but nevertheless you decide for your club, thus resigning a lot of financial conditions, that are those players who will be later legends in their clubs. Just like Uwe Seeler, who didn’t go [from Hamburg] to Inter Milan, also other players, like [Steven] Gerrard at Liverpool. And now there is also the possibility, especially in the case of Marco, who is born here in this city

2018 11 28 Retrieve

[After Watzke celebrated securing Alcacer, he stated his intention of doing the same with Hakimi] Dear Paco Alcacer, welcome to Borussia Dortmund. And Achraf Hakimi - we will try to do the same thing with you, even though it will not be easy

2019 06 11 Retrieve

[Dortmund CEO Watzke said that his visit to Asia is a manifest of how the team values Asian market] I believe it is important for Dortmund to come to Asia. It is an important step for professional teams to go to America and Asia, be it China, Hong Kong or Singapore. We decided to have the match in Hong Kong because it is a wonderful city. […] It would be difficult for current players to participate in games from around the world, but legend teams have more freedom to travel. We have a lot of fans from Asia and America, having legends team to play in different places is part of the club’s branding and image and is important to both the teams and the fans. Maybe China, or participate in the International Champions Cup. Nothing is confirmed yet; we have to wait till winter for the decision. But we are definitely coming back to Asia. For the past decade, Dortmund has shown progress and improvements in different aspects. I will be a lifelong fan of the Dortmund even if I no longer work for it. Our goal is to play beautiful attacking football. Next year, we will continue to advance to the Bundesliga and compete with Bayern for the championship. Sancho is very special. It is difficult to compare him to other players. I dare say he is the most talented person I’ve ever seen. He manages to goal as well as assist and he is 19 years old only, a very young talent. There are surely obstacles in future waiting for him but I hope he can grow steadily

2019 06 18 Retrieve

[Dortmund boss Favre signs contract extension] He has met our expectations 100 per cent. It is logical that we want to shape the future together

2019 08 01 Retrieve

[Hans-Joachim Watzke has thanked Bayern Munich counterpart Karl-Heinz Rummenigge for letting Mats Hummels return to Signal Iduna Park] I am very grateful to Karl-Heinz Rummenigge for having respected the player’s will. I thought that was extraordinary. The way in which these negotiations ended was an indication to me how respectfully we are working together at the highest levels

Nuri Sahin, Shinji Kagawa and Mario Gotze struggled at their new clubs. Mats was an absolute star player at Bayern, who won three championships there in three years and was recently voted the strongest centre-back in the league

2019 08 15 Retrieve

[Watzke has now revealed that questions were asked of Jadon Sancho’s future] A chief of one of the super clubs asked me back in spring if there was a chance [to sign Sancho] but I told him straight away he should forget about it and he never contacted me again. He knew I meant what I said

There aren’t many 19-year-olds with such a potential. He is also not a player from the region or one who would have any connection to it. When you have a player like Jadon Sancho, you must reassess the situation every single year. Everything else would not be honest. If a foreign player is not convinced that the club is right for him at the exact time, it just does not make any sense

2019 08 15b Retrieve

[Borussia Dortmund post record non-transfer revenues of €369m] We are a strong brand and will continue to consistently work on the German market, but just as consistently on the international market, especially in America and Asia. Our journeys bear fruit. The [pre-season] trip to the US was a complete success. In the sports field we have created the conditions for a successful season. We have a good team, a good team of coaches and are very enthusiastic about our goals

2019 09 05 Retrieve

[With Pulisic now at Chelsea, Reyna is one of several Americans leading the next generation of young players to head to Germany. Schalke star Weston McKennie and RB Leipzig’s Tyler Adams are already there, but it’s Reyna who could be the next player to truly break into that world-class discussion] We have a lot of players who are well known in the USA. OK, Christian is the captain of the national team. That’s clear. But first, we have a very interesting young player: Giovanni Reyna. He’s a big, big talent. I think he will do a lot for American football in the next five or 10 years

It’s the same way like Christian. He has time to develop. He needs time. But he has everything a player should have. It’s not so easy to look into the future and see how a player will develop in the next two or three years. But he has everything you must have.

