BLSV in turbulence: Jörg Ammon elected, not ideas – sport

Association days quite rightly have a bad reputation. So much meaningless stuff is said that whenever it gets really interesting at the end, most of the delegates are already tired. So it’s no surprise that the Bavarian State Sports Association (BLSV), as the umbrella organization for 57 professional associations and 11,700 clubs, stands out in this respect and uses all of its experience. First, the Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann (CSU) spoke half an hour longer than planned, and many of the approximately 320 representatives of the associations, the sports districts and districts in this basement of a Munich hotel should have thought about it, just like outside the sun is shining. Then President Jörg Ammon, 52, presented his very long report, which nevertheless did not address many sensitive issues and justified most of the association’s problems with Corona and increased energy prices.

Ammon talked and talked, and when it came to a discussion in a completely divided association, many were no longer interested. After a good half hour, the end of the debate was requested to applause. After years of mutual recriminations, this discussion was significantly shorter than Herrmann’s speech or Ammon’s self-promotion. But the argument had also become entangled in itself. There were hardly any really substantive questions about possible misconduct by the Presidency. A good kilometer away from the House of Sports, Ammon used his home field advantage and was re-elected with almost 63 percent of the votes.

His challenger Harald Güller, who had nothing to do with the dispute in recent years, spoke of a “respectable success” with 120 to 202 votes and hoped that he “brought a little bit of movement into the association”. So that Ammon realizes that he has to change a few things. Ammon said you always “take something away when you get an opponent, and also reflect on yourself”.

The background: Three members of the Presidium filed criminal charges against Jörg Ammon in autumn 2021 because they could not view the files and the financial conduct of the President seemed strange to them. One of them, Alfons Hölzl, is also the chairman of “Team Sport-Bayern”, an association of 27 sports associations based in Oberhaching, which the BLSV sees as competition. The speeches of the suspended, present as trade association delegates, were accompanied by whispers, sometimes by boos. “The base is already slightly tired. The arguments weren’t new and aren’t getting any better,” explained Munich delegate and city councilor Beppo Brem (Die Grünen/Pink Liste). In the discussion, Brem called the BLSV a “weak association” because of the dispute.

Clubs and professional associations come together in the BLSV – a permanent struggle for distribution

In addition to animosity, there is also a structural problem, Brem believes: Only in Bavaria do the individual clubs and professional associations come together in the umbrella sports association. Actually, that’s a good thing, but there’s a constant struggle for distribution and rivalry between mass and top-class sport. The BLSV for 4.5 million members has total income of around 38 million euros.

At the same time, the association at its head is not getting any younger. Digitization has been more than bumpy. Not only, but also in this area, Ammon was accused in verbal contributions of mixing voluntary work with his job as a tax consultant. The representative of the billiards association, for example, warned that the president’s office should carry out the payroll accounting at the BLSV’s IT subsidiary, tuesday.sport. “It just doesn’t work,” he thought, as the head of the association he could never convey something like that to his members. But Ammon can obviously do that – by the way, the discharge of the board was the clearest vote of the day.

The criminal complaint from 2021 dealt, among other things, with the question of whether the presidency also awarded consultant contracts worth millions to a company whose boss had clear crosses in his CV with Ammon. Regarding the billing for tuesday.sports, Ammon pointed out that his law firm does this much cheaper than usual and that saves the BLSV money. However, the fact that Ammon is at least suspected of taking advantage after the previous story shows that the association still has a long way to go in the direction of modernization.

A large package of reforms introduced by the presidency fails

Ammon sees many tasks ahead. He stands for peace just like the opposing candidate Güller, he explained after the re-election in his usual calm voice. He was also asked about the long-standing dispute. Would he, also with a view to calming down, perhaps want to speak out for an end to the impeachment proceedings for the three suspended people, which are still formally ongoing? “Of course,” Ammon replied, but then immediately demanded that the other side approach each other. He also wants to strengthen volunteer work; but he doesn’t necessarily set a good example. Firstly, the BLSV itself recently experienced a very high turnover, secondly, the outgoing chairman of the supervisory board, Werner Lechner, indicated quite clearly that both sides had been crushed in the internal dispute.

After the aborted debate and the new elections, things continued quite heatedly. Because a large package of reforms introduced by the Presidency failed. After the motion for an overall vote on the eight topic packages failed to achieve the necessary three-quarters majority, the Executive Committee withdrew the entire motion. The statute-changing reform called “Strategy Plan 2030” includes points such as “more participation by women” or “development of districts and districts”, so it has a touch of modernization. At one point, however, it was also about abolishing honorary posts in a very specific position: in future, the president should be a full-time employee. But the re-elected Ammon did not get that much encouragement. He will now rely on the federation’s advisory board to eventually pass these reforms.

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