Risk management

Borussia Dortmund's divisions are exposed to a wide variety of risks that are inseparably linked to the conduct of business.

The sections below focus on possible future developments or events which could cause Borussia Dortmund to perform either better than expected (opportunities) or worse than expected (risks). The respective impact of opportunities and risks are generally presented separately and are not offset against one other. Generally speaking, risks and opportunities are assessed over a mid-length term of two years. All risks of loss to which the Company is exposed (individual and cumulative risks) are monitored and managed within the risk management system.

The consolidated group for risk management purposes is identical to the consolidated group in the consolidated financial statements.

A functioning control and monitoring system is essential for identifying risks early and for assessing and counteracting them. It is the responsibility of the internal risk management system to monitor and control such potential risks.

The risk management system is based on principles and guidelines laid out by the management. These principles and guidelines are designed to facilitate the early identification of any irregularities so that appropriate countermeasures can be taken immediately. In order to ensure the highest possible level of transparency, risk management has been incorporated into the organisational structure of the Group as a whole. All departments and divisions are required to immediately report any market-relevant changes in the risk portfolio to the management. The risk management system is also an integral component of the overarching planning, steering and reporting process.

The currency and detail of the regular risk reports given to the governing bodies of Borussia Dortmund keep them informed of the Group's current risk profile.

This ensures that the Company's decision-makers have adequate flexibility to be able to monitor and manage risks.

This year, the risk inventory procedure implemented with the objective of cataloguing and assessing all risks has again proven effective as a management tool. Risks are identified, discussed and reviewed in consideration of current circumstances in one-on-one meetings or plenary sessions in order to assess the current likelihood of their occurring and their potential consequences.

Each risk is given a qualitative rating of between 1 and 4, with 1 indicating a low level of risk and 4 indicating a very high level of risk.

A risk impact assessment is carried out both before and after the identification and development of countermeasures to reduce the risk. The risk impact assessments are weighted before and after countermeasures based on a ratio of 1:2, with weighting prioritising the probability and consequences of each risk after countermeasures take effect. In mathematical terms, the risk impact assessment (before countermeasures) is derived by adding the probability of the risk and its consequences before countermeasures, while the assessment (after countermeasures) is derived by adding the probability of the risk and its consequences, and multiplying this figure by two.


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After countermeasures

























If the assessment of an individual risk falls within the top third of the scale (a score of 17 to 24), Borussia Dortmund classifies it as a high priority risk. Particular attention is paid to such risks, since they are capable of having a material adverse and long-term effect on the Company's assets, liabilities, financial position and profit or loss. There are currently 19 (previous year: 18) risks that are classified as high priority.

The currency and detail of the regular risk reports given to the governing bodies of Borussia Dortmund keep them informed of the Group's current risk profile.

This ensures that the Company's decision-makers have adequate flexibility to be able to monitor and manage risks.

Categorisation of risks

In accordance with the recommendations under German Accounting Standard DRS 20, and to ensure ease of reference, Borussia Dortmund divides its risks into main categories. The previous eight main categories (strategic risk, personnel risk, macroeconomic risk, competitive risk, liquidity risk, interest rate risk, credit risk and resources risk) were expanded by one (ecological risk) and are presented and explained in greater detail below.

All 61 risks that could have a direct impact on the Company fall within these categories. In addition to the 58 risks in the previous year, four new risks were added and one risk was removed.

In addition to the 18 risks classified as high priority during the reporting period, the risk of consequential damage arising from mining was added; no risks were removed.

The following is a discussion of the 19 high priority risks in their respective categories.

Category 1 – Strategic risk

We define strategic risk as risk arising from incorrect business decisions, poor implementation of decisions or the inability to adapt to changes in the corporate environment. Strategic risk also arises from unexpected changes in market conditions and the environment in which the Company operates, which bring with them negative consequences for the Company's assets, liabilities, financial position and profit or loss.

