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Bundesliga posts record income; CEO wants it to double

Photo credit: AFP.

Photo credit: AFP.

The Bundesliga has posted record sales for the 11th season running, but it’s boss wants revenue to double over the next 10 years to rival England’s Premier League. Soccer in Germany’s top flight generated 2.62 billion euros ($2.855 billion) for the 2014/15 season, but needs to grow internationally to compete with the top leagues in England, Spain, Italy and France, says CEO Christian Seifert.

“If the Bundesliga wants to belong in the top three leagues, the revenue for the years between 2025 and 2030 must be between five and six billion per year,” insisted Seifert when the Bundesliga presented its annual report on Wednesday in Cologne.

SEE MORE: Dortmund CEO: Bundesliga has no fear of the Premier League.

Seifert, boss of the German Football League (DFL), wants to see the Bundesliga close the financial gap behind England’s Premier League, Europe’s top earner, which generates 4.34 billion euros (£3.3bn) by comparison. The gap is set to widen next year due to an extra 3.2 billion euros of cash the Premier League will receive due to a new television deal.

Hamburg's Dennis Diekmeier (left) challenges Bayern Munich's Kingsley Coman in the Bundesliga game in Hamburg. Photo credit: AFP.

Hamburg’s Dennis Diekmeier (left) challenges Bayern Munich’s Kingsley Coman in the Bundesliga game in Hamburg. Photo credit: AFP.

The DFL boss hopes the Bundesliga’s television revenue, paid by broadcaster Sky Deutschland, of 817 million euros for the current season, and 835 million euros for 2016/17, will jump to “between 1.1 and 1.5 billion euros” for 2017/18.

“But it’s not enough to say, ‘now Sky will have to pay a bit more, which should ensure that the British didn’t run away from us’,” added Seifert.

“It’s convenient, but not sufficient.

“We have to broaden our horizons internationally and must look at all avenues of revenue.”

At present, media sales account for nearly 28 percent of the Bundesliga’s revenue, just ahead of their advertising sales.

Seifert said Germany’s second tier — the second Bundesliga — has broken the half million euros mark, making 504.6 million euros, meaning Germany’s top two tiers of 36 clubs made 3.13 billion euros in 2014/15 — passing the three billion euros mark for the first time. It’s sales means Germany’s second division is the seventh biggest league in Europe, bigger than the Swiss, Austrian and Scottish national leagues combined.

Meanwhile, Seifert says European soccer’s governing body UEFA should be wary of the proposal by Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge for a European Super League of 20 clubs, which he outlined this month in Milan.

“If I were in UEFA, I would take it seriously,” said Seifert, with the proposal involving the top clubs from England, Italy, Germany, Spain and France playing in an elite league over the course of a season.

“It is more directed as competition towards the Champions League as against the national leagues.”

Rummenigge is also president of the European Club Association (ECA), an independent body which represents clubs at European level.

The German’s idea has already received the backing of Juventus president Andrea Agnelli, himself an ECA member, who claimed the financial benefits of the Champions League were insufficient.

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