‘Club licensing worldwide trend’

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THE recent move by the Confederation of African Football (Caf) to ban clubs that fail to implement the required club licencing measures is in line with modern football trends as evidenced by the German football model.

DANIEL NHAKANISO IN FRANKFURT, GERMANY

The development could see Zimbabwean clubs facing a ban from next year’s Caf competitions like the Champions League and the Confederation Cup if they fail to implement the required club licencing measures.

However, during a presentation on the operations of the German Bundesliga, Dirk Meyer-Boose, the Press officer of German Football League (DFL), said the policy was in line with German football’s club licencing policy.

Meyer-Bosse also revealed that German second-tier football club MSV Duisburg were early this year not granted a licence to compete after failing to meet the deadline for financial requirements.

He said the Bundesliga is flourishing because of a licensing system that has been in place since the league’s inception in 1963.

This is essentially a set of guidelines for clubs to follow to ensure they remain financially solvent.

The Bundesliga’s licensing system states: “The DFL examines each club’s fitness to participate in the league according to a range of criteria covering sporting, legal, staffing, administrative, infrastructural, security, media -technical and, above all, financial competence.”

The club, affectionately known as the Zebras, failed to meet the required economic performance criteria for league membership and as a result, they were relegated to the fourth tier of the German football system.

The top 36 clubs in the two top tiers of German football have to comply with the licencing system of the Deutshe Futball Liga which runs professional football in Germany in collaboration with the German Football Association (DFB).

“For instance, here in Germany you have to have a spokesperson or media manager and if not you won’t get a licence until they meet the criteria,” Meyer-Bosse said.

The licencing criteria states that clubs in the two professional leagues have to establish a youth academy first respecting defining standards, present annual statements proofed by financial auditors.

Clubs are also required to disclose sponsoring, credit contracts and proof of liquidity of upcoming season, and adhere to the 50% + 1 ownership structure, among other things.

The Caf executive committee, which met in Cairo, Egypt, last week, issued the directive on Monday which threatens chances of Zimbabwean clubs, including perennial contenders Dynamos, participation in the Champions League.

Yesterday, local media personnel currently touring Germany got an insight on the operations of DFL, who run all the domestic and international sales of commercial rights of the Bundesliga, structure of German youth football and worldwide sales of German football rights.