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10th May 2022

Dortmund CEO says they have to fight against clubs with ‘oligarchs and Arab states behind them’

Callum Boyle

Dortmund are set to lose their star player to one of those clubs.

As Erling Haaland was officially confirmed as a Manchester City player on Monday, Borussia Dortmund are preparing to look for his replacement.

The Norwegian will move to the Etihad Stadium after City activated his €63m release clause and will arrive in the Premier League as one of the top-flight’s highest earners.

But as with the modern market these days, Dortmund are struggling to keep up with the demands of inflated transfer fees and extortionate wages.

The only way for the Bundesliga side to keep up with footballing’s big spenders is to sell their prized assets, according to club CEO, Hans-Joachim Watzke.

‘We have to fight against the big, big, big clubs with the oligarchs and the Arabian states at their back’

“That’s the only way for us because when a player performs very well, we have to fight against the big, big, big clubs with the oligarchs and the Arabian states at their back,” he told CNN.

“And this fight we cannot win, but we can win a fight over an 18-year-old player, like Jude Bellingham, because this player loves to play at Borussia Dortmund because we have always 80,000 spectators, it’s a very good atmosphere and the club knows how to manage young players.

“That’s our way and, okay, we have a good department who are scouting young players every day, but it’s also very important if you have the player here, you must develop him and I think that works … most of the time, it works.”

While Watzke says he understands that this is the only way for Dortmund to remain competitive, having to part ways with their better players still doesn’t go without disappointment.

Dortmund oligarch Arab states

‘Sometimes, it’s a good deal; sometimes, it’s not so good’

“Sometimes, it’s a little bit more emotional,” the CEO added.

“It was very emotional for me when Mats Hummels told me in 2016 that he will leave the club after I think seven or eight years because it was a long period and we had a very special relationship.

“But sometimes, players are at Borussia Dortmund for one, two, three years, and in this period, it’s not so deep with the emotions and it’s normal in football that players come, players go and if they want to go, OK.

“Sometimes, it’s a good deal; sometimes, it’s not so good. When we sold Ousmane DembĂ©lĂ© to Barcelona after a short period, it was a very good deal. When Robert Lewandowski left us without transfer fee, it was not a good deal, but that’s football.

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