This category includes three high priority risks:

The risk that financial planning is dependent on sporting success describes the risk that failing to achieve planned sporting objectives could led to a lack of adequate income or proceeds. To account for any and all developments both on and off the pitch, the Company revises and updates its longstanding financial and liquidity planning at least three times per year based on the latest premises. In addition to the income statement and the statement of financial position, this also includes the development of Borussia Dortmund's liquidity. It allows the management to monitor the current and future financial position of the Company at all times and to take any necessary action. Due to developments with regard to income from international TV marketing in particular, the amount that a club is certain to receive for a given subsequent season varies greatly from a second-place finish to a seventh-place finish in the Bundesliga. Qualifying for the UEFA Champions League guarantees much higher proceeds than qualifying for the UEFA Europa League, let alone if the team fails to qualify for any international competition at all.

The objective of a corresponding worst case scenario is not to predict the future but rather to provide an overview of various contingencies and their effects and to better assist the management in its strategic planning.

Share price performance describes the performance of a security, an index, shares or a portfolio, but also the performance of the management of an investment fund with respect to its investment objectives. The Group is very conscious of the risk associated with the performance of Borussia Dortmund's shares and continually analyses the Company's value on the capital market and the consequences of it being undervalued. A key component of this risk is the impact of these factors on potential corporate action in the future and the Company's appeal to business partners. This risk is countered through continual communication with the capital market. The shares have been listed on the Prime Standard segment of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange since May 2014 and are also admitted to trading on the SDAX. During the financial year, Borussia Dortmund again held several roadshows in Europe and the United States in an effort to keep existing investors up to date and bring any prospective investors on board.

Borussia Dortmund considers the third risk in this category to be the risk of conflicting goals of sporting and commercial success. It is important that Borussia Dortmund continues to pursue balanced business policies with the aim of ensuring that the club remains competitive and also focussed on meeting the Group's performance indicators. Borussia Dortmund will continue to avoid financial risks that could arise on account of uncertain sporting successes. As in previous years, Borussia Dortmund further counters this risk by setting strict budgets for the individual divisions and undertaking corporate planning on a revolving basis using various planning scenarios. Furthermore, the Company also uses planning scenarios to calculate various earnings and liquidity effects potentially presenting additional opportunities for financial investment or shortfalls.

Category 2 – Personnel risk

The importance of human resources to companies is growing. The Company's success is largely dependent on the commitment, motivation and skills of both its sporting personnel and managerial/administrative staff.

This category currently includes three high priority risks:

Protecting confidential information is a subject that remains in the public eye. Never before has data protection posed so many challenges. In particular, the increasing internationalisation of day-to-day business practices necessitates a detailed understanding of the respective data protection regulations applicable in individual countries. In addition, technical progress harbours many pitfalls, especially in relation to online data. Hackers stepped up their attacks in the past year in particular, releasing the personal data of politicians, celebrities and others. Action has to be taken to prevent the unauthorised access and manipulation of data. Confidential data that is processed, transferred or stored online must be encrypted. The data should remain encrypted and protected even if the online application is compromised. The IT security officers, the heads of the individual application areas and the data protection officers are responsible for initiating the data; the developers and administrators are responsible for implementation.

The entry into force of the EU General Data Protection Regulation in May 2018 meant that companies had to review and bring their business processes in line with the new requirements.

The risk of periods during which professional players are unable to play (rest periods) can have a major impact on the Company's success, because they mean that team managers are unable to play the best possible team for the entire season, putting sporting goals in jeopardy. The absence of key players in particular is often difficult to compensate for. The reasons for rest periods include personal match bans, injury or even excessive stress.

There continues to be a risk of travel and other accidents and terrorist attacks in the world of sport; therefore, Borussia Dortmund continues to classify this risk as high priority.

Category 3 – Macroeconomic risk

Macroeconomic risk arises as a result of Borussia Dortmund's dependence on general economic and political developments.

