Hertha BSC is in crisis mode, both sportingly and economically. However, there was no revolt at the general meeting. President Bernstein’s path is supported – also in the direction of the 2nd league.
The descent from the Bundesliga seems inevitable at the latest after the painful slap in Cologne. 85 million euros in debt, and still no decision has been made about the license for the coming season: Despite the huge concerns, President Kay Bernstein drew a glimpse into the future that should give Hertha BSC hope.
“We will be successful when we have overcome the financial legacy in 2025/2026,” said Bernstein at the general meeting of the Bundesliga soccer team in the Berlin Exhibition Centre. “Our Berlin way is a vision forward,” added the Hertha boss. In view of the current precarious situation, that sounded unexpectedly ambitious.
Hertha stands together
The Bundesliga crisis club was at least closed. No fan riots, no loud criticism of the leadership course. A chaos session, as was to be feared, was not far from the Berlin radio tower. The signal Bernstein wanted to send was unity after years of negative headlines.
Coach Pal Dardai, who hit the nerve with his message and animated the members to standing ovations – two days after the 2: 5 at 1. FC Köln, which makes relegation a theoretical construct, became the key witness. Two wins against Bochum and Wolfsburg are now a must for a miracle.
“We’re passionate about Hertha, that’s why we’re here,” said the Hungarian. “We still have a little hope and are trying to stay in the league. But the matter is no longer in our hands,” said Dardai.
Despite the sporting and financial precarious situation of the club, he dutifully thanked the support in the city and within the club: “It’s just great.” At the same time, the club’s record player defended the new path under the leadership of President Kay Bernstein. “I like this path,” said Dardai.
New investor “no alternative”
Bernstein wants to continue on this path. Above all, the entry of the new investor 777 Partners should help to straighten out the financial difficulties. “Therein lies a central cornerstone for our future, which gives Hertha BSC the chance to restructure,” said the 42-year-old, who had to survive a motion to be voted out together with his colleagues on the presidency. However, the German Football League is currently still examining entry with regard to the 50+1 rule, so Hertha still has to meet conditions.
For Bernstein, working with the American company is “there is no alternative” “due to the problems of the past” so that the club can survive economically. The loss of Hertha BSC GmbH & KGaA as of June 30, 2022 is 85 million euros. The new investor is to contribute 100 million euros by June 30 so that Hertha receives the license and does not have to start in the regional league in the worst case.
“We will not be dependent on 777,” said Bernstein, who praised the previous cooperation with the new investor. “It’s a completely different commitment than with Windhorst,” the president, who has now been in office for eleven months, referred to the 1,423 members present who made mistakes before his time: “There were 250 million euros burned in four years. It was madness that will never happen again allowed to happen.”
Savings course and membership growth
Bernstein also took the former chief financial officer Ingo Schiller into the monetary responsibility that Hertha suffers from. Bernstein reported that the club has already saved more than eight million euros in salaries in the administrative apparatus by “adjusting the structures and staffing from within the team. Staying power is crucial, we need patience, expertise and cooperation to turn the hamster wheel by us because of past mistakes, we feel we can leave.”
Curiously, despite the precarious situation on the economic and sporting side, Hertha remains attractive. “We have 46,057 members,” said Herthas Vice President Fabian Drescher. Last year, the bottom of the table only had 41,200 members.
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