On 18 December 2000, the 36 clubs and limited companies of the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 established what was then known as the ‘Ligaverband’, which has been responsible for professional football in Germany ever since. Since the General Assembly of the 36 clubs of the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 on 24 August 2016, German professional football has operated under the name DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga e.V. Like the state associations of the DFB, this is a full member of the DFB with voting rights. It appoints four members with voting rights to the DFB Executive Committee. The operational business is managed by the DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga GmbH.
The DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga e.V. is overseen by an Executive Committee that is elected for three years at a time.
The CEO of DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga GmbH also serves as Speaker of the DFL e.V. Executive Committee in accordance with the DFL by-laws. At the General Assembly of the DFL e.V. on 17 August 2022, the 36 clubs of the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 decided on a range of matters including the composition of the DFL Executive Committee up to 2025. Hans-Joachim Watzke (Borussia Dortmund) was re-elected as First Deputy Speaker of the DFL e.V. Executive Committee and thus as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of DFL GmbH, Oliver Leki (Sport-Club Freiburg) as Second Deputy Speaker of the Executive Committee and thus Deputy Chairman of the DFL Supervisory Board, and Steffen Schneekloth (Holstein Kiel) as Third Deputy Speaker of the Executive Committee. The other members of the nine-strong DFL Executive Committee are Jan-Christian Dreesen (FC Bayern München), Axel Hellmann (Eintracht Frankfurt), Oke Göttlich (FC St. Pauli) and Holger Schwiewagner (SpVgg Greuther Fürth) and, from DFL GmbH, Ansgar Schwenken, member of the DFL Management Board and DFL Director of Match Operations & Fans.
Despite the independence of German profession football, the DFB remains an important and close partner of DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga e.V. The Rules and Governance Agreement that was extended until 2029 in summer 2023 regulates rights and responsibilities between the DFL and DFB. Besides jurisdiction over the sport, the DFB is also responsible for areas including refereeing as well as education and training for coaches.