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Dortmund CEO: Bayern Loan Did Not Save Us
ESPN FC, May 3rd, 2013 1:23PM

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TAGS:  germany, soccer business

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Ahead of its top-of-the-standings Bundesliga clash against Bayern Munich, which is now merely a dry-run for the UEFA Champions League Final on May 25th, Borussia Dortmund CEO Aki Watzke has refuted the Bundesliga champion’s claim that it saved Dortmund from going bust in 2004. In an interview prior to last Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League Semifinal first-leg against Real Madrid at Signal Iduna Park, Watzke pointed out that the $2.6 million loan that Bayern gave Dortmund to help stave off administration came before his tenure.

"There has been a €2 million credit from FC Bayern, but not for me," Watzke said. "I set great values upon that. I would have rather gone begging than to borrow money from Bayern. In 2004 Bayern paid that money to my predecessors. And, regardless of that €2 million, BVB was nearly bust in 2005."

Back then, Watzke was the club’s treasurer; he became CEO in 2005. "One of my first official acts was to ask the creditors for permission to fully pay back the money, something other creditors only could have wished for," he said, adding: "Bayern Munich has not played any role in helping Borussia Dortmund avoid administration, got a high rate of interest and all of their money back. If anyone maintains the standpoint that Bayern Munich helped the economical 2.0 version of Borussia Dortmund in any way, they are knowingly telling a falsehood."

Nevertheless, dredging up the past seems to have struck a nerve with Watzke. "I have always spoken about Bayern with a lot of respect and admiration. That has cooled down a bit," the 53-year old said. "It is not the case that we are enemies. The relationship is absolutely fit for work. But why should we call it love, peace and harmony if it isn't so."

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