Borussia Dortmund president Hans-Joachim Watzke says the club must set an example for the rest of the Bundesliga on how to deal with players who seek to destabilise their teams.
Watzke is referring to the saga of Ousmane Dembele, who is serving an indefinite suspension for not attending training last week in an effort to force a move to Barcelona.
The CEO discussed the matter after Dortmund’s victory over VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday, saying to reporters: “We should not talk about how this looks for a club that is registered as stock company.
“The whole Bundesliga should maybe see how important it is that we are showing strength now,” he continued. “[Dembele’s behaviour] is not only a topic on our door but could affect all 17 other clubs eventually.
“So they can be happy that we are ramming down a big, fat stop sign,” he added.
Watzke also commented on the match – Dortmund’s first league encounter of the season – which saw his team score three unanswered goals against last season’s relegation-battlers.
“I read everywhere that we would have problems in adjusting [to the new coach]. I didn’t see any problems there. The team did well to follow the coach’s instructions.
“We were very aggressive on attacking the ball, and still, I thought we had a good mix in winning the ball aggressively and calming the match down.
“That was a very mature performance. But we also don’t have to overstate this, as it did not come as a surprise to us, because even if there are outside factors like Neymar [transferring to PSG] that we cannot influence we always had serenity within the club.
“Again, we mustn’t overstate the win, but it was a very content performance,” he added.