SportsGerman league wants no more 50+1 ownership rule exemptions in the Bundesliga

German league wants no more 50+1 ownership rule exemptions in the Bundesliga

Germany’s football league (DFL) presented a proposal on Wednesday to the country’s independent competition authority that aims to tighten ownership of clubs and rule out major investors taking over control of teams.

Current ownership rules blocks major investors from controlling a majority of voting rights in Bundesliga clubs under its ’50+1′ rule, except for VfL Wolfsburg, Hoffenheim and Bayer Leverkusen.

But the proposal submitted to Germany’s independent competition authority foresees granting no other such special exemptions and according to the DFL aims to tighten the legal certainty and compliance of their current ownership framework.

It did not say when it expected a decision on the matter.

“This proposal has now been submitted to the Bundeskartellamt,” the DFL said in a statement. “Among other things there shall be no exemptions offered in the future from the 50+1 rule.”

According to current DFL rules clubs cannot compete in the Bundesliga if commercial investors have more than a 49% stake. Clubs in Germany historically were not-for-profit organisations run by member associations.

While clubs in other major leagues in Europe change hands and are taken over by other investors, in Germany this is not possible due to the 50+1 rule.

The DFL said those clubs currently with an exemption would continue playing in the top leagues but would have to meet some criteria to retain their special status.

Hoffenheim major investor Dietmar Hopp said on March 1 he would be giving back the exemption of his club from the rule as he would be handing back the majority of his voting rights to the club without any compensation.


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