In 2021 and 2022, reports by the WDR (West German Broadcasting) background magazine Sport inside revealed the conditions for coaches in many junior training centres of Bundesliga football clubs. Where the great talents are being groomed to become the stars of tomorrow, a system has taken hold in large parts of Germany that allows mini-jobbers to work for up to three times the time stipulated in their contracts.

After the programme reported already in March 2021 on the payment below minimum wage for a coach at Schalke 04's renowned "Knappenschmiede", several coaches came forward to report their exploitation. The public prosecutor's office has been investigating FC Augsburg and Bayern Munich for minimum wage fraud since 2021 and has initiated criminal proceedings against the then board of FC Bayern München AG - Dreesen, Rummenigge, Kahn, Salihamidzic. In mid-June, it was now decided that Bayern must "pay 200,000 euros plus 45,500 euros in late payment surcharges for years of unpaid social benefits" - a blip against the high nine-figure annual turnover, almost none of which reaches the youth training centres. In return, the proceedings against the three criminal ex-footballers and their superior East Frisian banker were dropped "for lack of evidence". The fact that these people are treated very leniently is shown not least by Uli Hoeneß, who after one and a half years of part-time imprisonment in a luxury prison was reappointed president and chairman of the supervisory board as a convicted criminal.

In Augsburg, the wages received by the mini-job coaches were divided into the official salary, a low contribution, and a, on the other hand, larger sum of tax-free "exercise leader lump sum"; the contract does not stipulate any entitlement to holidays or a weekend off. No obligation for mini-jobs, but if the mini-jobs turn into underpaid part-time jobs and more, then this matter also becomes all the more serious.

At Bayern Munich, the mini-job coaches were given fixed-term contracts for one year - they were supposed to train three to four times a week - note, on a mini-job basis. In addition, there were games, tournaments, meetings with parents and scouting. What is as extensive as it sounds is reduced on paper to the actual training or playing time, but even this was fudged downwards. Preparation and follow-up time, travel (according to Bayern, bus travel time is not working time; a clumsy lie) and the like are not paid. According to the report of a former trainer, one was given hope of a permanent position, one was forced by superiors to fill out time sheets incorrectly, and if one talked back, complained about the overload, etc., one was directly threatened with dismissal. The person responsible for this, apart from the Bayern board, is the head of the junior staff campus, Jochen Sauer.

The basis of this - and this is not mentioned in the WDR report - is of course that the people who do these jobs are not from Germany. Because they often don't have a permanent residence status in Germany and don't know the language, it's much easier to threaten, put pressure on and lie about legal issues without any consequences. Of course, it is football in particular, but other sports are also affected. Often this happens in combination, e.g. athletics coaches who are responsible at large football clubs both in the athletics department and as athletics coaches for the footballers.

Finance Minister Lindner, responding to the issue in the Bundestag (German Parliament), does not want to have a "general atmosphere of mistrust" and takes the exploiters from the management of the clubs in his defence. Let such accusations be proven first! One can see how the traffic light coalition has imagined the expansion of mini-job employment.