Schalke have announced their future financial plans as the Bundesliga club aspires to be a dominant force not only in Germany, but the world.
Schalke 04's chief financial officer Peter Peters said that the club has "crazy potential." The financial potential exists because Schalke conducts themselves differently compared to other clubs. The club has borrowed money and accumulated debt, but it has never sold shares.
"We see that the rights are becoming more and more valuable," Peters explained (via Westdeutsche Zeitung). "In the long term, that will pay off." For example, Bayern Munich have sold around 30% of their shares to Adidas, Alliance, and Audi. VfB Stuttgart sold just 11.7% to automotive company Daimler for as much as €41m.
Schalke will lose one of its brightest young players to Bayern Munich, after Leon Goretzka signed a pre-contract which will allow him to move for free in the summer. Peters lamented Bayern for "implementing its old principle of weakening the emerging other clubs." Even with the club losing its best players, Schalke still have the potential to become a European heavyweight.
Schalke therefore plan to use the value of their shares to reinvest in the club. This will include injecting €70m into expanding Schalke's renowned academy school Die Knappenschmiede. Some of Schalke's biggest success stories include Manuel Neuer, Mesut Ozil, Julian Draxler, Joel Matip, and Jens Lehmann.
However, the club's current financial strategy has also meant that Schalke has accumulated up to €129m worth of debt as of 2016. This has already been considerably reduced over the past two years by around €100m.
Schalke were the dominant club in Germany in the 1930s and '40s and aim to return to the same sort levels of success. Peters believes that "through sustainability" they can become "top 15 in the world." According to Forbes, Schalke are the 16th most valuable club in world football. Through a change of strategy, they can utilise that financial potential to expand to club and ensure future success for years to come.