Hopp defends Hoffenheim sales
Hoffenheim owner Dietmar Hopp has produced figures to defend his decision to sell the likes of Carlos Eduardo and Luiz Gustavo, even though the latter's departure led to coach Ralf Rangnick leaving the club.
Brazilian midfielder Gustavo moved to Bayern Munich for a fee in the region of €15m earlier this month, but Rangnick was not consulted about the deal and made it clear that he would have contested it. However, Hopp says the sale of key players is necessary to balance the books - which he admits is easier said than done.
"Between 2007 and 2009, we made a loss of €65m," he told the Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung newspaper. "In 2010 it was around €32m and we were able to reduce this to 16.6m thanks to the sale of Carlos Eduardo.
"Even in 2011, we are going to have a shortfall of around €7m, and that despite the income from the sale of Gustavo."
Hopp has blamed the club's former director of sport Jan Schindelmeiser for putting his side in such a predicament. Hopp claims Schindelmeiser increased the players' wages to an unaffordable level during Hoffenheim's first season in the top flight and, by doing so, risked the club's existence.
"He negotiated lucrative deals with the players which almost ruined us," explained the 70-year-old. "Our wage bill exploded. If we don't want to risk not being given a licence, it is a necessity to sell players like Luiz Gustavo."