Interim bosses follow hops: Bundesliga managers take over DFL leadership

The German Football League has a new leadership.

Interim bosses follow hops: Bundesliga managers take over DFL leadership

The German Football League has a new leadership. A team of two managers takes over the management post on an interim basis after Donata Hopfen left. Chairman of the supervisory board Hans-Joachim Watzke praises both for the good work in their clubs.

The German Football League is temporarily led by Axel Hellmann and Oliver Leki. The board spokesman of Eintracht Frankfurt and the CFO of SC Freiburg will take over the tasks of the previous managing director Donata Hopfen, whose contract was terminated on Wednesday, until June 30, 2023. "We have a few processes running that are implemented relatively quickly. We have to be able to act immediately," said Chairman of the Supervisory Board Hans-Joachim Watzke.

The 51-year-old Hellmann was first elected to the DFL Executive Committee in August. The 49-year-old Leki has been on the DFL Supervisory Board since 2019. Both have recommended themselves for the vacant management position through successful work in their clubs. "In my opinion, both have the absolute ability to do that. If you see how the clubs of the two have developed, that also speaks for the work of these two," said Watzke.

An interim solution from within the DFL's own ranks gives the DFL the time it needs to find a new strong leader who has a number of problems to solve. Hops could not fill this role - also because, according to their own statements, they lacked the necessary backing from the clubs. "I wish the responsible gentlemen the necessary courage and will to change, not only to be able to react to the growing challenges, but also to actively shape them," recommended the 46-year-old in parting.

The DFL justified the premature termination of the contract, which was originally valid until the end of 2024, by saying that there were "differing ideas about the further strategic direction of the company".

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