News : Dumping wages in the Bundesliga: How top German clubs exploit youth coaches
“Sport-inside” report: Dumping wages in the Bundesliga: How top German clubs exploit their youth coaches
In many cases, youth coaches from clubs in the Bundesliga are employed by the clubs as mini-jobbers on a EUR 450 basis. Those affected lament disastrous conditions and speak of “exploitation of young people”. The procedure seems to be common.
“In the first year, I paid less than 200 euros a month. The years that followed, 250 euros as an assistant coach. Then I was offered the post of head coach – at 400 euros a month doesn’t work – I can’t do a full-time job for 400 euros. ‘”
A former youth coach from the youth training center (NLZ) of FC Augsburg complained in a report by “Sport inside” about underground payments in his professional field.
Ex-Bayern coach: 30-40 hours of work per week – for 450 euros
According to the report, the conditions for youth trainers are unacceptable for various Bundesliga clubs. Most of them are employed on a EUR 450 basis, but work up to 40 hours a week, which an ex-youth coach at FC Bayern confirms:
“You can easily do 30-40 hours a week – and for that you have been paid 450 euros.”
Lawyer: “Not a little exploited, but a lot”
Attorney Andreas Waldschmidt, who represents some of the record champions’ ex-youth coaches, confirms the dire conditions compared to the documentary format of the sports show.
“The contracts that I have seen are clearly subject to the minimum wage regulation. EUR 450 employees are treated like second-class coaches. You think you can do whatever you want with them. Everyone would like to have worked for FC Bayern at some point – that is also nice for the résumé. That is also used a bit. But 450 euros is not a bit used, it is very used for me. “
Youth coaches who are supposed to train the stars of tomorrow, lead three to four training units a week (including preparation and follow-up), drive their teams to games and tournaments, hold feedback discussions with parents – and collect 450 euros a month for this. As a reminder: At Bundesliga clubs with high three-digit million sales.
“Exploitation of young people who are lured with great goals”
The former Bayern coach, who does not want to be recognized in the documentation, speaks of “exploitation of young people who are lured with big goals and later fooled.” Again and again, the record champions hold out the prospect of permanent employment for the coaches, and they are put off again and again. Former coaches from Munich report that this procedure takes years.
The well-paid jobs from the U15 onwards would always get ex-professionals or coaches with good relationships. But anyone who “expresses criticism openly will be ostracized and will no longer find a job.” So it’s no wonder that all the trainers in the “Sport inside” report only comment anonymously.
FC Bayern Munich seems to be only the most prominent example, which Ernst Tanner, former head of three youth performance centers, confirms: “The system is certainly widespread in the Bundesliga. And of course even more so in the 2nd and 3rd leagues is anti-social. “
Bundesliga clubs trick with the coaches’ time sheets
Several coaches characterize the way the clubs deal with the problem identically: The trainers are instructed by their clubs to only charge two hours for tournament trips, which sometimes even take a whole weekend. This reduces the time actually worked and legitimizes the salary. The timesheets are available “Sport inside”.
“It was definitely the case that we received the time sheets and were instructed. For example, a tournament in Gladbach that ran from Friday to Sunday – we should then enter two hours,” said the ex-Augsburg youth coach.
But isn’t that totally paradoxical? How should youth coaches optimally train and support the future stars of the Bundesliga when they don’t even earn enough money to support themselves? The clubs buy some youth players whose transfer fee exceeds the annual salary of their coach.
In England, youth coaches have a better reputation – and full-time jobs
In other countries, however, different customs prevail. Christian Flüthmann, current head of the Rot-Weiss Essen NLZ, was also a 450 euro jobber in Germany at the beginning of his coaching career and later a permanent coach at the English club Norwich City.
“If I had previously had the opportunity to work full-time as a coach, the quality of the training would have been very high.” In England, youth coaches have a much better reputation, get full-time jobs and salaries that they can live on. “That is the biggest difference to Germany. The U9 coaches have no other main job in England and can only look after the players”, analyzes Flüthmann.
On request from “Sport inside” to all 36 clubs of the 1st + 2nd Liga did not reveal any information to eight clubs, including FC Bayern. FC Augsburg announced that it would adhere to the minimum wage requirements. However, other clubs gave an insight into the numbers: It turns out that if youth coaches have a permanent position, then only from the U13 and only for the head coach. Several associations also confirmed that they employ numerous mini-jobbers.
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