SeasonOne.EpisodeTwo | Meet the club
Welcome to the latest instalment of my journey with Borussia Dortmund. Last time out, there was a brief introduction as BVB promoted under 19s manager, Oliver Jensen, to the first-team on a temporary basis until the end of the season.
As always, you can get in touch with me in the comments below, via twitter @fmfutbolmanager, or my slack channel #fmFutbolManager — if you’re not a part of the Football Manager Slack community, then you can join here!
Now, onto the update.
Now that I have had a few days to familiarise myself here in my new office, let me introduce you to my club.
Willkommen in Ballspielverein Borussia 09 e.V. Dortmund
Commonly known as Borussia Dortmund, BVB, or simply Dortmund, we are a club who needs no introduction. Based in Dortmund, North Rhine-Westphalia, we have the best possible setup any manager could ask for when taking over a title-challenging club.
Dortmund were founded over 100 years ago in 1909 and have eight league titles to our name with the first being in 1956 and the latest in 2012. Since then, however, we’ve been runners-up to Bayern Munich three times, who have themselves dominated the league, winning the last six titles.
This will be a fantastic challenge for me, to try to earn a full-time contract and then attempt to topple cash-rich Bayern Munich, and build on the one Champions League win that we have.
Dortmund are known for their attacking style, and I will be judged on the style I bring to the club. As well as attacking football, the board expect me to continue to develop players using the club’s youth system and sign young players for the first team. This shouldn’t be too hard, the Fußballpark Hohenbuschei facilities are fantastic. I will, however, be looking to improve the junior coaching and scouting network to ensure we’re operating at our very best.
Given the financial disparity between Dortmund and Bayern Munich, we’ll need every edge we can get.
The Westfalenstadion, otherwise known as Signal Iduna Park is one of the most famous football grounds in Europe and is renowned for its fantastic atmosphere and intimidating Südtribüne (south bank stand).
It has a league capacity of 81,365 and an international capacity of 65,829 (seated only). It is Germany’s largest stadium, the seventh-largest in Europe, and the third-largest home to a top-flight European club after Camp Nou and the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium.
The training and youth facilities are both rated as superb so there’s little need to develop them further. However, the data analyst facilities are only adequate so I will be keen to get started on improving these to ensure my analyst reports are detailed and accurate.
Junior coaching is only rated as adequate, too, so I will be looking to improve here as well.
Financially, we have a fantastic setup that should give me sufficient funds to invest in the playing staff if I’m given the time to rebuild. Our current balance is €140m, down from just over €161m at the start of the season and transfer funds given to me are just over €100m, up from €25m. Should we need to go into the market after I’ve made my assessment of the squad, then we certainly have enough to make something happen.
While we won’t have the funds to compete with the likes of Bayern, if we’re smart about our player recruitment, continue to invest in youth and develop them to play the Dortmund way, then after a few seasons, we should be able to push for serious honours.
I’m not expecting us to be able to compete with Bayern right now. The primary objective is top four. If I can achieve this, and win a new contract then in the first couple of seasons we’ll need a period of stability and the finding of our identity under my management. The board seem somewhat agreeable and feel we should
- gain a Champions League qualification in the Bundesliga, and
- reach the semi-final of the DFB-Pokal.
My time at Dortmund stands to be one of my most in-depth careers and I cannot wait to get started.
Up next, I’ll be introducing you to my staff.
Until next time, tschüss.