This category includes five high priority risks:

Borussia Dortmund has classified unfavourable macroeconomic developments, particularly high unemployment and slow economic growth, as the first risk in this category. The German Institute for Economic Research, the Ifo Institute for Economic Research and RWI Essen again expect the economic recovery to be muted and therefore once more lowered their economic forecasts for Germany. All institutes have observed a decline in exports on account of recent political developments.

The risk of right-wing extremism is a societal risk that continues to increase. Borussia Dortmund continues to stand firmly against right-wing extremism and discrimination. Borussia Dortmund counters this risk through prevention efforts and disciplinary action, acting in concert with a broad network of cooperation partners. By clearly speaking out against racism and discrimination as well as by working to combat right-wing attitudes and hate speech and to ensure that the lessons of the past are never forgotten, Borussia Dortmund will continue to ensure that the atmosphere in and outside the stadium is welcoming, cosmopolitan and diverse.

The increased willingness of certain individuals to commit violence at stadiums is a risk that will continue to require the utmost attention. Fan violence remained an important issue during reporting period. Prevention efforts and security plans ensured that potentially violent groups were identified in advance, helping to prevent altercations to the greatest extent possible. Despite these security measures, fans of Hertha BSC clashed with police at the Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund and Hertha BSC. Borussia Dortmund will continue to counter this risk with enhanced security checks, camera surveillance, stadium bans and criminal complaints. Additional stadium safety measures will continue to include specific structural changes to entrances going forward.

In the dispute about who should cover the costs of providing security at home matches, the Federal Administrative Court (Bundesverwaltungsgericht) has remitted the case to the Higher Administrative Court (Oberverwaltungsgericht) of Bremen. In the court's opinion, the Higher Administrative Court did not sufficiently clarify certain facts. The Higher Administrative Court must now clarify the unresolved questions and rule anew on the action brought against the fee schedule, taking into account the legal opinion of the Federal Administrative Court.

Passing these costs on to the Bundesliga clubs would present an earnings and liquidity risk for those clubs, Borussia Dortmund included.

The categorisation of social media activities as a high priority risk reflects the fact that new technologies not only have potential for development, but also harbour risk potential. In addition to the social networks that Borussia Dortmund uses for marketing and communication purposes, the social networks used by BVB employees also pose risks. Social media guidelines were drawn up for all Borussia Dortmund employees in order to safeguard the Company's image and prevent the unauthorised disclosure of internal information. In order account for the increasing importance of this risk, Borussia Dortmund has, with immediate effect, charged both the Communications and the Sales & Marketing departments with managing the risk.

Category 4 – Competitive risk

Competitive risk relates to factors stemming from competition in the domestic and international professional football business.

This category includes six high priority risks:

The risk of being relegated to the second Bundesliga is a risk that would result in a significant negative financial impact. If it becomes increasingly likely that this may occur, the response to this risk is to draw up worst-case scenarios on the assumption of relegation, and to enter into more flexible and more heavily performance-based contracts.

As past experience has demonstrated, the risk of key players switching clubs can materialise at any time at Borussia Dortmund. The departure of key players who are part of the club's future plans would not only weaken the team at certain positions, but also as a whole. Even if success rarely rests on the shoulders of any single player, any unexpected departures would leave holes in the roster that would need to be filled at short notice with players of equal quality.

According to UEFA, Financial Fair Play is about improving the overall financial health of European club football. The regulations first entered into force in 2011 and serve as a catalogue of measures for clubs competing in UEFA's international club competitions. Clubs in breach of the regulations face penalties up to and including bans. In practice, Financial Fair Play governs the ratio of revenue to expenditures. The risk of failing to comply with the Financial Fair Play rules and potential exclusion from international competitions or potential financial sanctions would have serious financial consequences for Borussia Dortmund. The distribution amounts from UEFA's TV marketing agreement that went into force in the 2018/2019 season, underscores the importance of both qualifying and obtaining the requisite licences for international club competitions. To minimise this risk therefore, compliance with the relevant requirements and target/actual comparisons are constantly reviewed. Several European clubs have already been disciplined and banned from international competitions for violating Financial Fair Play rules.

