Sebastian Kehl: Borussia Dortmund determined to compete with top clubs despite economic disparity

Sebastian Kehl. (Photo by Ralf Ibing - firo sportphoto/Getty Images)
Sebastian Kehl. (Photo by Ralf Ibing - firo sportphoto/Getty Images) /

Sebastian Kehl is determined to ensure that Borussia Dortmund keep competing with top clubs in Europe despite the economic disadvantages they have to deal with.

Borussia Dortmund have found it increasingly difficult to compete with clubs from other leagues in the transfer market, with more and more teams being backed by billionaire owners and sometimes even entire states. The Black and Yellows have had to adapt time and time again as a result in order to stay competitive in European competitions.

The competition has increased in recent years with clubs in Saudi Arabia and English Premier League able to spend exorbitant amounts of money on new players.

Sebastian Kehl knows that Borussia Dortmund need to keep finding creative solutions in order to keep competing, and he is keen to ensure they do exactly that. In an interview with WAZ, the BVB sporting director admitted that they also need to keep selling key players in order to stay competitive.

"“There are new players on the market, if you look at our [Champions League] group alone, Newcastle have invested an insane amount of money, Milan too. Paris as well. We’ve had to deal with these challenges for a long time. We need the Champions League every year for economic reasons, and we’re not going to accept just taking a back seat in sporting terms.”“Yes, we have competitive disadvantages compared to clubs backed by billionaire owners or entire states, we have to earn our own money, and we will repeatedly have to look to sell players as well. Of course, I would have liked to keep a Jude Bellingham, seeing the impact he is already making at Real Madrid. Nevertheless, we want to play an important role in Europe.”"

Kehl also feels that Borussia Dortmund need to take more risks in the transfer market, and believes that the signings of Julien Duranville and Julian Ryerson are proof that they are willing to do that.

"“In terms of some transfer fees and salaries, we can no longer compete, we have to accept that. We have to be more creative, more courageous, sign players on free transfers, and possibly bring in young players even earlier. Logically, this means taking more risks.”“One example is Julien Duranville, who is still growing and who is unfortunately currently struggling with injuries. We believe in him and are building him up carefully, but that takes time.”“Julian Ryerson was a courageous solution in my opinion, signing someone from Union Berlin in the winter who wasn’t immediately a household name to every fan. Today, you can see how important he is for us.”"

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Sebastian Kehl spent 13 years as a player at Borussia Dortmund, before becoming the club’s sporting director in 2022.