Lenz-Merkel key roles in Germany football body


DFL with new leadership team Image: DFL

From July 1st, 2023, Dr. Marc Lenz and Dr. Steffen Merkel will take over as the Joint Managing Directors of the German Football League (Deutsche Fußball Liga) (DFL).

‘DFL’ stated that the Supervisory Board of DFL GmbH chaired by Hans-Joachim Watzke arrived at a unanimous decision on the above at a meeting held recently.

Frankfurt (Germany)-based the German Football League GmbH (DFL) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The League – Football Association. The DFL is responsible for the entire operating business of the league association, including the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga leagues. The Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the DFL is Reinhard Rauball.

Frankfurt (Germany)-based the Bundesliga, sometimes referred to as the Soccer-Bundesliga or 1. Bundesliga, is a professional association football league in Germany. At the top of the German football league system, the Bundesliga is Germany’s primary football competition.

The 2. Bundesliga is the second division of professional football in Germany. It was implemented 11 years after the founding of the Soccer-Bundesliga as the new second division for professional football. The 2. Bundesliga is ranked below the Bundesliga and above the 3. Liga in the German football league system.

‘DFL’ further stated that Dr. Lenz and Dr. Merkel have each worked for the DFL GmbH for several years, and are already members of the DFL management. The duo is closely involved in taking major policy decisions of the league committees.

Come July, and the duo will succeed the interim Managing Directors Axel Hellmann and Oliver Leki, who will hold the above position till June 30th, 2023.

Averred Hans-Joachim Watzke, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of DFL GmbH, “Dr. Marc Lenz and Dr. Steffen Merkel have been doing outstanding work for the DFL for years. Both enjoy an elevated stature within the organization as well as with the clubs. They know the warp and weft of the DFL Group, have been part of the management level and are well-connected. I am convinced that their ingenious ideas and wealth of experience will help them to take on the challenges when they assume the joint responsibility of the above role. I hope that the new management, with the support of the executive committee, will succeed in building a stable foundation for constructive cooperation between the 36 clubs. At the same time, I would like to emphasize once again that I am extremely grateful to Axel Hellmann and Oliver Leki for working towards the overall advancement of football in Germany per se.”

Dr. Lenz has been associated with the DFL since 2019 and is currently a Member of the Executive Board responsible for corporate strategy and international affairs. Apart from the global sports policy issues, he has managed strategic projects with economic and social relevance for the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga in recent years. Since 2019, Dr. Lenz has represented DFL in the international member-associations of the football leagues and in the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Club Licensing Committee, an advisory body to the UEFA Executive Committee for raising the standards and financial stability of European football. Before joining DFL, Dr. Lenz worked for the UEFA and McKinsey & Company.

Dr. Merkel has worked with the DFL since 2014 and, as a member of the Executive Board, has been responsible for tendering German-language media rights, national and international product management and protecting audiovisual rights against copyright infringement since Summer 2020. Previously, he had worked in various roles, including preparing and implementing the 2016 and 2020 media rights tenders, as well as being in charge of DFL projects in strategically relevant future fields. Before joining the DFL, Dr. Merkel enjoyed a stint with the Boston Consulting Group.

Nyon (Switzerland)-based the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) is one of the six continental bodies of governance in association football. It governs football, futsal and beach football in Europe and the transcontinental countries of Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Russia, and Kazakhstan, as well as some Asian countries such as Israel, Cyprus and Armenia. The UEFA consists of 55 national association members. Because of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, the FIFA and UEFA suspended all Russian national teams and clubs from any FIFA and UEFA competitions.

New York (US)-based McKinsey & Company is a global management consulting firm founded in 1926 by the University of Chicago Professor James O. McKinsey. It offers professional services to corporations, Governments and other organizations.

The Boston Consulting Group, Inc. is an American global management consulting firm founded in 1963 and is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, US. It is one of the Big Three along with McKinsey & Company and Bain & Company. Since 2021, the consultancy has been led by the German executive Christoph Schweizer. The global consulting firm partners with leaders in business and society to tackle their most important challenges and capture their greatest opportunities.

The Bain & Company is an American management consulting company headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. The firm provides advice to public, private and nonprofit organizations.

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