F.rau will be at the top of the German Football League in the future: As of the new year, Donata Hopfen will be the chairman of the DFL management team as the successor to Christian Seifert, who is leaving early. As the DFL announced on Saturday, Seifert will leave the league umbrella organization on December 31, and thus six months earlier than planned. However, he will still be available to advise his successor if necessary.
The 45-year-old Hopfen is moving from a consulting company to the DFL. Previously, she was, among other things, chairwoman of the publishing management of the “Bild” group at Axel Springer Verlag and in 2014 “Media Woman of the Year” in Germany. Her contract initially runs for three years until December 31, 2024. In October last year, Seifert announced his departure from the DFL, to which the 52-year-old had come in 2005.
Hopfen expressed his thanks for the trust in the DFL announcement. German professional football has a great tradition and is deeply anchored in society. “Just like the DFL, the Bundesliga and 2nd Bundesliga enjoy an excellent reputation around the world. All of this must be preserved against the background of technological, social and media changes in the field of football – and at the same time innovatively developed, ”she said.
DFL supervisory board chairman Peter Peters described Hopfen as the right person for one of the most important positions in German football. “In a time of change, she has all the qualities and great assertiveness to lead the DFL into a continued successful future in the interests of the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 clubs,” emphasized Peters.
This applies particularly to her extensive experience in the areas of media and digitization – with a clear commitment to social responsibility in all its facets. “We are convinced that we are about to start a successful cooperation,” said Peters, who, after Fritz Keller’s resignation, is currently also leading the German Football Association (DFB) on an interim basis with Rainer Koch.
Seifert had recently earned great recognition because the Bundesliga and the second division were able to resume play despite the corona pandemic last year thanks to a globally recognized hygiene concept. The marketing of the TV rights rose during his tenure from 400 million euros per season to more than one billion euros. Seifert had announced that after his time at the umbrella organization of the 36 German professional clubs he wanted to open a new professional chapter.