German clubs set sustainability agenda, voting to make them part of licensing criteria

December 15 – Germany’s 36 Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 clubs have voted for the inclusion of mandatory sustainability criteria in their licensing regulations.

While the principle of bringing in sustainability criteria have been agreed, the detail hasn’t.

Criteria will be developed along the three themes of economic, social, and environmental, based on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

The Bundesliga will be the first the world’s leading professional league to include a broad set of sustainability criteria within the principles of their club licensing rules.

The decision to work towards the sustainability criteria was taken at the DFL Members Assembly, and sees the creation of a dedicated working group that will have strong club representation as well as input from non-football specialists

The plan is for the sustainability criteria to be approved by the DFL Members Assembly in the next few months. Clubs will have some wriggle room within the rules with the DFL saying that “it will be ensured that clubs that are already carrying out extensive activities individually can continue and extend, with a focus on their respective strategic priorities.”

A pilot phase will start in the coming 2022-23 season with the first licensing-relevant implementation being for the 2023-24 season.

“Such a wide-ranging process with an influence on many aspects of the core business cannot be completed overnight and must account for the variety of economic and structural conditions between UEFA Champions League participants and those promoted from 3. Liga. The DFL will therefore coordinate closely with the clubs during the pilot phase and beyond,” said a DFL statement.

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