Borussia Dortmund are seeking new investors to enable them to help boost the salaries they can offer players as they look to close the gap on Bayern Munich, the runaway Bundesliga champions in the last two seasons.
Dortmund CEO Aki Watzke announced that the publicly-listed club intended to sell a stake of at least five percent to two strategic partners by the end of September.
The news follows the sale of a nine percent holding in June, and he stressed that the buyers of the two stakes did not need to be either a German company or one of the club's existing sponsors.
Dortmund, who won the Bunesliga title in 2011 and 2012 and finished runners-up to Bayern in the 2013 Champions League final, were looking to attract companies with "significant long-term sponsoring interest," Watzke said in an interview with Bloomberg.
He stressed that a closing of the gap between Bayern and his club would be good for the German top flight, explaining: "Every league that booms needs one, two or three beacons that excel at the national level and which have international appeal.
"There was nothing -- nothing at all -- that was predestined to put us in the position we're in today. When we won the title in 2011, we hadn't played internationally for seven years, and six years prior to that we were on the brink of insolvency."
Dortmund hope the new deals would increase the wage pool to anything up to 120 million euros, making it easier for the club to keep hold of existing star players and attract new ones.