Hans-Joachim Watzke:”We are not on the same level as Bayern”

by Stefan Buczko

Before the big game between Dortmund and Bayern BVB’s CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke gave his outlook on the contest between the two sides in an interview to Ruhrnachrichten. The guys from Ruhrnachrichten.de were nice enough to allow us to translate some extracts of the interview. The whole interview in German can be found here.

Looking at the table, it’s a clash on amongst equals, but this might not be the case anymore given all the injuries?

Hans-Joachim Watzke: One could never speak of a duel on level terms. The public needs to take notice – and this is also important for the development of BVB in the next couple of years – we are not on level terms with Bayern Munich. The numbers aren’t lying. The Bavarians are spending 203 million Euros on their personnel, we spend 99 million Euros. You can’t say you are on the same level with a team, if that team can spend 80 millions more alone on their squad. That is Ribery’s 8 times over. When Bayern is ahead of Dortmund, that’s the default. If it’s the other way around, then we did everything correctly – and Bayern didn’t for once.

Do you fear the positive image of BVB could change, if both these games are lost?

Watzke: No. I always said with three points out of both Arsenal games we would have a good chance to progress. And we would have that now, with our squad at full strength we would have been likely to manage to get a win against Napoli. Napoli is a top team, but we are as well under normal circumstances.

How great would be the set back, if you would continue in the Euro League after Christmas?

Watzke: I haven’t really given too much thought to that situation. But we aren’t crazy enough to believe that we would easily march through the Champions League each season. Euro League – (staying in the competition)as long as possible – wouldn’t be the end of all days.

You always underlined the greater depth in your squad. Do you have to rethink based on recent experiences and become active on the winter transfer market?

Watzke: We don’t have to rethink. Our squad has greater depth and quality than 16 other teams in the Bundesliga, which means a lot for Borussia Dortmund. Bayern Munich has the best squad in the world right now, not even Barcelona, Real Madrid or Chelsea can compete with that. We can only compensate for this, if we say, we want to be back at the airport in Düsseldorf in 5 years, to let other people decide if the club can continue to live on. By spending 80 Million Euros less on wages you simply cannot have the same quality in your squad as Bayern.

Will it become harder to sell this point of view to the fans? Successes like domestic championships and reaching the Champions League final may give a rise to demands and aspirations after all…

Watzke: No. I have a thousand informants amongst the fans. And there was nobody, who claimed that we don’t have enough success and that we have to surpass Bayern Munich. The BVB fan is much more grounded than many perceive from the outside, especially with the background of our recent history in mind. The whole media landscape is craving – for very understandable reasons – for a real contest between Dortmund and Bayern. But we aren’t serving that purpose. We have realistic stance of expectation from ourselves. We stressed that in the last summer and the summer before that. And we are stressing this now yet again, since the parameters are how they are. If others aren’t sharing this realistic kind of expectation, we cannot change it.

Header image courtesy of schwarzgelb.de.

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