Watzke confirms the end of the process

The DFL’s investor deal has fallen through. This was confirmed by presidential spokesman Hans-Joachim Watzke.

The planned investor deal in the Bundesliga is off the table. The Presidium of the German Football League (DFL) decided this at its extraordinary meeting in Frankfurt am Main on Wednesday.

“A successful continuation of the process no longer seems possible in view of current developments,” said Hans-Joachim Watzke, spokesman for the DFL Presidium. “Even if there is a large majority in favor of the entrepreneurial necessity of the strategic partnership: German professional football is in the midst of a breaking point.”

This not only causes disputes within the league association, but also within the clubs as well as among players, coaches, those responsible, supervisory boards, general meetings and fans. That would endanger game operations, game progression and the integrity of the competition, said Watzke.

Parts of the fan scene recently protested massively against the plans. Many games in the 1st and 2nd Bundesliga were interrupted, sometimes for minutes, because tennis balls, chocolate chips or even electric cars landed on the field. Several games were about to be canceled.

Controversial role of 96 boss Martin Kind

When the 36 professional clubs voted on the deal in December last year, the necessary two-thirds majority was only barely achieved. Due to the controversial role of Hanover managing director Kind, there is suspicion that the vote could have violated the 50+1 rule. The rule limits the influence of external donors on clubs in the first and second divisions.

Watzke now stated that it should not be overlooked that this vote lacked broad acceptance due to the events surrounding Hannover 96. “Given the great asset we hold in our hands with the 50+1 rule, ignoring this should not be our approach. The DFL Presidium is unanimous in its support of the 50+1 rule.” Any new vote would raise further legal questions about the assessment of the decision made in December, Watzke added. “Avoiding this and returning to orderly game operations must be the DFL’s primary goal.”

Hanover’s club management had instructed Kind to vote against the investor’s entry. However, the voting results and the public confessions of those opposing the proposal suggest that the 79-year-old voted yes and thus helped the DFL plan gain the necessary majority. Child himself does not comment on his vote.