Hans-Joachim Watzke defends Borussia Dortmund’s start to the season and hits back at critics

Hans-Joachim Watzke (Photo by ANP via Getty Images)
Hans-Joachim Watzke (Photo by ANP via Getty Images) /

Hans-Joachim Watzke has defended Borussia Dortmund’s inconsistent start to the season, and has criticised what he feels has been an unprecedented media barrage against the club.

Borussia Dortmund’s annual general meeting took place on Sunday, and CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke appeared to be in a feisty mood as he commented on the recent criticism of the club in the media, VAR, and the UEFA Super League among other topics.

Watzke stated that while he would have liked the Black and Yellows to have a few more points in the Bundesliga by this stage, the criticism of the club’s performances has been overblown.

"“We have been subjected to a media barrage for months in a way I haven’t experienced for ages,” Watzke said (via Ruhr Nachrichten). “I have to check every week to make sure we’re not fighting relegation.”“We will not allow ourselves to be destroyed in an attempt to generate more clicks. We ask for fair reporting with an objective view.”“We have 24 points from 12 games. To be honest, we had hoped for two or three more. But it’s not as if we are doomed either. We are in a Champions League spot. We are also in first place in a difficult Champions League group.”“That is not to say everything is good with us. The team, coach and Sebastian Kehl have already critically reviewed things this past week. We have a lot to do. I just ask that we always maintain an objective view.”"

Borussia Dortmund currently find themselves in fourth place in the Bundesliga standings, ten points behind league leaders Bayer Leverkusen. BVB will head to Leverkusen next weekend, and Watzke said that the game will be an opportunity to see whether Xabi Alonso’s side really cannot be beaten.

The 64 year old also spoke about Borussia Dortmund’s title heartbreak last season, claiming that matchday 34 was the worst day of his life.

"“That was the worst day of my life. I’m quite open about that. I didn’t sleep all night. Something like that can destroy a club, damage it or paralyse it for years. But this club is too strong. We are objective, realistic and stand in solidarity.”"

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Hans-Joachim Watzke also poked some fun at struggling rivals Schalke, and made it clear that Borussia Dortmund will never take part in the European Super League. He added that the Covid-19 pandemic cost the club 151 million euros, but they have now fully recovered from it.