Borussia Dortmund Bailout
With Bundesliga kicking back off on Saturday, everyone is extremely excited to see sports returning. I have recently been talking about how soccer is different in America compared to the rest of the world. A Borussia Dortmund bailout by FC Bayern Munich in 2004 is another example of this.
Dortmund had a €200 million debt that was going to leave them bankrupt. Munich reached out with the offer of a €2 million interest-free loan. All Dortmund had to do was pay them back within nine months, which €1.5 million was paid off in the first two months.
This generous loan allowed Dortmund to pay their players for the season and keep them from going bankrupt. Although it was only a small contribution to their overall debt according to Thomas Tress, Dortmund’s chief financial officer, it was helpful none the less.
Munich has also helped the 1860 Munich and FC St. Paul. They were offering to uphold a transition of helping out their fellow Bundesliga teams.
A Dortmund style bailout is something that you wouldn’t find in America. The teams are running like businesses by billionaires rather than a collective soccer organization. It would probably be rare if a team offered to help cover expenses for someone else. If it was offered, it would be one rich person reaching out to help another one rather than helping the overall organization.
There would probably also be a focus on how there is less competition and not focusing on the growth of the sport. There are only 26 Major League Soccer (MLS) teams in the U.S. If we lost another team it would be sad to see the growth of soccer be halted.
Hopefully, this won’t be the fate of a team when soccer returns after the pandemic.