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    Organized football fans rage against the DFL


    New escalation level reached
    Organized football fans rage against the DFL

    The investor dispute continues to escalate. The German Football League is coming under increasing pressure. A statement published on Thursday sparked great anger among organized fans. The league is threatened with a weekend of escalation.

    The fans have sparked the next level of escalation in the dispute over investor entry. The large representations of supporters feel provoked by the German Football League (DFL) and have violently attacked the league association. In a joint statement, the fans accused the DFL of ignorance and again called for the vote to be repeated. The massive protests in the stadiums are set to continue, and the pressure on the bosses is increasing.

    “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,” the groups wrote: ” There is no alternative to a new vote simply to demonstrate consistent compliance with and respect for 50+1.”

    The criticism was triggered by the DFL statement on Thursday about the protests. The almost 1,000-word statement said nothing about the investor vote and the numerous demands for a new vote. “Not a single line about criticizing the outcome of the vote. Not a single line about how this will shake 50+1 to its foundations. Not a single line about how the DFL wants to approach the critics,” the angry fans commented on the statement.

    Several club bosses want a new vote

    In the past few days, several club bosses have shown understanding for the fans' protests and have therefore also spoken out in favor of a repeat of the vote on December 11th. VfB Stuttgart, Union Berlin, Hertha BSC and Karlsruher SC, among others, are calling for a new vote.

    According to VfB boss Claus Vogt, there should be no “business as usual”. Vogt fears game cancellations and replays. “That would be the greatest possible damage to German football. In this respect, we want and must prevent this together. This can only be done together through transparency, dialogue, common understanding and democratic decisions.”

    The fans are demanding a similar attitude from all of professional football. “We expressly welcome the public positioning of some club representatives who share our position,” said the statement: “And we expect all DFL members – from our clubs – to act in accordance with the respective members' opinions and, as a result, for call for a new vote.”

    The new DFL leadership is under pressure to act

    In the vote in December, the investor entry was waved through at the meeting of the 36 first and second division clubs with the exact necessary two-thirds majority of 24 votes. Managing director Martin Kind of Hannover 96 is said to have also agreed to this, contrary to his club's instructions – which would raise big questions about the 50+1 rule. Without this vote the result would have been overturned.

    Since the vote, fans have protested more and more violently in the stadiums. “The DFL leadership has been ignoring the criticism from the curves since it began at the end of last year. It seems as if they want to wait out the conflict,” the supporter groups said: “The longer the protests are ignored, the more united we become for one Call for a new vote.”

    Due to the fans' protests and the statements made by Vogt and colleagues, the DFL is under pressure to act. The leadership around managing directors Marc Lenz and Steffen Merkel actually wanted to conclude the deal with a donor soon – this schedule seems more and more questionable.

    Two interested parties are still in the running. The financial investors CVC and Blackstone want to acquire shares in a DFL subsidiary, to which all media rights are outsourced, for 20 years. A minority stake of a maximum of eight percent is planned. This is expected to raise one billion euros.

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