TSG Hoffenheim is a “normal” Bundesliga club again. Majority owner Dietmar Hopp dismissed the club as a regular 50+1 club at the general meeting on Monday. The billionaire returned his majority voting rights in the professional department to the club.
The 83-year-old, who was not present at the meeting in the Sinsheimer Arena, waives his special status. Hopp announced this step on March 1st.
169 of the 175 club members present voted in favor of the proposal submitted by the board. According to his capital contribution, Hopp previously held 96 percent of the voting rights. Hopp will leave his capital in the professional field.
Alongside Bayer Leverkusen and VfL Wolfsburg, Hoffenheim has so far been one of the exceptions approved by the German Football League (DFL) with a view to the so-called investor ban. The Kraichgauer received the special status in July 2015 as a result of Hopp’s long-standing financial support. For several years now, however, the Hoffenheimer Spielbetriebs GmbH has been financed from its own resources – mainly through transfer surpluses.
“It was never about power for me,” Hopp said when announcing his withdrawal: “Before and after the special permit was granted, we always acted in the spirit of 50+1. The special status was never intended to undermine or undermine this regulation . I know that the 50+1 rule, which I have always supported, is a great asset in German football.”
In the past, concerns about Hopps’ decision-making authority have repeatedly been raised in the club’s environment. He has now taken the wind out of the sails of this criticism.
Hopp also saved the club from possible negative effects with his step. The DFL announced three months ago that it wanted to create more legal certainty in the future by adapting the 50+1 rule. Accordingly, no further exceptions to the 50+1 rule should be granted in the future. Certain conditions should also apply to Leverkusen and Wolfsburg.