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Member Associations - 11 Feb 2013

Thomas WEIKERT : “We want improvements”

Thomas WEIKERT, President of the DTTB, comments on ETTU President Stefano BOSI´s reproaches. WEIKERT stresses: “We are not against everything.” – The dispute between DTTB and ETTU is becoming more and more critical. Could it be that the Germans are

Thomas WEIKERT, President of the DTTB, comments on ETTU President Stefano BOSI´s reproaches. WEIKERT stresses: “We are not against everything.”

- The dispute between DTTB and ETTU is becoming more and more critical. Could it be that the Germans are perhaps not very diplomatic?
Thomas WEIKERT: ”Stefano BOSI accuses the DTTB of having personal problems with him: In principle, we would be against everything and would be looking for dispute. However, it is not as simple as that. In many central issues we have, as regards contents, just a different opinion than Mr BOSI and we do communicate that in order to achieve improvements. Just in the recent past we had actively taken part in discussions on the standard of major events and made a large number of suggestions. In addition, our Sport Director was a member of an all-European group of experts on competitive sport in Europe which, however, was disbanded by Stefano BOSI. Obviously, he did not like the suggestions made by the expert group”.

- Mr BOSI says, however, the ETTU had followed the German suggestions, such as the new format of the European Championships.
TW: “When, some time ago, the format of the EC was changed we were in favor of retaining the previous system, i.e. complete EC every two years, but no majority could be obtained for that. So as a compromise, we suggested splitting in individual and team events to be held alternately – in yearly change same as ITTF – but no majority either. Eventually, the current system was accepted in which – unlike an annual complete EC – at least every two years the team event was cut down on”.

. And how do you react to the accusation, the DTTB – very cleverly – had applied for the complete 2015 EC fully knowing that a mere individual championship might result in a too high financial risk?
TW: “The fact that we applied for a full 2015 EC is only due to the date, for in 2012 we had the World Team Championships – an EC in 2014 would have been too close in many respects. Moreover, with the German Open and the World Cup we will already have two major events in Germany in 2014, but only the German Open in 2015 – that´s why we need a second event then”.

- Mr BOSI claims that Top-12 was also modified as suggested by the DTTB.
TW: “For Top-12, we had indeed suggested a modification of the system. What was then agreed, however, corresponded only in part with our proposal. Anyway, that was not what I had addressed in the December issue of our magazine. That was about suggestions on financing Top-12, we had made in negotiations, which had not been accepted by ETTU, however”.

- Why then did the DTTB apply with the conditions being so bad?
TW: “As early as 2007 we placed our bid for the 2013 Top-12. We were the only bidder. You normally apply on the basis of the regulations, but here only the basic financial arrangements are listed. Details in financial issues are shown in the actual event contract – which you only get after presenting your bid to the ETTU and have been accepted. We did obtain acceptance in February 2011 and after that have asked ETTU several times for the contract. Based on the draft contract we have then made a budget which resulted in a deficit of € 50,000 to 70,000″.

- Why? In the past, the DTTB actually staged Top-12 several times without having to pay extra. Mr BOSI says that the financial conditions then were not essentially different.
TW: “In 2009 and 2010 we were able to hold Top 12 more or less financially balanced. Since then, however, costs in all areas have risen and public subsidies of a relevant height are more difficult to obtain. Apart from the extensive ETTU requirements an organizer has to meet, the ETTU itself has worsened conditions for organizers of Top 12 compared to 2012 by appr. € 20,000 by several new demands. As, in our negotiations, ETTU made very few financial concessions, we finally had to withdraw our application – that was, however, as early as the beginning of October, 2011″.

- By the way, DTTB never had the idea of a ‘package’ consisting of 2013 European Veterans Championships and 2013 Europe Top 12. We applied for all events separately. Could money be the reason why no other organizer can be found – or could also the multitude of events be responsible?
TW: “On the subject of events we are convinced: “Less is more”. In addition, the top players for some time have been burdened too much anyway through a crowded calendar. Moreover, the DTTB postulates a high-quality presentation of top events, which – in recent years – has not always been the case. From the DTTB`s point of view it is time that ETTU in many areas strategically orientates itself new”.

(courtesy DTTB)


Photo: DTTB President Thomas WEIKERT (Photo Roscher)


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