2019 10 02 Retrieve

[Hans-Joachim Watzke has taken aim at Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, suggesting he only left the German club for money and taunting him over his lack of Champions League football] Of course it is hard to keep a player in the face of such sums. Some go to clubs because of this money, where they have not played Champions League for years. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who plays great at Arsenal, will probably be warm-hearted when he looks at his bank account, but on Wednesdays, will be saddened when he has to watch the Champions League on television

2019 10 10 Retrieve

[Watzke admits that he always expected Klopp to knock back his advances, with a coach who would go on to claim Champions League glory with Liverpool in 2018-19 tied to a deal with the Reds through to 2022] I knew that Jurgen would say no and that he would fulfil his contract in Liverpool. But if you want to go in a new direction, and we had to hit a new path at BVB at that point, then I had to at least ask Jurgen if it was a possibility. I did not expect it at all, but I would never have forgiven myself had I not at least asked him at that moment

2019 10 13 Retrieve

[Hans-Joachim Watzke has revealed he never asked Bayern Munich for money during the club’s infamous 2005 financial crisis] It was very surprising, to speak ironically, the subject of Bayern loaning us money becoming a public topic when we won the Bundesliga for the first time. I tried to defend ourselves a little against what was the goal of that story: To create the image of me going to Bayern and asking for money. But I would never ask FC Bayern for one Euro. I respect that club very much, but I would rather beg for money under a bridge in Dortmund than ask Bayern for it. To ask you biggest rival for money, you can’t humiliate yourself more than that in this world

[Watzke has also revealed he shared a less-than-friendly relationship with Bayern president Uli Hoeness - who worked as the club’s general manager during the early 2000s] We are both very, very different. We were never close to each other, it will never be enough for a friendship between us. Uli is an incredibly emotional person and if you put yourself in any way against Bayern and Uli Hoeness, you threaten always to be completely plowed under. His trick at the time was to engage you in verbal skirmishes

2019 10 13b Retrieve

[Hans-Joachim Watzke says the Bundesliga giants would have won the Champions League if star players Robert Lewandowski and Mario Gotze hadn’t been sold to Bayern Munich] We had a world-class team. And if that team’s structure had not been left in tatters, then it would have also won the Champions League – one hundred per cent! We just lost the final in 2013. The next few years would have been our years, for sure! But then Mario left, then Robert went, then all the sh*t started

2019 11 24 Retrieve

[Dortmund’s CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke also warned Favre that he needs a quick turnaround if he is to hold on to his job] Dear Lucien, you still have our trust, but in the end football is always defined by results. We all hope you and the team are able to turn this around. You have all the support we can give you. Pull yourselves together and play like it is expected from Borussia Dortmund. You as a team must know that only words are not enough. It is your duty to let them be followed by actions

[Watzke admitted the club have made some mistakes, however, saying they should have splashed out on a new forward in the summer] We should have signed another central striker. We did not do that and that was wrong

2019 11 26 Retrieve

[BVB CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke is not in any rush to see Jadon Sancho go, but admits that it could be inevitable with Europe’s biggest teams constantly linked] With a player like Jadon, who is extraordinarily talented, you don’t have to pretend that you won’t talk to him if someone comes in for him. Maybe he’ll come and say that he would like to make a switch under certain conditions, and then we’ll talk to each other. I can’t guarantee that he will stay here forever. I can only say: We’ll be happy if no one comes in for him

2019 12 29 Retrieve

[Dortmund CEO Watzke was similarly excited to beat a number of top clubs to Haaland’s signature] Despite many offers from some absolute top clubs from all over Europe, Erling has decided to join the project at BVB and the vision we have shown him. Our tenacity has paid off

2020 02 17 Retrieve

[Watzke believes Haaland is a rare talent and the type of striker Dortmund have been waiting for] We always wanted to have a centre forward who has a different way of playing football. It wasn’t about a second striker, but a tall, physically strong classic number nine. But this guy also had to come onto the market first. There are not many who are 1.94 meters tall and that fast. Actually, nobody else comes to mind. It was just an opportunity that you don’t get very often. I’ve been following his progress a little longer. I first met him in December. I think we both quickly felt that it could be something

He is still very young, but has a huge will. He has the physical attributes and is extremely focused. It is certainly good for us. Basically Scandinavian players are very motivated, very hungry for success and very decent guys. Erling embodies all of this. He has a good character and has an irrepressible will. Even in training! It is a good story

Other players can also play the role of Paco Alcacer with us, but we didn’t have a guy like Erling before. The decision to let Paco go was easy. A centre forward who doesn’t play quickly becomes dissatisfied. His big goal is the European Championship 2020, and he would have missed it probably if he stayed. The economic component was not crucial. We would have got the money even in summer

2020 03 02 Retrieve

[Watzke reacts to Man Utd transfer talk] I think Jadon Sancho has the feeling that the club does have a good future. In my opinion, I don’t think he wants to leave. We have a very confidential relationship between us and him and his agents. We will discuss it

[Dortmund are under no financial pressure to part with a player] It’s not a question of money. For us, it would be the best position if he stays at Borussia Dortmund. We have enough money. We want to have titles. I think this team has a lot more potential with Jadon than without Jadon.

