State aid for Schalke: football tradition is not systemically important

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Dhe corona crisis, like many other industries, has put the football industry in financial distress. Only since the Bundesliga could at least finish the season with their ghost games and generate income, has calm returned to most locations. But nobody can predict which difficulties still have to be overcome.

The imbalance of Schalke 04, the third-strongest German football club in terms of sales and the sixth largest sports club in the world, has only marginally to do with the effects of the pandemic, even if those responsible in Gelsenkirchen last tried to sacrifice the traditional club to portray the current crisis. The bad numbers were on the table before the pandemic.

In reality, mismanagement and megalomania have moved Schalke 04 close to the abyss. The longstanding chairman of the supervisory board, Clemens Tönnies, stands for this fatal arrogance, who will now resign from his position in the club after 19 years at the top. His crisis management in the club was a failure – with his large slaughterhouse in Rheda-Wiedenbrück and the largest corona hotspot in the country, he is in front of a shard of broken glass.

Many reputable football clubs should be annoyed that the football company Schalke 04, which had shrunk to the biggest problem in the Bundesliga, could be saved from ruin with a multi-million dollar guarantee from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Ten years ago, only the entry of an urban energy company in Gelsenkirchen ensured the stability of the wavering giant.

None of those responsible learned from it. Even if a guarantee does not mean that taxpayer money actually ends up in a poorly run professional company and that millions of euros in salaries are financed by players, coaches and managers, this is sending the wrong signal by politicians. Football tradition is a nice thing – but not systemically important.

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