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    Stuttgart boss calls for new vote on DFL investor


    After tennis ball protests
    Stuttgart boss calls for new vote on DFL investor

    The upcoming investor deal in German professional football continues to heat up people's minds. Fans have been protesting in stadiums for weeks and some clubs, including high-flyers VfB Stuttgart, are calling for a new vote. “Yes, that is necessary,” says the VfB president. He is not alone in this.

    There is growing support in German professional football for a repeat of the German Football League (DFL) investor vote. Claus Vogt, president of Bundesliga club VfB Stuttgart, was open to this idea.

    “Our understanding of democracy – also in football – should be: The majority decides,” wrote Vogt in Network Football will discuss with each other whether a new, transparent vote of all 36 clubs in the DFL is necessary. I think: yes, it is necessary!”

    According to the Sportschau, at least one other first division club is said to be in favor of a repeat and has addressed this suggestion in an open letter to the other clubs in the Bundesliga and the 2nd Bundesliga. According to “Sport Bild”, Union President Dirk Zingler announced in a letter to the DFL executive committee that he would let the 36 clubs vote on the outcome of the negotiations. However, the DFL presidium alone decides on the future investor. The decision is between CVC and Blackstone.

    Osnabrück also calls for more transparency

    The investor entry was passed by the general meeting in December in a secret ballot with an exact two-thirds majority of 24 votes. Hanover boss Martin Kind is also said to have agreed to this, contrary to his club's instructions. Without this vote the result would have been overturned. Kind had been instructed by the association to vote against the entry of investors. After the vote, Lower Saxony's majority shareholder refused to reveal whether he had voted yes or no. Kind referred to the secret vote.

    The second division club VfL Osnabrück is therefore calling on German football to learn lessons from the vote in December and to rely on transparent elections in the future. “We as VfL Osnabrück are currently preparing a corresponding application. This is the only way we can formally guarantee that the club representatives will implement the club's and members' will in DFL votes and act in accordance with the idea of ​​50+1,” said Osnabrück's managing director Michael Welling an interview with the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung”.

    Welling said that criticism was primarily caused by the fact that it “came about in a process that was perceived as non-transparent, especially in the secret vote.” “One has to admit self-critically afterwards that this, in conjunction with the narrow voting result, was not helpful for acceptance,” said Welling.

    “This groundbreaking decision should never have been made by secret vote within the DFL because this lack of transparency delegitimizes the decision itself and has further far-reaching consequences,” said the boss of the second division club.

    Massive protests in the past few weeks

    The controversial investor plan envisages selling six to nine percent of the shares in a DFL subsidiary, to which all media rights will be outsourced, for 20 years. There should be between 800 million and one billion euros for this. The fan alliance Unser Kurve had already called for the vote to be repeated in December.

    Recently there were protests from the fan scene in numerous stadiums. The second division game between Hertha BSC and Hamburger SV was even close to being canceled last Saturday due to ongoing protests, and many other matches were also temporarily interrupted.

    In Berlin, tennis balls were thrown onto the field, in other arenas imitation coins, in Elversberg lemons. In addition, banners are constantly being rolled out. On the one hand, the fans are concerned about commercialization, and on the other hand, they fear the influence of an investor. In addition, the way the vote took place in December last year also caused dissatisfaction.

    Martin Kind and Axel Hellmann warn

    Not all club representatives can relate to the fans' positions. From a series of requests to speak this week, two in particular stand out: that of the controversial Hanover majority shareholder Kind and that of Axel Hellmann, the CEO of Eintracht Frankfurt.

    The Frankfurt boss spoke at his club's general meeting on Monday and warned that German football could otherwise lose out on its European rivals. “You can be against this process and against its content. You can also express your protest,” said Hellmann. But you also have to think it through and say: “Then I am ready to accept step by step in German football that what we can achieve will decline and we will lose touch in European competition.”

    Kind, who remained silent about his voting behavior, denied the relevance of the protests two days later. “I think you can't solve problems by throwing tennis balls. That far exceeds my imagination,” said the 79-year-old entrepreneur to the “Hamburger Morgenpost”. “If you want something, you have to criticize, but also suggest alternative solutions.” Just criticizing is a typically German trait, Kind continued. But making suggestions for solutions “is completely missing and makes dialogue more difficult.”

    However, this dialogue now seems to be resuming due to the fans' tennis ball protests.

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