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New Bundesliga clubs hurting league's global popularity - Schalke executive

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New Bundesliga clubs hurting league's global popularity - Schalke executive

GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany -- Schalke marketing executive Alexander Jobst has said newly established Bundesliga clubs like Ingolstadt and Hoffenheim are a threat to the league's plans for international growth, and warned against the fall of the 50+1 rule.

"It would be beneficial for the league's positioning abroad if clubs like VfB Stuttgart and Hannover 96 were to return to the top flight next season," he told ESPN FC.

In recent years, clubs including Hoffenheim, Ingolstadt and RB Leipzig have arrived in the German top flight and taken the place of some of the Bundesliga's established clubs.

Their success has not been widely celebrated, particularly as Hoffenheim are exempted from 50+1 rule, which stipulates that more than 50 percent of a club must be owned by its members, while Leipzig's 17 "members" are all attached to the Red Bull company.

The rule was established in 1998 as a safeguard when the German FA (DFB) decided to open the door to private ownership at clubs, but Hoffenheim executive Peter Gorlich told ESPN FC last month that he believes "50+1 will fall" and many Bundesliga clubs are waiting for that to "take the money [from investors] straight away."

Jobst -- who has told ESPN FC that Schalke could play an all-German friendly in China as early as this summer -- said the end of the rule could ultimately prove a significant blow in the league's fight to capitalise on worldwide markets.

He said: "If you were to drop the 50+1 rule, there will be many more 'not traditional' clubs who would have sporting success fairly soon, but does that serve the product Bundesliga in an international context? My answer is 'no.'"

In late February, a renowned study, "The Red Card 2017," showed that Bundesliga remained the top European league in Chinese digital media for a second year running. The study also found that Bayern Munich are the second most popular club in China, behind Manchester United.

However, Jobst said: "Popularity is also about fan interest, about tradition-rich aspects, about loyalty, and the examples of Ingolstadt or Hoffenheim show that they are hardly recognised on Chinese TV as part of the overall perception of the Bundesliga.

"It would therefore be beneficial for the league's positioning abroad if for instance clubs like VfB Stuttgart and Hannover 96 were to return to the top flight next season."

Hoffenheim, Wolfsburg and Bayer Leverkusen do not comply with 50+1 as they hold exception permits from the German Football League (DFL).

Borussia Dortmund act as the only Bundesliga club listed on the stock exchange, and investors have effectively taken control of second-tier chaos club 1860 Munich as well as Hamburg, who have been struggling in the top flight for the past few years.

"If you need to chase the money, you do it most of the time from a position of weakness," Jobst said. "There are examples of traditional clubs like 1860 or HSV [Hamburg] who have put themselves into foreign hands. That's not helping the identity, the history and the future awareness of such traditional clubs."

Jobst, however, says Schalke are prepared for the future should 50+1 fall.

"We are convinced that we will be able to have success with our club structures because we hold the marketing rights as well as the stadium rights," he said. "We have never disposed of them and see that as a competitive edge in this growth market -- but surely the fall of 50+1 would have effects on all traditional clubs."

 

Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.

https://www.espnfc.com.ng/german-bundesliga/story/3078588/new-bundesliga-clubs-hurting-leagues-global-popularity-schalke-executive

Jobst sounds like a pompous ass in this. I get his point about the desire to keep the '50+1' rule, but why say call out those clubs that don't abide by such rules instead of picking on Ingolstadt. I get the hatred for Bayer, Hoffenheim, RB, and Wolfsburg, but what the hell did Ingolstadt due to you?

Now, do I think the league is better when Hannover and Stuttgart in? Absolutely, but their poor play last year got them relegated and thus they deserve to be right where they are.

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8 minutes ago, Ubuntu said:

Jobst sounds like a pompous ass in this. I get his point about the desire to keep the '50+1' rule, but why say call out those clubs that don't abide by such rules instead of picking on Ingolstadt. I get the hatred for Bayer, Hoffenheim, RB, and Wolfsburg, but what the hell did Ingolstadt due to you?

Now, do I think the league is better when Hannover and Stuttgart in? Absolutely, but their poor play last year got them relegated and thus they deserve to be right where they are.

Simple, Ingolstadt depends heavily on Audi. Might not be that obvious, but it's still the same thing.

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7 minutes ago, nudge said:

Simple, Ingolstadt depends heavily on Audi. Might not be that obvious, but it's still the same thing.