2020 03 16 Retrieve

[Watzke believes German football was facing the greatest crisis in its history] It is to be hoped that the Bundesliga clubs have built up so much substance in recent years that everyone will survive this crisis. An existential threat to Borussia Dortmund can be excluded according to everything we can assess today

2020 03 14 Retrieve

[Borussia Dortmund CEO Watzke says German football facing its biggest ever crisis] The Presidium of the DFL has made a decision that needs to be respected - regardless of the fact that there would have been other approaches. We all have to do this together in solidarity and discuss the corresponding derivations on Monday. Nevertheless, it also applies – depending on what will be decided on Monday – that German professional football is in the greatest crisis in its history. It is to be hoped that the Bundesliga clubs have built up so much substance in recent years that everyone will survive this crisis. An existential threat to Borussia Dortmund can be excluded according to everything we can assess today

2020 03 29 Retrieve

[Dortmund warn they won’t let Sancho go cheap because of coronavirus pandemic] Even before the coronavirus outbreak, we said that we would prefer that Jadon stays with us. At the end of the day, however, you always have to respect what the player wants. I’ll state clearly, that no rich club should think that during this existential crisis they can steal players from us. We don’t have to sell anyone for less than they’re worth

[Watzke says Dortmund will do all they can to support their members in such difficult times] I am responsible for more than 150,000 members, for our shareholders, but above all for 850 BVB employees and their families. We are one of the largest employers in the city. It’s about ordinary workers, not about football millionaires. Our travel agency no longer sells trips, our events and catering company no longer organises events and certainly not catering. Nevertheless, we said: As a sign of BVB unity, there will initially be no short-term work. For me, that means responsibility and solidarity. We can not disregard the fact that the Bundesliga clubs are and will remain competitors. And of course, we are solidary if someone has got into an imbalance through no fault of their own. That cannot be excluded

2020 04 02 Retrieve

[Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke on Sancho’s asking price] I can clearly say that despite the existential crisis [for football] even the richest clubs don’t have to believe they can go bargain hunting at Dortmund. We must not sell anyone below value. Even before the coronavirus outbreak, we said that we prefer that Jadon stays with us. At the end of the day, however, you always have to respect what the player wants

2020 04 03 Retrieve

[Dortmund to convert Signal Iduna Park into coronavirus treatment centre] Our stadium is the figurehead of the city, a fixed point for almost everyone in Dortmund and the surrounding area and, thanks to its technical, infrastructural and spatial conditions, the ideal place to actively help people who are potentially infected or over-infected by the coronavirus symptoms such as respiratory diseases and fever. It is our duty and our desire to do everything in our power to help these people. In the KVWL we have a perfect partner at our side to lead this fight successfully

2020 04 26 Retrieve

[Borussia Dortmund chief hints at Mario Gotze U-turn] Everything is on ice at the moment, but it is clear that the conversation with Mario will be resumed at some point

2020 04 27 Retrieve

[The BVB official is worried about the future of the competition if play isn’t allowed to resume soon] If we don’t play in the next few months, all of Bundesliga will go under and then there wouldn’t be a league in the way we know it. Of course, many fans say: ‘There’s no desire for it, it’s not on television’, that is perfectly clear, but it’s about saving football!

We are doing all we can to get back to work, we don’t want any special treatment, definitely not, but we don’t want to be at a disadvantage either

Football can play a relevant role in society, but that’s not the question, we have to do all we can to avoid that someone says football has special treatment. We don’t want to start with a special position, but, again, you can’t compare football with other more popular sports, we want to do our jobs

2020 04 30 Retrieve

[Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke having claimed the Bundesliga will go under if the season does not resume in the next few months] If we don’t play in the next few months, all of Bundesliga will go under and then there wouldn’t be a league in the way we know it. Of course, many fans say: ‘There’s no desire for it, it’s not on television’, that is perfectly clear, but it’s about saving football! We are doing all we can to get back to work, we don’t want any special treatment, definitely not, but we don’t want to be at a disadvantage either. Football can play a relevant role in society, but that’s not the question, we have to do all we can to avoid that someone says football has special treatment. We don’t want to start with a special position, but, again, you can’t compare football with other more popular sports, we want to do our jobs

2020 05 06 Retrieve

[Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke accepts there can be no guarantee players will not be at risk of coronavirus infection when the Bundesliga returns] We’re very pleased that the people in Germany – and, from a regional point of view, the people in Dortmund and the surrounding area – have conducted themselves so magnificently in recent weeks that the spread of the pandemic could at least be contained. It is only thanks to the incredible discipline on the part of the population that we can now, gradually and in small steps, move on to another form of normality. Many industries are now slowly starting up again in compliance with strict rules, and this applies to professional football too. In this context, we at Borussia Dortmund are aware we have a great responsibility. We will – in the knowledge there can be no guarantees – do everything in our power to ensure the highest-possible degree of safety in order to prevent any new infections among the players and their families. Having to play behind closed doors is an enormous challenge, especially for a club like BVB, which draws a lot of strength from the passion of its supporters. However, it would not have been economically viable for the clubs to allow the Bundesliga to pause until spectators were allowed back into the stadiums

