Hellmann corrects: “don’t know how child voted”

Status: 12.02.2024 22: 00

Axel Hellmann has corrected a statement from which it could be concluded that Martin Kind had participated in the vote on an Investor “Okay” voted. The Voice of the managing director of Hannover 96 has been causing discussions for months and is the subject of the currently massive fan protests.

“I don’t know how Mr. Child voted. I should have used the subjunctive linguistically.”, Hellmann, as a member of the Presidium of the Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL), announced on Monday (12.02.2024) at the request of the Sportschau.

The day before, Hellmann had said in the program” Bild Sport “broadcast by” Welt TV: “We had a valid proxy from Martin Kind. That was the 24th. Voice.”

This statement suggested that Hellmann knew the voting behavior of the manager of Second Division Hannover 96.

Child is silent about behavior during secret voting

Since the vote on 11. On December 30, 2023, when exactly the necessary two-thirds majority of 24 clubs was achieved for the entry of an investor, there are discussions about kind’s voting behavior. Hannover’s majority shareholder has remained silent since then, citing the secret ballot.

Kind’s well-known stance for an Investor, public pledges by eleven clubs to “no”votes and abstentions, and information from Sportschau and other media that the 1. FC Kaiserslautern voted against the Deal, suggesting that a “yes” came from Hannover.

However, Hannover 96 e.V. had previously instructed child to vote “No” and communicated this publicly.

Child’s voice and the 50 + 1 rule

There are differing views as to whether Martin Kind, with a “Yes”vote, would have violated the 50+1 Rule, an integral part of German professional football. The rule states that the majority of votes must be with the parent club, even if the club’s Capital Company is one of 36 shareholders in the DFL.

There has been a dispute between the Stammverein Hannover 96 e.V. and the capital side represented by Kind for years. The e.V. would like to remove the managing director, but despite the 50+1 rule, it does not have a sufficient majority in the responsible body.

Hellmann: child’s vote definitely “legally valid”

“I was interested in the following clarification: it is often assumed that The Voice of Mr. child will be the 24th voice of Mr. child. Yes-there was a voice. But even if that were the case, that vote would be valid.“, it continues in Axel Hellmann’s response to the Sportschau’s request.

He thus followed the arguments of the DFL managing directors Marc Lenz and Steffen Merkel, who had already said directly after the meeting in December that the right of direction in Hanover was an internal matter of the club, but did not affect a child’s voting behavior at the league association.

Fans protest in many stadiums-also because of 50+1

In many stages of the Bundesliga and the 2. Bundesliga, there have been massive fan protests for weeks against the possible entry of an investor who would be called either “CVC” or “Blackstone”, both Private Equity companies. With thrown tennis balls, chocolate coins and other actions, some organized fan scenes forced the 21st century. Matchday of the two highest leagues significant game interruptions, for example in the Games 1. FC Union Berlin vs. VfL Wolfsburg and Hamburger SV v Hannover 96.

A crucial part of the criticism relates to the secret ballot. In addition to the lack of transparency, a supposed hollowing out of the 50+1 rule by Martin Kind is also criticized.

Demand for further coordination of officials

In order to dispel the doubts, in addition to Fans, club officials demanded another, this time open vote. Dirk Zingler, President of the 1. FC Union Berlin, the Sportschau said: “Unfortunately, we have not managed to avoid the appearance that there is a violation of 50+1.” He therefore advocates that the final negotiated offer be put to the vote. “What speaks against it?”

According to Hellmann, this vote is not possible at all because the result of the 11. “Legally effective” and no one took legal action against it within the prescribed period.

At that time, the DFL presidium had been given the mandate to complete the negotiations with an Investor without again obtaining a two-thirds majority of all clubs.

Claus Vogt gets the Stone Rolling

Like Zingler, leading representatives of the Second Division clubs VfL Osnabrück, Hertha BSC, Eintracht Braunschweig, Karlsruher SC and Hansa Rostock, as well as Claus Vogt of the Bundesliga club VfB Stuttgart, also speak out for another vote. Vogt had started the public discussion on Wednesday (07.02.2024) with a Post on social media.

Other clubs join Axel Hellmann. “We currently see no reason to allow another Democratic vote to follow“, Borussia Dortmund said in response to a request from the magazine “11 Friends”, which surveyed all 36 clubs. According to the Report, Mainz 05, SC Paderborn, RB Leipzig and 1. FC Heidenheim no need for another vote.

Another vote is planned anyway

At least one further vote is planned anyway: as a structural prerequisite for the entry of a partner, a corresponding amendment to the Articles of association is necessary, for which a two-thirds majority is required. According to the articles of association, the DFL sees the clubs in the obligation to also structurally clear the way for entry after the general vote, a club lawyer expressed doubts about this.

Why DFL wants a Partner

The 36 clubs largely agree that the DFL needs to evolve. More digitization, better transmission technology, an offer for younger target groups and growth abroad are the goals. There was disagreement in the run-up to the December vote on how to finance the necessary measures.

The framework conditions of the model approved in December stipulate that the Investor will have a maximum share of eight percent in marketing revenue for 20 years. The DFL is to receive one billion euros in return. The hope of the DFL: revenues are rising overall and the business is worthwhile for both sides.

The DFL repeatedly assured that the Investor would have no influence on areas such as kick-off times or appointments abroad. Instead, the model offers the Chance to permanently hold the Association of 36 clubs together.

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