RB Leipzig CEO Oliver Mintzlaff says the partnership between his club and Red Bull Salzburg is like any other partnership and will not lead to expulsion from the Champions League.
Both clubs have links with Austrian soft drink giants Red Bull and could violate UEFA rules about owners controlling more than one team in its competitions.
Last Saturday, German Bundesliga side Leipzig secured their berth in next season’s Champions League, while Salzburg have all but won the Austrian Bundesliga title with four matches of the campaign left to play.
Since UEFA statutes forbid two teams owned by the same company, sponsor or individual to take part in its competitions, there have been doubts as to whether the governing body will allow both teams to compete in Europe next season.
According to UEFA statutes, the team finishing higher in their domestic league would be allowed to compete and, in this case, that would be Salzburg.
However, Leipzig have said in the past that they have done their homework and taken measures to ensure that the clubs are no longer tied together.
Leipzig sporting director Mintzlaff reportedly vacated his seat as Red Bull’s global head of football earlier this year, while the soft drink giants have only officially been the sponsors of Salzburg since 2015.
Although there have been several transfers from Salzburg to Leipzig in the past — last summer the German club’s sporting director Ralf Rangnick said after signing defender Bernardo from the Austrian side that the fee “still needs to be discussed” — Mintzlaff reiterated in Bild that they have done everything they need to do to ensure UEFA allows them to take part in the Champions League.
When asked by the newspaper about a joint scouting system and cooperation in the two clubs’ academies, he said: “Believe me, we don’t cooperate more than others. I am also convinced that cooperation will play a much bigger role both nationally and internationally in the future.”
Mintzlaff added: “We have no worries and are looking forward to the [Champions League] draw on Aug. 25 and an attractive opponent for Leipzig.”