Eintracht Frankfurt’s President Peter Fischer leaves his mark. His commitment to combating right-wing extremism brought him recognition beyond sport. After almost 24 years, he stops on Monday.
Peter Fischer is one of the Bundesliga’s most colorful presidents. The 67-year-old football official led Eintracht Frankfurt out of existential and sporting hardship until they won the Europa League in 2022 and became a fan favorite.
Beyond the Main metropolis, he gained particular recognition and respect as a courageous voice against anti-Semitism, extremism and racism.
After almost 24 years at the helm of the Hessian club, he will no longer be a candidate at the general meeting on Monday. “It is the right moment to go,” said Fischer in an interview with the German Press Agency. As honorary president, he wants to continue the “fight against Nazis and right-wing extremism.”
Beck as a suitable successor?
“Peter Fischer is one of the greatest originals the club has ever produced. There is no other like Peter,” said Eintracht board spokesman Axel Hellmann. The businessman and former Vice President Mathias Beck (52) is a “top-suited candidate” and “good guy” as the successor to Fischer, who is stepping down on Monday after 8,595 days in the presidency.
The trained advertising salesman announced his retirement in May 2023 and drew conclusions from the cocaine affair, which Fischer described as a “character assassination campaign” in which boundaries were exceeded. The public prosecutor’s office dropped the investigation that had been initiated. Nevertheless, he leaves “with satisfaction” and without bitterness: “I am proud of a club that is well positioned and future-oriented,” he said, summing up his life’s work.
It is also due to Fischer’s popularity and his stance on social issues that the number of members increased from almost 5,000 to 135,000 during his presidency. “It’s not just results, without a doubt, and not just trophies,” he said. “What’s more important is that, in addition to sport, we have very clear values that we represent and that we stand up for.”
Clear stance against anti-Semitism and racism
Fischer felt the consequences this could have personally when he showed the AfD the red card and declared club memberships of AfD supporters in Eintracht excluded. “There were hundreds of reports that I received. There were endless threats,” he reported. But there was also a good side: “We definitely made a difference – also helping some clubs and those responsible to position themselves just as clearly.”
Fischer was awarded the Buber-Rosenzweig Medal in 2022 for his clear stance against anti-Semitism and racism, which he commented on in his own style. “Personally, it’s not about the tinsel for me. Rather, it’s important to me to change things and be able to make a difference,” he said.
“Peter gives one out”
Commitment out of conviction is one side of his personality, that of a bon vivant with a three-day beard and red sneakers as his trademark is the other. Fischer, who is also known as the “party president,” sometimes overstepped the mark, like after the European Cup triumph in 2022, when he said: “A European Cup victory is a thousand times better than sex. Because these trophies are damn, damn rare .” He didn’t inspire everyone, but many fans who often shouted to him during speeches: “Peter gives one away.”
At the end of his term of office, the courageous, outgoing Eintracht boss is also a little worried about his farewell in Frankfurt’s Jahrhunderthalle. “It will be an emotional day and I’m also afraid of it because for me it will only be characterized by emotionality,” Fischer confessed. “I’ll definitely have one or two wet eyes. I won’t be ashamed of that, it would be real and authentic.”
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