The German Football League aimed to find an investor in a two billion euro project, which professional clubs opposed.
German professional clubs have opposed the search for an investor, a two billion euro project supported by the management of the League (DFL), which did not obtain a two-thirds majority in a vote on Wednesday afternoon in Frankfurt.
Gathered in a hotel near Frankfurt airport, the 36 Bundesliga and second division clubs failed to find a two-thirds majority, necessary for the opening of discussions in the search for an investor. The project is considered vital for the competitiveness of German professional football by the current interim presidents of the DFL, Axel Hellmann and Oliver Leki.
Just 20 clubs voted to go ahead with the DFL project, four short of the two-thirds majority needed to continue the process, explained Hans-Joachim Watzke, chairman of the DFL board.
Broadcast rights of 1.3 billion euros per season
“The project is abandoned today. It’s democracy“, he said, face closed, at a press conference. The DFL wanted to find an investor capable of injecting two billion euros into German professional football: 750 million for marketing and the creation of a streaming platform, 300 million for the clubs according to a free distribution (faithful to the principles of distribution), and the rest in investments.
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In return, the German league would have created a subsidiary with a lifespan of more than 20 years, into which all income from television rights in Germany and abroad would have been paid, and in which the investor would have held 12.5% of the shares. Currently, broadcast rights for the German 1st and 2nd division leagues generate revenues of 1.3 billion euros each season.
The project was strongly criticized by supporter groups of most clubs. The banners “NO to an investorhave flourished in German stadiums lately, for fear of interference from the chosen investor. A petition with 9,000 signatures was presented at the DFL meeting. Some clubs have led the revolt against the management of the DFL, like FC Cologne (Bundesliga) and Sankt-Pauli (2nd division).