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Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim 'Aki' Watzke to step down in 2025

Hans-Joachim 'Aki' Watzke Hans-Joachim 'Aki' Watzke - The Canadian Press

DORTMUND, Germany (AP) — Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim “Aki” Watzke is stepping down in 2025 when his contract ends.

The Bundesliga club said Monday that the 64-year-old Watzke will not be extending his contract and that he will leave the club’s management structure “in the fall of next year.”

Watzke is also an elected member of the UEFA executive committee and that two-year mandate at the heart of decision-making in European soccer is due to expire in the first half of 2025.

Watzke has been working for Dortmund since 2001, initially as treasurer. He was promoted to chairman of the club’s board in 2005 and played a significant role in steering it through a financial crisis at the time.

Watzke’s tenure includes Bundesliga wins in 2011 and 2012 under coach Jürgen Klopp, German Cup wins in 2012, 2017 and 2021, and a Champions League final appearance in 2013.

Watzke reportedly wanted to step down before but he extended his contract in 2021 to oversee Dortmund through financial strains caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

In April 2021, Watzke helped keep Dortmund out of the failed launch of the European Super League while he was an executive board member of the European Club Association, whose leaders pushed for the rebel project.

Watzke is also vice president of the German soccer federation and chairman of the German soccer league’s supervisory board. It was unclear if also intends to step down from those roles.


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