It was a short but very important message, when Bundesliga-club Hannover 96 addressed a petition to the DFL and DFB to abolish the “50+1-Rule”.
The “50+1-Rule” implies that one person can only hold shares by the size of 49% of a club. Because of this, a prospect club owner has no majority vote and cannot conduct the club operations. The originally club members are in the position to overrule the owner of the biggest share; this condition isn’t attractive for persons like Roman Abramowitsch or Malcom Glazer.
Critics say that this rule interfere the development of the Bundesliga, because the clubs aren’t been able to buy the best players like Cristiano Ronaldo or Kaka. The clubs must remain competitive in the Champion’s League to their opponents from the Premier League; hereto the DFL must abolish the rule for becoming more attractive for investors.
The fans and several officials deny an abolition of that rule. The fans want to avoid the commercialization of their clubs like Chelsea or Manchester United, because of losing ground and higher ticket prizes. In the last months several fan communities initiated some demonstrations to show their repulsion. The fans moan, that the Bundesliga will loose its identity and soul and will turn into a shady business.
A successful abolition needs a two-third majority at the conventions of the DFL (Bundesliga) and the DFB (The German Football Association). At the moment a majority seems to be unrealistic, because the most clubs follow the fan opinion about the abolition. Hannover 96 is till now the only club in the league, who wants some changes to exploit new financial resources. But former Bayern Munich manger Uli Hoeneß said after a loss in the Champion’s League last year, that in perpetuity the Bundesliga clubs have to think of some changes to win a European club-title.
Nowadays the “50+1-Rule” generates the main difference between the Bundesliga and the Premier League. The Premier League clubs have success in winning titles, the Bundesliga have the higher attendance, a better fan involvement and lower ticket prizes. The future will reveal, which is the right way of celebrating football.