FC St. Pauli Proposes New Voting Process Amid Controversy Over Investor Entry in DFL

FC St. Pauli Proposes New Voting Process Amid Controversy Over Investor Entry in DFL

FC St. Pauli explains that regarding the vote “There are major moral and credibility reservations” and proposes a new voting process.
(Cover photo: Stefan Groenveld)

The events and reports are currently overflowing. Several DFL clubs have now publicly called for a new vote on investor entry into the DFL. Among them are with the VfB Stuttgart (President Vogt on Twitter), Hansa Rostock (OZ €) and the Karlsruhe SC (SWR) even three clubs who, according to their own statements, voted “yes” in the vote at the beginning of December. Also Eintracht Braunschweig, Hertha BSC (Berliner Morgenpost €) and Union Berlin (WORLD €), as well as the VfL Osnabrück (NOZ €), all of which said they voted “no”, publicly advocated for a new vote.

The fact that one has to rely on the information provided by the clubs when it comes to the question of voting behavior is because the vote at the beginning of December on whether the DFL should start negotiations with possible investors was held secretly. There was the necessary two-thirds majority for this, but with the narrowest of all results: 24 clubs voted in favor, ten against, two abstained (which, due to the necessary approval, amounts to a “no”). FC St. Pauli is one of the clubs that voted “no”.

Hannover 96 eV massively criticizes the DFL

The parent club of the second division club Hannover 96 has now also commented on the vote and expressed massive criticism of the DFL and Martin Kind. There is an accusation that Kind, managing director and investor at Lower Saxony, voted “yes” to the investor question, even though the parent club had instructed him to vote “no”. This would be a blatant violation of the 50+1 rule.

The board of the Hannoversche Sportverein von 1896 eV also expressed massive criticism of the DFL in its statement: “In the run-up to the vote on a possible investor entry, we informed the DFL both of the instructions to Martin Kind himself to vote no in the vote and of the negative reaction to this from Martin Kind’s lawyers.”
Through behavior, through “conscious inaction” the DFL is endangering the continued existence of the 50+1 rule.

Federal Cartel Office is checking again

Due to the recent events surrounding the vote, the Federal Cartel Office has now also announced this in an internal letter “To familiarize yourself with the latest developments regarding the DFL’s application of the 50+1 rule and then discuss how to proceed.” (Sports Show). This could be nothing less than a disaster for the DFL. They explained to the Sportschau that they were still hoping for the process to be completed this season and: “There are no signs of a fundamental change in this assessment by the Federal Cartel Office.”

FC St. Pauli sees “credibility reservations”

In view of the events in Hanover and the now publicly formulated allegations by the parent club of Hannover 96, FC St. Pauli explained in response to MillernTon’s request that the content of the statement from Hanover was not new, the relevant and formal facts “However, from a legal perspective it cannot be clearly assessed from all sides” be. The main thing is that things need to be clarified internally, i.e. between H96 eV and Hanover’s capital side “To what extent the right to issue instructions is valid for which circumstances.” Legal clarification of this issue is therefore required and this is extremely difficult.

FC St. Pauli emphasized in this context “that 50+1 is of course based on this right to issue instructions (in fields coordinated with the respective eV)” and that “There are major moral and credibility reservations regarding the vote.”

Oke Göttlich, full-time president of FC St. Pauli and DFL executive board member, has advocated for the voting process on investor entry into the DFL to be reopened. // (c) Peter Boehmer

Same suggestion as 1. FC Köln

On Thursday it became known that 1. FC Cologne is also calling for a new vote on investor involvement in the DFL. According to Sportschau, the Cologne team announced the DFL “Send a formal application promptly to exempt the DFL Executive Board from the final mandate issued by the general meeting.”
When we asked, FC St. Pauli explained that they had “Long before 1. FC Cologne, this exact proposal was floated in a DFL executive committee meeting – on December 19, 2023.”also suggests reopening the voting process on investor entry into the DFL.

However, according to FCSP, there are concerns that “A possible new vote allows for major legal interpretations, including possible liability risks against the background of a vote that is hardly formally contestable and a large majority vote of the DFL members to commit the investor process.” Although several clubs have already called for the voting process to be reopened, there are also others who have taken a position against it: Borussia Dortmund, Eintracht Frankfurt, FSV Mainz 05, SC Paderborn, RB Leipzig and 1. FC Heidenheim (Source: 11 friends (€)). This disagreement gives an indication of how complex the situation is for the DFL at the moment. If the voting process were to be reopened, a lawsuit by those clubs that voted for investor involvement at the beginning of December is a real scenario.

Some clubs want to stick to the investor process

FC St. Pauli explained that after the first investor process collapsed in May, the second investor process in December “contains many improvements,” but they still voted against it because this was discussed and decided in the association’s internal committees and was also voted on at the general meeting. Nevertheless there is “sufficiently well-founded and logical motives for the league” to invest money to “not to slip any further in the international league rankings.” Why the international ranking is also important for a second division club? Because the slipping there “In the long term, a financial disadvantage for all clubs” would entail, explains FC St. Pauli. The association explains that no other financing model for projects in the area of ​​digitalization is known, despite examination. So be it “A further increase in the tax rate to the DFL by the clubs is not a financial alternative for many clubs.”

The ever-increasing international competition revenue is generally a problem because it creates more and more financial pressure, explains FC St. Pauli. Therefore it must Football business needs to be regulated.” This is primarily about squad cost and/or salary caps, but also other points that the FCSP, for example, has recorded in a position paper together with its fan scene. The financial problems in the clubs, which are also a result of the pandemic, probably played an important role in their voting behavior on the investor question.

Potential investor dropped out

The disunity between the clubs, but also the fan protests of the last few weeks, have had an impact. Blackstone, one of the potential investors, has now pulled out, according to the financial news agency Bloomberg due to the ongoing protests and the hesitant attitude of the Bundesliga clubs (kicker). Given further developments in the last few days and hours, the outcome of this issue is completely open.

// Tim

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2024-02-16 11:29:07
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