faced with supporters’ protests, the Bundesliga abandons the arrival of new investors in its capital

The project provided for the sale of 8% of the television rights for the next twenty seasons to a foreign private investor. He was buried on Wednesday.

France Télévisions – Sports Editorial


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A flag "Anti DFL" (the German football league), February 18, 2024 in Nuremberg.  (DANIEL KARMANN / DPA / AFP)

There will be no new foreign investors in the capital of the Bundesliga. In a press release published Wednesday February 21, the German Football League (DFL) announced the abandonment of this project, widely criticized by groups of supporters in the first and second divisions. It resulted from an agreement voted in December, providing for the transfer of 8% of the television rights for the next twenty seasons to a foreign private investor in exchange for an immediate financial contribution.

“In view of current developments, a successful continuation of the process no longer seems possible”, admitted Hans-Joachim Watzke, spokesperson for the DFL presidium after a meeting in Frankfurt. This conclusion was adopted unanimously, he said, quoted in a press release (in German).

Adopted by 24 of the 36 Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 clubs, the project aroused the anger of numerous groups of supporters, notably decided to temporarily interrupt certain matches. Supporter communities are at the origin of major conflicts which increasingly endanger the functioning of the game, the specific course of the game and therefore the integrity of the competition.detailed Hans-Joachim Watzke.

By using their role as a counter-power, the supporters’ associations won their case, in a country historically reluctant to the arrival of foreign capital in football. The 50+1 rule, according to which the same shareholder cannot hold more than 49% of the shares of a club, and therefore be the majority shareholder, is still in force (despite several circumventions, notably in the case of RB Leipzig, owned by Red Bull).

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