DFL makes first licensing decisions for the 2021-22 season

Goal line on the pitch
Photo: Getty Images / Simon Hofmann.

19 April 2021 – Today, Monday, DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga made its first decisions in the licensing process for the forthcoming 2021-22 season of the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2. In the first phase, all of the 49 applicants in total were granted preliminary licence approval. Some clubs will have to meet certain conditions by 2 June 2021 in order to obtain their licence in the event that they qualify on the pitch, or received approval subject to obligations.

After financial criteria were largely left out of the licensing process last year, it is common knowledge that economic performance will be examined again for the 2021-22 season both before and during the season. A resolution to this effect, which also provides for sanctions in the event of misconduct, was unanimously adopted by the 36 clubs of the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 at an Extraordinary DFL Members Assembly on 18 February.

In the licensing process that has been ongoing since 15 March as usual, the DFL examines a range of sporting, infrastructural, legal, staffing, administrative and media-related criteria in addition to the clubs’ economic strength with a view to ensuring honest and fair competition.

In examining various criteria, the DFL can impose conditions or obligations on applicants in accordance with its Licensing Regulations. One condition stipulates that certain requirements must be met by a set date before the new season so that – subject to all other criteria being satisfied – a licence can be issued for the coming season in the first place. An obligation defines the criteria that must be maintained throughout the relevant season once a licence has been issued. Against the backdrop of the ongoing economic uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic, conditions relating to the financial criteria will be replaced on a one-time basis in the licensing process for the 2021-22 season by obligations that must be satisfied by 15 September 2021. With regard to other criteria, it remains possible to issue conditions.

The clubs have one week in which to appeal against the preliminary decision.