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    HomeSportsClubs are also putting pressure on the DFL after protests

    Clubs are also putting pressure on the DFL after protests

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    “There can be no doubt whatsoever”
    Clubs are also putting pressure on the DFL after protests

    In December, 36 clubs under the umbrella of the German Football League decided to open the door to football to an investor. The decision calls numerous fans to the barricades, and the election procedure is also causing skepticism, and not just among supporters. Now a new dynamic is emerging.

    The German Football League is fighting for its highly controversial investor project – but a movement for a new vote is gaining momentum. By Thursday afternoon, at least 5 of the 36 DFL clubs had expressed their support or were open to voting again and this time transparently. The fan protests in the stadiums are obviously being heard.

    “We continue to be of the opinion that the vote in December was illegitimate and must be repeated in a comprehensible manner,” said Robin Krakau, board member of the parent club of Hannover 96, to NDR. “The vote from Hanover should be viewed as a no from the outset.” Ultimately, the required two-thirds majority was achieved with 24 votes – although it remained unclear whether 96 investor Martin Kind implemented the association's instructions to vote against the project. This might have changed the outcome.

    “It's never happened before”

    After Hanover and President Claus Vogt from VfB Stuttgart, his counterpart Dirk Zingler (Union Berlin) is now also calling for a repeat of the secret vote. “We are doing something here that has never happened before in German professional football and that will change it. If we want to be successful with this (…), there should be no doubt whatsoever about the legality of the necessary votes,” said Zingler “World”.

    The Karlsruher SC agreed: It “clearly supports a new vote. With such an important and long-term decision, there should be no doubts as to whether the democratic opinion was formed correctly,” said managing director Michael Becker. VfL Osnabrück demands that “apart from personal elections, there should be no secret votes in the future”. Managing director Michael Welling emphasized that the “perceived non-transparent process” was causing criticism. Hertha BSC also shows sympathy for “dealing with the voting procedure in a transparent framework”, i.e. re-voting.

    DFL criticizes protest and invites dialogue

    The DFL insists on its arguments and calls on the active scenes not to carry out their protests on the backs of all fans. Of course, criticism is accepted in the curves, the DFL said in a nearly 1,000-word statement – but it is not in the spirit of sport if protest is “at the expense of the teams and the sporting competition” and games cannot be played regularly: “That Last but not least, it affects millions of fans.”

    The DFL therefore invites dialogue. The protests against a “strategic partnership” and thus the participation of an investor in future income had recently become more intense. On Saturday, fans of Hertha BSC in the second division forced a more than 30-minute interruption of the top game against Hamburger SV with a rain of tennis balls. Several games in the Bundesliga were also interrupted.

    The DFL said its executive committee had invited fan organizations and alliances to further discussions. Not every exchange can guarantee that everyone will agree afterwards: “Both the DFL and the clubs respect when fan groups reject the chosen model. However, part of dealing with one another in a sporting manner is that the other person's arguments are heard.”

    Detailed explanations of several points of criticism followed. This means an investor – CVC and Blackstone are still in the running – has “no influence on the sporting competition, kick-off times, game locations, league composition or other sporting issues”. The 50+1 model is not in danger.

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