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Dispute over the 50 + 1 rule: professional football plays for time



Dispute over the 50 + 1 rule: professional football plays for time

Professional football plays in the debate about the 50 + 1 rule and the dispute over the exception clubs for a limited period.

Time game instead of a quick shot: German professional football has put a decision in the heated dispute over the 50 + 1 rule on the back burner and with this politician trick defused the explosive situation at least for the time being. At their meeting on Wednesday in Frankfurt / Main, the bosses of the 36 professional clubs agreed that the Presidium of the German Football League (DFL) should first sound out the situation.

“The next step is for the DFL Presidium to comment on the preliminary assessment of the Federal Cartel Office in writing to the authorities,” the DFL said: “The aim is to develop antitrust-compliant solutions that are in the interests of all 36 Bundesliga clubs and 2. Bundesliga are. ”

It is therefore clear that the DFL will continue to strive for an amicable solution despite the different interests within the league. How it should look like, however, remains open. The big bang between supporters and opponents of the investor rule as well as possible legal disputes should be avoided in any case.

Before the meeting, mischief was brewing. “I advise everyone to be flexible,” warned CEO Axel Hellmann from Eintracht Frankfurt: “If we cannot find an amicable solution, the league is facing an acid test.” Christian Seifert was also aware of this. That is why the outgoing DFL boss had recently held talks with the boardrooms of Bayer Leverkusen, VfL Wolfsburg and TSG Hoffenheim.

ProFans alliance defends 50 + 1 rule: “Last bastion”

The DFL has the Cartel Office to thank for the fact that it is mainly about the three clubs and partly also RB Leipzig. The authority recently came to the conclusion that the principle of the 50 + 1 rule is fundamentally unobjectionable under antitrust law. The office expressed doubts about the exceptions for the three clubs.

The trio, in turn, wants to keep its special rights, a lawsuit against 50 + 1 as a last resort is still in the room – which, if successful in court, would lead to the complete elimination of the rule, massive upheavals at the clubs and a fan uprising.

Before the meeting of the professional clubs, the ProFans alliance had called for 50 + 1 to stick. “The 50 + 1 rule is the last bastion that preserves the democratic co-determination rights of the association members and prevents the economic interests of investors alone from deciding the fate of the licensing teams,” said ProFans spokesman Jörn Brauer.

50 + 1 is intended to limit the influence of investors and preserve the club-shaped character. Accordingly, the majority of the voting rights must always lie with the club. An exception rule applies to Leverkusen, Wolfsburg and Hoffenheim because their investors have been active for more than 20 years. Critics see the fact that the donors have repeatedly offset the clubs’ losses as a distortion of competition.

50 + 1 rule: Hannover 96 attacks Bayer, Wolfsburg, Hoffenheim

The parent club of the second division Hannover 96 had sought an open confrontation with the three exceptional clubs. In an open letter, the Lower Saxony demanded that the competitive advantages that apply to the three clubs be eliminated immediately. The possible lawsuit of the trio was described by Hanover as an “undisguised threat”.

Numerous clubs such as Borussia Dortmund and 1. FC Köln had already placed themselves behind 50 + 1. “During my tenure at BVB we never discussed the abolition of 50 + 1 for a second and we have no plans to change anything,” said BVB president and ex-league boss Reinhard Rauball.

Most recently, after lengthy debates over three years ago, the focus was on 50 + 1. In March 2018, 18 clubs voted in a high-profile decision of principle in favor of maintaining the rule, four clubs opposed it and the rest abstained. Even then, after the differentiated vote, it was clear that the issue would not be finally off the table.