Fear of existence: Leverkusen, Wolfsburg and Hoffenheim beg the DFL presidium


Leverkusen –

Now the factory clubs are sounding the alarm and begging the 15 other Bundesliga clubs in the DFL! According to a “Handelsblatt” report, the three Bundesliga soccer teams Bayer Leverkusen, VfL Wolfsburg and TSG Hoffenheim criticized the Federal Cartel Office on June 12th because of concerns about the 50 + 1 rule. They fear for their existence.

  • Cartel Office has concerns with factory clubs
  • Bayer Leverkusen, VfL Wolfsburg and TSG Hoffenheim in the criticism
  • Clubs are now demanding solidarity from the Bundesliga

The trio complains in a joint letter to the Presidium of the German Football League (DFL) about “consequences that are understandably unacceptable for us”. In the worst case, the clubs would disappear from the game.

At the request of the DPA, the DFL did not comment on the report on Saturday.

Cartel Office has concerns about exemptions for Bayer Leverkusen, Wolfsburg and Hoffenheim

In a preliminary legal assessment at the end of May, the Federal Cartel Office officially expressed concerns about the exemption permits for Leverkusen, Wolfsburg and Hoffenheim.

The three Bundesliga clubs are not bound by the 50 + 1 rule, according to which the parent club must continue to have the majority of the votes after its professional department has been outsourced to a corporation. This is intended to limit the influence of external donors on a club. The Bayer Group is behind Leverkusen, Volkswagen is behind Wolfsburg, and SAP co-founder Dietmar Hopp is behind Hoffenheim.

50 + 1 rule: factory clubs demand solidarity from the league

In the letter that the “Handelsblatt” claims to have been given, the three clubs are now demanding solidarity from the DFL, and they are even asked to be intensively involved in further consultations.

In the “sense of the integrity of the Bundesliga”, “it must now be the common interest of all of us to deal with this difficult situation in a targeted manner and with diplomatic skill”.

The DFL will discuss how to deal with the 50 + 1 rule at an extraordinary general meeting in July. The DFL announced this on Thursday. The three clubs also want to speak there.

In 2018, at the request of the majority of the 36 professional clubs, the DFL requested an assessment from the Federal Cartel Office in order to have possible antitrust concerns regarding the basic application and interpretation of the 50 + 1 rule examined. The rule has been one of the big and, above all, emotionally charged issues in professional football for years. (dpa)

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