Are Borussia Dortmund destined for a decline?

    04 Mar 2021 | Bundesliga | Opinion
    Are Borussia Dortmund destined for a decline?
    Taranchic / Shutterstock

    If you watched Borussia Dortmund against Sevilla in the Champions League last 16 first leg or versus Borussia Monchengladbach in the DFB Pokal quarterfinal, you wouldn’t think that the German giants are in crisis. Yet, they are in trouble.

    The crisis is both on and off the pitch at Signal Iduna Park. The Yellow and Black were expected to challenge Bayern Munich for the title all season long. However, with the likes of Jadon Sancho and Marco Reus slow out of the gates, the team struggled early on.

    By December, coach Lucien Favre had been sacked with interim coach Edin Terzic put in his place. After months of negotiation, the club announced in February that current Gladbach coach Marco Rose would join as the team’s boss.

    However, Rose won’t start until after the 2020-21 campaign. Terzic is still in charge with the team ebbing and flowing in form. Borussia Dortmund are just three points off of the Champions League places right now -- which is the good news for now.

    Due to Eintracht Frankfurt never qualifying for the Champions League previously and simply not having a squad as powerful as Dortmund, it is likely the Yellow and Black will snatch an undeserving top-four place.

    While the problems on the pitch have got better, the issues off it have not. In January, it was announced that Borussia Dortmund could sell up to eight first-team players to ease the financial issues they face.

    In August 2020, Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke informed the media that Borussia Dortmund had lost €40 million in 2019-20 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The club lost €4m per home match without fans, putting a strain on their financial situation.

    The announcement of losses came with Watzke stating there was “no money left for transfers”. Still, in January 2020, Haaland arrived from Red Bull Salzburg and last offseason, Jude Bellingham joined from Birmingham City.

    Both Haaland and Bellingham are players Borussia Dortmund may be forced to part with. Sancho is another and Borussia Dortmund’s decision not to sell the Englishman last offseason may come back to haunt them.

    It is claimed Sancho’s transfer price will be slashed to allow the club to sell him. Manchester United should be grateful they didn’t land the winger for the previously quoted price. His play in 2020-21 has been poor overall.

    Giovanni Reyna, Axel Witsel, Manuel Akanji, Raphael Guerreiro, and Mahmoud Dahoud are also on the “for sale” list. Clubs around Europe are lining up to pluck Borussia Dortmund’s squad carcass and next year’s team could look incredibly different.

    Qualifying for the Champions League for next season is vital for the club for financial reasons as German football officials have stated fans won’t be back until next season. Borussia Dortmund may be in store for some difficult years due to financial problems.