The DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga is responsible for the organisation and marketing of professional football in Germany. They draw up the fixture lists not only for the 612 Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 games each season, but also the promotion/relegation play-offs and the Supercup, and handle the organisational side of player transfers. Furthermore, the 36 professional clubs have given the DFL the task of marketing the media rights for these games both domestically and globally. The resulting revenue represents the single biggest slice of the €4.42 billion of turnover German professional football generates per season (figures from 2017-18).
As CEO, Christian Seifert lays out the DFL’s strategic orientation. Since 1 July 2015, there is a five-member Management Board, whose members have procuration. It comprises Audiovisual Rights (Dr Steffen Merkel), Finance, IT & Organisation (Jörg Degenhart), Legal (Jürgen Paepke), Marketing & Communications (Christian Pfennig) and Football Affairs & Supporters (Ansgar Schwenken). There are also the Licensing (Werner Möglich) and Sport & Youth Development (Andreas Nagel) departments.
In the context of the extensive licensing procedure the clubs themselves have imposed via the league’s statutes, the DFL checks the clubs meet the prerequisites for participation on the basis of numerous criteria, of which the economic criteria are of particular importance.
In the name of professionalisation and specialisation, the DFL has founded several companies in recent years: in 2006, Sportcast GmbH, to which Sportec Solutions GmbH belongs as of 1 July 2017; DFL Sports Enterprises in September 2008, which was incorporated into Bundesliga International as of 1 July 2017, as well as DFL Digital Sports in Cologne since September 2012, all of which are 100% subsidiary companies of the DFL. There is a further subsidiary company in the travel service, Liga Travel, which is a joint venture between the DFL and travel specialists HRG Germany.