DFL Members Assembly decides on conditions for the licensing process for the 2022-23 season

Photo: DFL/Getty Images/Alexander Scheuber

14 December 2021 – At the DFL Members Assembly on Tuesday, the clubs of the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 approved the basic conditions for the licensing process for the coming 2022-23 season.

After financial criteria were largely left out of the licensing process for the past 2020-21 season given the countless imponderables in conjunction with the coronavirus crisis, economic capability was examined again for the current 2021-22 season both before and during the season. Similarly, sanctions were and are provided for in the event of misconduct. This also applies to the coming 2022-23 season. At the same time, the regulations continue to take the effects of the pandemic into account in certain places.

As usual, the pre-season licensing process (part 1) will begin on 15 March – the latest date by which applicants must have submitted the necessary documents. In examining various criteria, the DFL can impose conditions or stipulations 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 at all. A stipulation defines the criteria that must be maintained throughout the season once a licence has been issued.

If, when calculating liquidity in conjunction with the examination of the financial criteria, the DFL detects a liquidity shortage before the season, under normal circumstances the Licensing Regulations require that evidence must be provided within a certain time frame before the start of the new season that this gap has been closed (or that a corresponding liquidity reserve has been established). Facing the ongoing economic uncertainty due primarily to new restrictions on the admission of fans to stadiums, such conditions will again be replaced on a one-time basis in the licensing process for the coming 2022-23 season by stipulations that must be satisfied by 15 September 2022. This is in line with the approach taken in the ongoing 2021-22 season. If a club is unable to make up its liquidity shortfall by the deadline, it will be deducted six points with immediate effect in the 2022-23 season. Even so, the club will still be required to ensure the financing of match operations until the end of the season.

In contrast to the past season, capital and/or planning quality stipulations can again be placed on affected clubs in the licensing process for the 2022-23 season, the capital condition in a modified form due to the existing financial constraints already imposed by the pandemic. Therefore, negative equity does not necessarily have to be improved, but it must not get significantly worse.

As usual, the examination of economic performance during the season will begin from the end of October 2022, including the possible stipulations to close any liquidity gaps and the possible so-called “transfer stipulation”, which requires a club to prove that it can settle all its liabilities stemming from a transfer. This condition is due by 30 June and before the transfer can go ahead. This part of the licensing process also takes the clubs’ activities in what will then be the past summer transfer period into account in the liquidity calculation until the end of the season. If a stipulation to close a liquidity gap identified in the second part of the licensing process is not complied with by 15 January 2023, four points will be deducted with immediate effect – the same as the rule for the current 2021-22 season.