Bundesliga column: Plastic trio at the top of the table – Bundesliga

There is more and more talk of a dwarfing of the Bundesliga. And now you can also find a lot of “plastic” at the top of the table. At least in the eyes of the commercial opponents in German football.

1st place Wolfsburg, 2nd place Hoffenheim, 3rd place Leverkusen – insulted as a factory, hop or pill club.

After two match days, that doesn’t mean much, of course. But the trio reminds everyone that there is a huge problem that urgently needs to be solved. And that will massively change German club football.

At the end of May, the Federal Cartel Office declared the 50 + 1 rule to be harmless, according to which the majority of the voting shares in a professional club must always be with the club and not with an investor. But for reasons of competition, the exception rule from this rule was objected to. And that affects Wolfsburg, Hoffenheim and Leverkusen.

VfL Wolfsburg has been wholly owned by Volkswagen AG since 2001. The majority of votes at TSG Hoffenheim has been 97% with patron Dietmar Hopp since 2005. And Bayer Leverkusen has been a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bayer AG since 1999.

The exception rule of 50 + 1 was granted if a financial supporter had been significantly committed over more than 20 years, including in the youth and amateur sector.

According to the preliminary assessment by the Cartel Office, this supposed competitive advantage must be abolished. A solution is needed. But what should this look like?

Refusing the license to the three clubs with their existing corporate forms would result in a wave of lawsuits that could ultimately shake the entire Bundesliga.

Photo: Andreas Pohl

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Bayer Leverkusen greets from the Champions League ranks after a successful start to the seasonPhoto: Andreas Pohl

Abolishing the 50 + 1 rule for all clubs is facing massive opposition from traditionalists, commercial opponents and numerous clubs.

A financial compensation (= compensation) for the distribution of the TV money is even being discussed. But if, for example, VW-Wolfsburg could “buy” a place in the Bundesliga, the system would be really sick.

If I had to say I would abolish the 50 + 1 rule and allow any club that wants to have an investor. This would not only solve the problem of special rules.

Perhaps another club than FC Bayern would then become champions. And German clubs in Europe are more competitive, especially against the Premier League and Paris Saint-Germain.

But of course I have nothing to say. And I’m not the only one excited to see how the Bundesliga will answer this fateful question.




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