German Bundesliga continues to boom amidst economic meltdown

March 13th, 2009 - 3:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Frankfurt, March 13 (DPA) The German Bundesliga had its most successful financial year in the 2007-08 season and is well prepared to handle the current global economic slowdown, the German Football League (DFL) said.
The presentation by the DFL board Thursday showed that the 36 first and second division clubs registered a record turnover of 1.93 billion euros ($2.45 billion) and reduced their combined liabilities to just under 470 million euros.

The 18 Bundesliga clubs saw turnover climb by a healthy seven per cent to 1.57 billion euros while the second division clubs recorded a jump of 26.3 per cent to 368 million euros.

DFL CEO Christian Seifert said that any downturn due to the global economic situation would only happen next season.

“We won’t notice anything this season but if there is a global economic crisis then football won’t escape unscathed,” he said. “We will feel the effects and suffer a few cuts and bruises. However, it won’t be a major threat to the business model as it is too stable for that.”

However, there are some black clouds on the horizon. While all 18 Bundesliga clubs registered a profit after tax in the 2006-07 business year, last year just 15 remained in the black. In the second division the number has dropped from 12 to nine.

“The figures aren’t as good as in 2006-07 but are still very respectable,” said DFL finance officer Christian Mueller.

Transfer costs rose from 164.5 to 192.3 million while wages also increased by 40 per cent from 530 to 627 million euros.

While the 40-per-cent figure is significant, it compares favourably to the English Premier League and France’s top division where wages in the same period rose by 63 and 64 per cent, respectively.

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