Bundesliga scraps mega investment deal amid serious fan protests

The German Football League (DFL) has abandoned plans to bring in private investment to the Bundesliga’s media rights business following significant fan pressure.

Last December, 24 of the 36 clubs in the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 voted to permit the DFL to commence negotiations to sell an eight per cent stake in its media rights subsidiary.

This deal would have transformed German football with CVC Capital Partners, the only firm in talks with the league, claiming it would have been worth €1 billion ($1.66b AUD).

Following the vote in December, fan groups across the country have staged protests and disrupted games by throwing objects, such as tennis balls, onto the pitch.

The big sub-story to come out of this was the controversy surrounding Hannover 96 chief executive Martin Kind. Despite his team opposing the investment proposal, Kind is believed to have voted for the deal, which gave the DFL the two-thirds majority it needed to begin negotiations.

This has fuelled protests held over recent weeks, with supporter groups believing his vote goes against the ‘50+1 rule’ that gives fans’ 50 per cent of voting rights at German soccer clubs.

Borussia Dortmund CEO and speaker of the DFL executive committee Hans-Joachim Watzke, who was one of the biggest supporters of this external investment, acknowledged the significant division these talks caused.

“This was not limited to within the Ligaverband association between the clubs but also, in some cases, within the clubs themselves: between professional players, coaches, club officials, supervisory bodies, members assemblies and fan communities,” Watzke said in a DFL statement.

“That conflict is increasingly putting match operations, specific matches and thus the integrity of the competition at risk. The viability of a successful contract as regards to financing for the 36 clubs can therefore no longer be assured, given the circumstances.”

This isn’t the first time that the Bundesliga have tried to bring in an investor with the same exact idea floated last year that was swiftly voted down by clubs last year following another set of fan protests.

For the clubs in favour of the investment deal, such as Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, it will be interesting to see how they respond to this saga. They will be frustrated by being blocked effectively by so-called smaller teams, especially given it has become more difficult to challenge Premier League clubs who enjoy a significant wealth advantage.

Fans are adamant to not allow a replica of the Premier League ownership system which is marred by owners who have a very controversial reputation like Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) who recently took over Newcastle United.

This whole saga has proven the true strength of German football fans and the 50+1 ownership rule which has fan voting on top of the hierarchy when making important decisions like this for the Bundesliga.


Newcastle Jets’ new owners add key pieces for upcoming season

Newcastle Jets’ new owners, Maverick Sports Partners, have hired Ken Schembri as General Manager of Football and Ben Hawes as General Manager of Commercial, Digital and Marketing for this upcoming season.

The appointment of Schembri and Hawes reaffirms Maverick Sports Partners’ intent to invest in high-quality resources, which should excite Newcastle fans for this upcoming season.

Schembri had previously worked with the reigning champions, the Central Coast Mariners, being an essential part of establishing the Central Coast Mariners Football Academy and their Centre of Excellence when he joined in 2014.

Schembri will manage the A-League Men’s roster, oversee player performance and development, and handle recruitment for all football departments.

The Mariner’s Academy has produced many young and exciting Australian talent including Garang Kuol and Max Balard who have all gone to join clubs in Europe after their time in Gosford. Schembri has most recently played a key role in Central Coast’s recent success as Head of Football.

Maverick Sports Partners Director Maurice Bisetto commented about the new additions.

“We are excited to have both Ken and Ben join the Newcastle Jets team. They will be integral to the strategy and direction of the Club’s New Era, providing expertise and support, on and off the pitch,” said Bisetto in a club statement.

These two joined the Jets after the club were bought by the Australian company only last month.

Hawes has prior experience in Sponsorship, Marketing and Content roles at the National Rugby League, Sportsbet, BlueBet and Sydney FC.

Hawes will focus on expanding and diversifying the clubs commercial revenue streams which includes growing the sponsorship portfolio. He will also deal with commercialising the club’s digital channels as well as implementing new marketing and fan engagement strategies.

Due to these recent moves, Newcastle have the potential to produce exciting Australian talent and grow its brand across the league which will help the club continue to improve both on and off the pitch and ultimately strengthen their stability for future seasons.

Football Coaches Australia and Martyn Buckie team up for ‘Benefits of Micro Coaching Sessions’

Football Coaches Australia (FCA) and Martyn Buckie will host an online session on Monday, July 29 at 7:30pm AEST.

As part of ‘Benefits of Micro Coaching Sessions’, Buckie will present insights on the benefits of micro coaching sessions for children and youth coaches.

Coaches will get a full understanding on what ‘Micro Sessions’ are and how to implement them into training sessions. He will explain the benefits they provide to both players and coaches and how to design effective ‘Micro Session’ practices.

Buckie is currently the ‘Grassroots Coach Education and Development Manager’ with the Scottish Football Association. He is a UEFA A Licence and Scotttish Advanced Children’s Licence holder. In addition, he is also the advanced Children’s Licence Tutor and Course Manager.

He has a wealth of practical coaching experience as Academy Coach at both Stenhousemuir FC and Falkirk FC.

Attendance to this event will qualify for one-hour CPD with Football Australia.

Sign up via Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/martyn-buckie-benefits-of-micro-coaching-sessions-tickets-940768212047?aff=oddtdtcreator

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