Investor Lars Windhorst was sharply attacked by fans present at the general meeting of the Bundesliga soccer club Hertha BSC. When the 45-year-old started his speech at the event on Sunday, he was repeatedly interrupted by boos and whistles. In addition, two supporters hoisted a banner on which Windhorst’s likeness was crossed out. Others chanted “Windhorst out!”.
“Whether most people like it or not: I’m here as the majority owner. Windhorst out – that doesn’t actually work. You can’t vote me out and my shares are not for sale,” replied Windhorst, against whom there were also insults. The entrepreneur later added: “I’m not going away. That’s not possible – for the next 10, 20 years.”
Windhorst joined Hertha with his Tennor Group in 2019 and invested 375 million euros. Since then, the Berliners have played three times against relegation, only just managed to stay up in the relegation and most of the investment has been used up.
Most recently, Windhorst caused a stir when he called for the resignation of then-President Werner Gegenbauer on Bild-TV in March. He resigned last Tuesday. “I knew that the situation with Mr. Gegenbauer would be very difficult and I bit my tongue for two years,” said Windhorst.
Windhorst also promised new money for the future and formulated his vision. “I want, that’s the only goal, for Hertha BSC to be extremely successful. That’s my goal,” said Windhorst: “I only stand for one direction: to do everything to ensure that we get to the top.”
Hertha BSC: Interim boss Manske resigns
Meanwhile, interim President Thorsten Manske resigned with immediate effect. He was responding to the vote on a motion to vote out. He missed the necessary three-quarters majority, but since 64.2 percent of the 2,467 votes were against him, Manske took action.
“For me, a long journey has come to an end. Without your trust, I’m no longer available,” said Manske. Previously, there had been motions against the entire Presidium, but Manske’s colleagues Fabian Drescher, Anne Jiingermann, Peer Mock-Stürmer, Ingmar Pering and Norbert Sauer survived.
At the event in the Berlin exhibition center, the members voted individually on all representatives of the Executive Committee. There had also been motions against ex-president Werner Gegenbauer, but the 72-year-old forestalled a vote of no confidence by resigning last Tuesday.
Manske, previously Gegenbauer’s deputy, had exercised his office on an interim basis. On June 26th, the election of the Gegenbauer successor will take place at an extraordinary general meeting.
Meanwhile, Manske admitted in his first speech that the relegation just managed to stay up should not hide the “desolate condition in some areas”. Hertha “didn’t understand how to stop the spiral of mistakes and setbacks”. As a result, the management wanted to “put the club on a new basis” and “create a new old lady”.
In the meantime, Manske spoke personally to Windhorst: “I’ll shake your hand and, in the interests of a successful future, I beg you: Let’s talk to each other in the future, but not about each other.” With his resignation, Gegenbauer had “shown great courage” and made the decision “to clear the way for a new start at Hertha,” said Manske.
Hertha BSC: Bobic is self-critical
Sports director Fredi Bobic has meanwhile taken the blame for the near relegation. “I’m completely responsible for that. We made mistakes,” said the 50-year-old at the general meeting on Sunday in Berlin.
Hertha only held the class last Monday in the relegation against Hamburger SV. In just one season, the team looked after three coaches in Pal Dardai, Tayfun Korkut and Felix Magath. “A personal defeat for me is that we needed three coaches to save the season,” said Bobic.
In a 20-minute speech, which Bobic gave completely free, he pledged the members to the future and condemned internal trench warfare. “I have no idea how many false reports I intentionally produced to see where the internal holes are,” said Bobic, who demanded unity: “In the end, it will only work together. If we do it against each other, we will tear each other apart .”
Bobic also wants to draw hope from staying up in the league. “We should take this positive feeling into the preparation and the next few weeks and not only see the negative,” said Bobic, who received a lot of applause after completing his speech: “We have to make a huge block, we have to make money. We can do it , but we must not do everything at once.”