The ongoing protests against the entry of investors are beginning to have an impact. The fan scenes want to stay tuned and some clubs want to ensure more transparency.
While tennis balls are likely to be flying in the stadiums again in protest against investors joining the German Football League (DFL), the debate about a possible new vote is ongoing.
A financial investor is to pay the DFL one billion euros for a percentage share of the TV revenue. The 36 professional clubs voted for it in December. But fans have been protesting in the stadiums for weeks and are causing longer game interruptions. They criticize the lack of transparency and fear the consequences of investors joining.
How do the clubs position themselves?
The President of VfB Stuttgart, Claus Vogt, spoke out in favor of another vote in the middle of the week. This could be a measure to pacify the fan protests, he told the pay TV channel Sky.
Union Berlin’s Dirk Zingler also supported the idea in the “Welt”: “Because without solid legitimacy there is no acceptance.” The second division clubs Hertha BSC and Karlsruher SC were also open to a new vote. VfL Osnabrück criticized the lack of transparency in the vote in December.
The majority of clubs have not yet commented on the demands. The Mainz sports director Christian Heidel said about the protests that the criticism from some fans had been received. “But you should end it at some point, otherwise it won’t have much to do with football anymore.”
Eintracht Frankfurt’s board spokesman Axel Hellmann criticized a “certain hypocrisy” among the supporters in the debate. German football is in danger of losing touch with European competition.
Could there even be a new vote?
According to sports lawyer Paul Lambertz, this is possible. “In principle, you could have another vote. This requires a general meeting,” he told the German Press Agency.
The DFL Presidium could convene an extraordinary general meeting for important reasons, “or there is a minority request if ten members of the DFL request it,” said the sports lawyer. However, he also said: “In my opinion, the decision was made legally.”
Why is the December vote controversial?
In the secret vote of the 36 professional clubs for the deal, there were exactly 24 yes votes that were necessary for a two-thirds majority. Twelve club representatives later publicly stated that they had voted no or abstained. If everyone had told the truth, professional football manager Martin Kind would have voted yes for Hannover 96, even though the management of the parent club Hannover 96 eV had instructed him to vote against the proposal.
In this case, Kind would have helped the controversial motion gain a majority and also violated the 50+1 rule in German professional football. The entrepreneur himself refers to the secret vote and does not comment on his vote.
How does the DFL react?
The league association invited representatives from the fan scene to talks on Thursday. “Along with the right to have a say, we all have to face the responsibility of dealing intensively with critical issues,” it said in a statement, but also: “Not every exchange can guarantee that all discussion partners will then agree.” According to the DFL, there was already such an exchange between management and fan representatives in November.
In the statement, the DFL tried to refute the concerns of the fans. “There is no “sell-out”, no loss of control and no farewell to 50+1 – and therefore no reason for horror scenarios.” The league association did not comment on calls from some clubs for a new vote.
Why do the fan representatives reject the offer?
They see no real chance of the DFL making concessions in the offer of talks. “The current dialogue offer is not a rethink. It is a fig leaf. Because it does not contain an offer for negotiations,” various fan organizations said in a joint statement.
The fan site sees the first impact of the protests in the rethinking of some clubs. “We – all nationwide fan organizations – call on the DFL leadership to finally take the protests in the German stadiums seriously and, as a result, to immediately initiate an open and therefore transparent new vote on the DFL investor deal,” it said.
What can we expect at the stadiums this weekend?
The actions will continue. A first game cancellation seems possible. “Sitting out the protests further is not an option. The longer the protests are ignored, the more united we will be in favor of a new vote,” said the fan representatives’ message.
A fan representative from Hannover 96 also announced that they would continue the protests and possibly accept that the game would be canceled. They have “decided on this form of protest. And as long as investor involvement is not off the table, we will continue,” he told the “Neue Presse”.
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