What is going wrong with Borussia Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund: Master from yesterday

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In the cold, lonely weeks of the German Corona winter, the Bundesliga also threatens to lapse into a far-reaching mood lockdown. The championship seems to have been decided at an early stage, and FC Bayern’s ninth title in a row can hardly be averted. The mood among observers alternates between resignation and fatalism à la: Bavarians have the most money, so they always win.

This obscures one of the crucial questions of this almost absurd imbalance: How can - the strength of the record champion in all honor - be explained the lack of competitiveness of the club that has the second largest financial and branding power (by a large margin to the rest of the field) owns in Germany? To put it simply: what has actually been going wrong at Borussia Dortmund for years?

The downward trend only seems to be accelerating at the moment. Missing the Champions League places would not only be catastrophic in terms of sport, after a loss of over 26 million euros in the first half of the 2020/21 financial year alone. And if you judge purely by titles won, the Dortmund record of the last few years is more than sobering: The DFB Cup victory in 2017, in Thomas Tuchel's farewell game, is the only title win in the last eight years.

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Wolfsburg and Frankfurt have also achieved this during this time. On the other hand, there are also unfortunate coaching decisions, a questionable external image and repeatedly negligently playful championships, even in the years when Bayern were weak for a long time.

Statement on the federal government's vaccination campaign

When it comes to the search for traces of Dortmund's chronic underperformance since the two championships under cult trainer Jürgen Klopp, it inevitably has to revolve around the man who has not only been the highest decision-maker since Klopp's departure in 2015, but also the most visible representative of the club: the managing director Hans -Joachim "Aki" Watzke.

After the renewed defeat in Freiburg he remained unusually wordless, which also stood out because Dortmund's club boss in recent years seemed to cultivate the principle of "a lot helps a lot" in his public relations work. Hardly any taunts from the competition that would not have been drowned out immediately, and ideally in an even higher amplitude. Astonishingly, he often expresses himself on purely sporting matters.

Watzke could and can be met almost everywhere using multimedia, from the BamS and the Sports picture about the 11friends up to the podcast by Sandra Maischberger. A public stunner that he himself frankly admitted at the beginning of the year - in a six-page interview with the Kicker, in which he commented on the consequences of the corona pandemic, the situation at the DFB and DFL and the European Super League, to topics that are unrelated to football such as the federal government's vaccination campaign.