Bundeskartellamt investigates, Hannover 96 attacks DFL

bundeskartellamt investigates hannover 96 attacks dfl

Last Update: 15.02.2024 19: 14

The Federal Cartel Office wants to review the 50 + 1 rule again. After the procedure was considered almost completed, a new assessment could now come about through the secret vote on the entry of DFL investors. Hannover 96, meanwhile, is exercising massive criticism of the DFL.

The Bundeskartellamt shows the DFL the yellow card in matters of the 50+1 rule. The competition Guardians have announced in a letter to the parties to the proceedings, which is available to the Sports Show, “familiarise yourself with the latest developments regarding the application of the 50+1 rule by the DFL and then advise on further action”.

The termination of the proceedings before the Federal Cartel Office was last considered a formality after the compromise found last year and the conditions announced by the DFL for the so-called Factory clubs such as Bayer Leverkusen and VfL Wolfsburg, where 50+1 does not apply. However, this compromise was also questioned by some clubs.

Doubts about compliance with 50 + 1

But this assessment is now apparently wavering: Association rules must be transparent, objective, precise and non-discriminatory, writes the Bundeskartellamt on request. This should also be reflected in their practical application. Last but not least, the judgment of the European Court of justice on Super League I recently confirmed this again. “This Handling can allow conclusions to be drawn as to whether the DFL pursues the objectives of the rule consistently and consistently”, The Cartel Office continued.

But there are massive doubts about that. The background is the controversial entry of an investor at DFL. This had been approved in December in a secret ballot with the votes of 24 clubs – exactly the necessary two-thirds majority. There is suspicion that the decisive vote came from Martin Kind, the managing director and Investor of Second Division Hannover 96, even though the parent club had instructed him to vote against the entry of an investor.

Hannover 96 attacks DFL

Child has not yet publicly commented on his voting behavior. However, if he actually voted “Yes”, this would be a flagrant violation of the 50+1 rule. This is intended to ensure that parent clubs such as Hannoversche Sportverein 1896 e.v. retain the final decision-making power even if the professional sector is merged into a Capital Company such as Hannover 96 GmbH & Co. KGaA was spun off. In Hanover, the dispute has been simmering for years.

The club attacked the DFL massively on Thursday. This danger “through conscious inaction” the existence of the 50+1 rule in German football, it said in a public statement of the board and the Supervisory Board of Hannover 96. “The DFL managers and the members of the DFL must not raise any further doubts about the seriousness of a consistent application of the 50+1 rule and must now immediately prove that they comply with and live the 50+1 rule”, the letter continued.

The interest group of organized football fans “Unsere Kurve e.V.” also exercises massive criticism of the DFL with regard to the handling of the 50+1 rule. It is true that compliance with the rule in the context of negotiations with a potential Investor was called one of the “red lines”. However, when the decision was taken in December, the DFL closed its eyes and ears.

Only in this way was it possible that a secret vote among the 36 clubs of the two federal leagues could have resulted in an obvious but difficult to prove 50+1 violation. “This credibility problem not only angers Fans, but also makes the Cartel Office pay attention to the extent to which the necessary compliance with the rule is ensured by the DFL”, writes “Our curve”.

DFL expresses understanding for Cartel Office

The DFL, meanwhile, at the request of the Sportschau, expressed understanding that the Bundeskartellamt was considering the application of the 50+1 rule. Especially in view of the ongoing debates around the potential marketing partnership.

“We hope that the procedure will continue in the course of this season by making the commitments submitted binding in accordance with the draft decision of 13 may. May 2023”, the DFL continues. “There are no signs of a fundamental change in this assessment of the Federal Cartel Office.”

Crossed red lines

Since the beginning of the year, the organized fan scenes have been protesting against the entry of an investor. They also emphasize the clear violation of the 50+1 rule in the DFL vote. For example, the “South Curve 1. FC Köln” (in a Statement to understand that the DFL has crossed a red line from their point of view: We will not accept this crossing of borders.” The ongoing Fan protests are legitimate, the vote on the entry of an investor is not.

That is why the Fans call for the vote to be carried out again and transparently. Also, some clubs have recently endorsed a new vote. The DFL has so far refused. When asked by the Sportschau whether a new, open vote is planned in view of a possible re-examination, the DFL deviates. Instead, it is pointed out that in December, even on Express demand, no club objected to the proposed form of secret ballot.

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