2020 05 07 Retrieve

[Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke praised local people for their efforts in staying home to contain the spread of Covid-19] We’re very pleased that the people in Germany – and, from a regional point of view, the people in Dortmund and the surrounding area – have conducted themselves so magnificently in recent weeks that the spread of the pandemic could at least be contained. Many industries are now slowly starting up again in compliance with strict rules, and this applies to professional football too. In this context, we at Borussia Dortmund are aware we have a great responsibility. We will – in the knowledge there can be no guarantees – do everything in our power to ensure the highest-possible degree of safety in order to prevent any new infections among the players and their families

2020 05 15 Retrieve

[Haaland had been on Dortmund’s radar for a while and when the opportunity came to sign him] We always wanted to have a centre forward who has a different way of playing football. It wasn’t about a second striker, but a tall, physically strong classic No.9. But this guy also had to come onto the market first. There are not many who are 1.94 metres tall and that fast. Actually, nobody else comes to mind. It was just an opportunity that you don’t get very often

2020 05 15b Retrieve

[Dortmund CEO Watzke says football world focused on Bundesliga restart] Jurgen has texted me a few times that he will be watching TV at the weekend and everyone is happy that the game will start again. We owe the fact that we are in such a position in Germany to the population, who behaved in such a disciplined manner. And the politicians who are very careful with the situation. That is the reason why Germany is one of the best countries in the world to have come through this crisis

I also feel a huge responsibility. This feeling is bigger than ever, and that gives me a certain amount of tension. On the one hand, the sporting aspect is that we also achieve our goals. On the other hand, the question of whether we can meet the entire framework with all requirements and the security concept as we all imagine it and how it is necessary. This pressure is really huge

2020 06 26 Retrieve

[Hans-Joachim Watzke has heaped praise on Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp following his side’s Premier League title success] To be champions in such a strong league as the English with so many top teams and so many matches before the end of the season is just outstanding. Jurgen has further developed the pressing system that he created in England. With this latest success, he is one of the greatest coaches in the world

2020 06 26b Retrieve

[Borussia Dortmund managing director Hans-Joachim Watzke says the club want to sign Birmingham City midfielder Jude Bellingham, but admits competition to sign the 16-year-old prodigy will be fierce] Of course we want this to work. but it is clear that with such a talented player, many others are also interested

2020 06 26c Retrieve

[Borussia Dortmund managing director Hans-Joachim Watzke says the club want to sign Birmingham City midfielder Jude Bellingham] As a head coach, I don’t deal with transfers, it’s the club. But I can imagine the situation has all the clubs very worried about how to finish this season and what impact this season has into next season. That can change a lot of the future of the clubs. Possibly it’s going to be a busy summer, possibly it’s going to be less busy, we still don’t know what impact it will have

2020 06 28 Retrieve

[Dortmund CEO confirms Favre will stay] Every coach in the world would have lost yesterday’s game, because it was the team’s fault. Before, against Leipzig, we had one of our best matches in the last few years. Lucien Favre took us to back-to-back second place finishes and he is still under contract. He deserves a chance to kill the rest of the prejudices that exist towards him in the media

2020 06 28b Retrieve

[Borussia Dortmund expect Sancho stay because Manchester United target is too expensive] If Jadon comes up to us and says he absolutely wants to leave - which has not been the case so far - and a club wants to pay what we want, then we will discuss it. I don’t think a club will pay the sum. There is also no coronavirus discount on him. We have left the period where we had to sell players. I don’t think there will be a summer transfer. We have a more unusual situation next year than usual. With the exception of Achraf Hakimi, the team will stay together. That helps with development

[Asked if January signing Erling Haaland could make a move this year] A transfer is completely out of the question for Haaland

[One player whose exit has been confirmed is midfielder Mario Gotze] Mario is old enough, he knows what he’s doing. We have no influence anymore. He didn’t ask me, so he should have told me what’s on the table. I have lost contact with the team through corona. I couldn’t get into the dressing room, there was only a phone. When I said goodbye, I was even afraid to hug him. There would be a shitstorm immediately because you violate the health precautions. We even had masks on, all emotion is lost

2020 06 30 Retrieve

[Jadon Sancho: Manchester United will not pay more than £50m for England winger] I don’t think a club will pay the sum. There is also no coronavirus discount on him