Perhaps the most explosive start for a sports director

Sebastian Keel has a lot of experience in over 20 years at Borussia Dortmund. During the summer holidays, the former captain will be promoted to Director of Sports for the BVB. But even though Kehl hasn’t officially taken over yet, the 42-year-old has long been in the middle of the business. His early start to the career was also very turbulent.

A new era begins at Borussia Dortmund on 1 July: Michael Zorc is retiring as sporting director at Borussia Dortmund. Zorc has spent the past 43 years with the Black and Yellows, and with him the local club has lost what is probably the biggest pillar of the sporting field in recent decades.

The 58-year-old, who will likely move to the BVB Supervisory Board after a break, has carefully built his legacy: Sebastian Kell, who has been head of the licensed players division for nearly four years, has gained detailed insights into transfers and contract negotiations, will take over the role. . BVB gave him a three-year contract.

But even though that worksheet only comes into effect with the new season, Kehl has had to take on a lot of responsibility in recent months. Whether in television appearances, interviews, or transfers: Michael Zorc increasingly left the field to his student.

Given the numerous and sometimes sensitive issues in Borussia, his pre-start could not have been more explosive.

According to Haaland, Kiehl becomes clear

On the other hand, there is the ongoing Erling Haaland case, which BVB has been busy with for months. On the other hand, Kiel had to sell to the public and his fans with credibility that the club was fighting to keep the best striker.

On the other hand, he had to mitigate the many speculations about his transfer to other clubs. With Haaland being the center of attention in the media, BVB’s handling of the player was even more important.

Haaland himself caused the biggest uproar when he claimed on camera in mid-January that he felt pressure from the club. At the BVB, these statements immediately withdrew the entire management trio, which consists of managing director Hans-Joachim Watzke, sporting director Michael Zorc and Sebastian Kehl. In unison, they denied the club’s demands that Haaland make a timely decision for or against Borussia.

Kiel’s words were no less clear than those of the chiefs: Haaland’s comments were “baseless,” according to the growing athletic director.

Three of the most important transfers start with BVB

On the other hand, it was up to Kehl to move forward with the right team turmoil – which in turn can only be done thanks to the millions of Haaland transfer. Preliminary result: Three German players coming into the new season, each of them decided to join Dortmund despite other offers. According to BVB statements, this was the best talent.

Firstly, the runner-up managed to make a real coup with the free transfer of Bayern Munich defender Niklas Sule. Then it persuaded fellow German in the German federation Nico Schlutterbeek, who came from Freiburg for 20 million euros, it was reported. The latest transfer success was Karim Adeyemi, who is said to have signed with RB Salzburg for around €30m.

The new strongman in BVB has made no secret of the extent to which these transfers show Sebastian Keel’s signature. “Transfers made are my transfers,” Kiel recently revealed to “Sport1” while at the same time sharpening his profile as the new team. This is his “phase” now, he has “involved in all operations at Michael Zorc”.

One thing is clear: his mentor Zorc’s footsteps are huge. Last but not least, this has led players like Haaland, Sancho, Dembele, Aubameyang or Pulisic to BVB in order to generate significant transfer revenue. The former midfielder is well connected in the football field and is considered an important negotiator by consultants and club officials.

Keel is maneuvering himself into trouble

Zorc also gained a good reputation in the eyes of the public, being the main responsible person for all sports operations. How far Kehl still has to grow in this exposed role as the person in charge of Germany’s second largest football club came up very clearly when asked about the coach’s future.

After a titleless season and sometimes embarrassing performances in international and national cup competitions, Marco Rose is under pressure. Kehl fueled that impression by avoiding an apparent commitment to Rose on “Sky.” He “assumes” that BVB will continue with the former Gladbacher, and there was no clarification even when asked.

It came the next day on “Doppelpass,” when Kehl blared again: “I can clearly say it was quite a pity that I penned it. It wasn’t on purpose.” He is planning preparations for the new season with Rose. It is clear that Sebastian Kehl will have to avoid these errors in the outdoor presentation as much as possible from July 1.

Regardless of this, according to a survey by, the three-time champion of Germany is the right man: 85% of users think Kiel is the perfect heir. His work before he actually started as athletic director should have played a big role in this perception.

Gerrit Klebohemer

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