The fourth risk in this category is the risk of a potential stadium catastrophe. As was previously the case, catastrophes in stadiums cannot be ruled out. Stadium catastrophes can include fire, stampedes, potential terrorist attacks or other acts of violence. Going forward, the Company will continue to regularly assess the quality and reliability of security staff and specifically train them in the prevention of catastrophes. Structural improvements to SIGNAL IDUNA PARK for the purposes of enhancing security, safeguarding and monitoring the access roads, and safeguarding the property during visits on non-match days are just some of the countermeasures currently being implemented to provide security at the stadium. To this end, Borussia Dortmund has established a dedicated security department.

Borussia Dortmund uses the summer break each year to invest in SIGNAL IDUNA PARK as well as for construction work and refurbishments. The stadium has been expanded three times since opening in 1974 with a capacity of 54,000. The continual repair and maintenance work – the paramount focus of which is always structural integrity and safety – ensures that the stadium meets the latest standards in terms of safety, security and comfort. Compared to many other Bundesliga stadiums that were constructed for the 2006 World Cup, SIGNAL IDUNA PARK is one of the league's oldest stadiums in use. Given that Borussia Dortmund regularly invests large sums in SIGNAL IDUNA PARK and in light of the increasing requirements applicable to stadiums, including with respect to spectator safety, the club has classified the risk of structural defects to SIGNAL IDUNA PARK as a high priority risk.

The risk of consequential damage arising from mining, which also affects SIGNAL IDUNA PARK, was added as a new high priority risk. Coal mining has ceased in Germany. While the memories remain, so do the pitfalls, because the effects of mining never fully disappear. Hardly any other federal state is faced with as many sinkholes as North Rhine-Westphalia. The state has some 60,000 abandoned mining shafts and tunnels. The exact number is not known because mining in the region dates back to the Middle Ages. Only half of all pits and tunnels have been recorded.

Borussia Dortmund uses the properties adjacent to SIGNAL IDUNA PARK for car parks or to store products and equipment needed for match operations. The southwest container and logistics area is located on land with uncertain topography, which is why sinkholes and similar subsidence cannot be ruled out. The club plans to survey and test the ground. However, this work has not yet begun because of suspicions that explosive ordinances are buried near the adjacent railway line. The ground surveys will reveal whether this extremely important logistics site will need to be reinforced or whether relatively minor measures to stabilise the ground will suffice.

Category 5 – Liquidity risk

Liquidity risks include all risks in connection with cash flows and financial burdens.

This category includes two high priority risks:

The loss of significant financial backers and sponsors due to insolvency could also have a material adverse effect on Borussia Dortmund's liquidity in the future. The primary objective continues to be keeping bad debts to a minimum and to ensure that the Company has the liquidity it needs at all times. Borussia Dortmund continuously revises its longstanding accounts receivable management system in line with the prevailing conditions and increasing globalisation. The club also reviewed and implemented other risk mitigation measures such as introducing upfront payments or changing payment terms.

In order to keep the risk associated with the volume of player salaries as low as possible, the club budgets personnel expenses with transfer deals in mind at the beginning of each season. The primary focus is on the fixed components of the players' remuneration, since these are independent of the team's performance during a given season. Variable remuneration components are also considered when planning the budget, but generally only apply once certain sporting objectives are achieved that in turn generate additional income. The personnel expenses incurred are continuously monitored, extrapolated on the basis of current circumstances, and reported to the management.

The Group is not presently exposed to any high priority risks in the interest rate risk, credit risk, resources risk and ecological risk categories.

7th match day / 06.10.2018

BVB - FC Augsburg 4:3

Sporting Highlights