27 February 2004
DORTMUND – Borussia Dortmund are looking to cut costs by at least 20 million euros after the Bundesliga club declared a record deficit Friday for the first half of the 2003/2004 business year.
The figures for the period July-December 2003 show the 1997 European Champions League winners made a pre-tax loss of EUR 29.4 million – a Bundesliga record.
“We will overcome this situation and come out strong so that in future we’ll also be able field a strong team,” club president Gerd Niebaum told Deutsche Presse-Agentur, dpa. “The half-year figures are like the score at halftime – only a snapshot in time.”
One of the biggest contributors to the deficit is Dortmund’s elimination from the Champions League in the qualifying round by Belgian Club Brugge, which was compounded by the club’s defeat at the hands of French side Sochaux in the UEFA Cup in November.
Revenues from sporting activities dropped a massive 87 percent as a result of the team’s poor performances, which in turn led to a drop in turnover from EUR 78.3 million to EUR 50.4 million.
Niebaum announced cost-cutting measures totalling “at least EUR 20 million” as a result and refused to rule out the possibility that some of the club’s big names could be sold.
“The transfer market isn’t as buoyant as before but we have players that other clubs are very interested in,” said Niebaum. “I won’t name names and figures as that just would open the flood gates for speculation.”
However, speculation is already rampant that Czech midfielder Tomas Rosicky, compatriot Jan Koller as well as Brazilians Ewerthon and Leonardo Dede are to leave Dortmund at the end of the season with no plans for new signings.
The figures had little effect on the club’s share price with shares rising slightly to two euros 92 cents.
Subject: German news