In what capacity? I haven't ever seen anything about them being backed by Audi, at least not in the way Wolfsburg is.

EDIT: I found that the majority of people living in Ingolstadt work at Audi...but that's it.

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5 minutes ago, Ubuntu said:

In what capacity? I haven't ever seen anything about them being backed by Audi, at least not in the way Wolfsburg is.

 

Audi is the main sponsor, owns 20% of the club through a spin-off company, also owns the stadium, training center and youth academy, and the club's supervisory board is filled with Audi representatives. Might not be as bad as other cases as it's still within the legal requirements for the time being, but the same principle applies - a relatively new club with just a rudimentary fan base rising quickly because of a big concern whose involvement keeps on growing. There would be no professional football in Ingolstadt without Audi, simple as. The club is not self-sufficient, and if Audi happened to end their involvement, it would collapse - hence the club trying to keep the symbiotic relationship going in order to ensure its own existence.

The fact that Audi itself belongs to VW is yet another worrying example of VW's influence in German football.

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Okay - well that makes a ton more sense then. All that information I just couldn't find in English anywhere. This is obviously something more important in Germany than anywhere else, as other nations have most of their teams owned by foreigners or corporations.

So in Germany, you have the main culprits being -

Bayer Leverkusen, Wolfsburg, Hoffenheim, and Ingolstadt? Anyone else that should be added to this list?

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RB for sure, haha, they are by far the worst.

1860 München.

Although to be honest, professional football in Germany has become a purely commercial affair a looooong time ago, that's the path that was taken and the fall of the 50+1 rule is inevitable, it's just a question of time. 

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4 minutes ago, nudge said:

RB for sure, haha, they are by far the worst.

1860 München.

Although to be honest, professional football in Germany has become a purely commercial affair a looooong time ago, that's the path that was taken and the fall of the 50+1 rule is inevitable, it's just a question of time. 

Oh yeah, RB...

It sounds like once the league allowed teams to 'bypass' the 50+1 rule, then it went downhill from there in terms of making sure the teams are backed by the fans.

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The Schalke fans I have got to know over the past year or so are really passionate about the 50+1 rule. They seem to be of the opinion that they would rather suffer relegation (they do appear to be trying to achieve that this season 😉) than open the club up for ownership by "money men" who have no link or love for the club. 

I for one hope the rule stays in place as it helps fans retain that faint hope of the game still belonging to the people. 

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Ultimately it's going to become harder and harder for Germany to keep enforcing the 50+1 rule and I do think there will be a time when it will be broken completely and a rush of investment will happen in the Bundesliga. I suppose it's down to the clubs individually to maintain their history and heritage by sticking to the 50+1 rule. 

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29 minutes ago, Smiley Culture said:

Ultimately it's going to become harder and harder for Germany to keep enforcing the 50+1 rule and I do think there will be a time when it will be broken completely and a rush of investment will happen in the Bundesliga. I suppose it's down to the clubs individually to maintain their history and heritage by sticking to the 50+1 rule. 

It's getting to the point where 50+1 and traditionalism is just not viable anymore, unfortunately, and I think it will be scraped in the next 3-5 years. There's hoping that some clubs will indeed decide to maintain their history and heritage, as you say, but I'm afraid it will be a full-blown craziness, as Bundesliga is a very attractive league marketing-wise and thus has a lot of potential for investors. 

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Like them or not, RB Leipzig do add to the interest in the league. People will either be interested to see if their project works and others will be hoping to see them fail.

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Agree that we would not be in favour of a 'Commercial' control at 04 but sadly, the alternative is that we are suffering from Amateurs in charge with little or no knowledge of what and how to achieve success in the game.  Without that we would have had a coaches appointed for some time who have been unable to deliver results.  Instead we have gone from cast-off to cast-off and the team is now at least 50% of has-beens who are simply there to pick up their money irrespective of how they perform and the management seem blissfully unaware of how they are killing the ambition and confidence of good young players.  To allow a man like Choup-M to do what he has done (using the Prince Boateng book of intent) and keep the youngsters out is crazy.  Ok we might lose an occasional game with lack of experience, but we are losing them anyway and not getting a settled team.  I can understand how Benny is probably the most frustrated Senior Professional in the BL at the moment when he sees what is happening around him.  A bit of professionalism in the Office would not hurt at all!  as a final thought - has anyone else considered the idiots actually thought they were signing Koke not Coke?

 

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