DFL investor deal canceled: The Bundesliga saves itself from the big bang

There will never be an agreement about who owns German football. What is now undoubted is that the fans in the stadiums, who make the game shine and shine in the largest arenas in the country, are good stewards of the sport. They use their power and capital listens. Good news.

Football fans are often portrayed as a brutalized, violent mass. This was exactly not the case with the weeks of protests in the German stadiums. They forced the German Football League to rethink things with tennis balls, paper airplanes, remote-controlled cars and camels. The investor deal has now fallen through. In addition to being angry at the idea itself, fan representatives and several clubs criticized the non-transparent procedure and called for at least an open repetition of the secret election.

Now the league has broken off all negotiations. And even if the usual suspects from the tabloids are now talking about the clubs’ new ability to be blackmailed, on the contrary, this is a victory for German football, which proves once again how valuable the Bundesliga’s cultural asset is and how responsible it is, even if it is under pressure, is dealt with.

“German professional football,” said Hans-Joachim Watzke, spokesman for the Presidium of the German Football League (DFL), “is in the middle of a test that is taking place not only within the league association between the clubs, but also partly within the clubs between Professionals, coaches, club officials, supervisory bodies, general meetings and fan communities are causing major disputes that are increasingly vehemently endangering game operations, specific game processes and thus the integrity of the competition.”

A peaceful mutiny that should make you proud

In recent weeks, the numerous throwing of objects had indeed put football to a tough test. But no game had to be stopped, also because the referees had a de-escalating effect and calmly continued the game. In the game between Hertha and Magdeburg, referee Florian Exner created a novelty, ending the first half early and allowing the remaining time to be played after the break. So he brought an end to the protests with impressive calm.

Most of the officials and players also showed their understanding for the fans’ tennis ball throws, although some of them, such as Dortmund professionals Emre Can and Niclas Füllkrug, recently lost their patience a little. The Bundesliga games became more and more unsightly, leading some observers to recommend tomato tosses to the fans because only these represented the standard of the games, which were characterized by numerous interruptions.

Abroad, the spectators’ ongoing expressions of displeasure were particularly well received because of the manner in which they protested. Here fans stood for something and were sometimes more and sometimes less creative. In particular, the remote-controlled cars, the paper airplanes and the bicycle locks had never been seen there before. Tennis balls, on the other hand, do. The “tennis ball mutiny” was ultimately a peaceful one and one that the entire German football community can look back on with pride.

The fight is not yet lost

Because it wasn’t just the spectators who won, but football in general, which has received more popularity these days than it has for a long time. There has been a lot of talk in recent years about how the game has become alienated from its roots. They have now made it unmistakably clear: the battle for the board game of football is far from lost. VfB Stuttgart welcomed the “understandable decision of the DFL Presidium, which allows all of us who love football to come together again.”

After the DFL’s withdrawal, the situation has been pacified for the time being. Questions still remain unanswered: What happens next with the 50+1 regulation, which is once again under scrutiny after the controversial vote that was presumably pushed through by Hanover majority owner Martin Kind against the will of the eV? The situation at Hannover 96 in particular had undermined trust in the voting process; the DFL had explicitly referred to the problem at the second division club in a remarkable statement: It should not be overlooked that this vote was broadened due to the events surrounding Hannover 96 Acceptance is missing. In view of the great asset that we hold in our hands with the 50+1 rule, ignoring this cannot be our approach. The DFL Presidium is unanimous in its support of the 50+1 rule. ”

“For the people, the stadium is home”

How do the country’s two most popular clubs, FC Bayern and Borussia Dortmund, behave when it comes to the DFL’s central marketing? What does Bayer boss Fernando Carro say, who threatened the Second Bundesliga clubs with a spin-off before the second vote in December?

These are all questions for the future. For now, however, it’s game, set and victory for everyone who fought with great passion against the influence of an investor, whether it existed or not, and who managed to change the image of football fans Germany to confirm again. In a league whose imagery is internationally based on the country’s colorful curves and stands, they have underlined their reputation as the protectors of a resistance against the desert capitalism of sport that is breaking away in the rest of football.

“The people love this game, for them the stadium is home. Football needs a responsible approach towards the people who make this game, the fans,” said Kay Bernstein, the president of Hertha BSC, who died far too early in January , said in summer 2023. With today’s decision by the DFL, German football has taken a step in this direction. The question now is what results from this.

source site-33