English football are set to follow Germany’s fan-friendly 50+1 ownership model following the collapse of European Super League.
Government officials are considering ruling that we adopt the German model of majority fan ownership which sees Bundesliga teams must ensure at least a 51 per cent stake in the club is held by supporters – although there are exceptions.
Boris Johnson said in Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday that former sports minister Tracey Crouch will carry out “a root-and-branch investigation into the governance of football and into what we can do to promote the role of fans in that governance.”
Meanwhile, culture secretary Oliver Dowden revealed the government’s interest in the German model.
“Naturally we’ve got to learn the lessons from the crisis in football financing during the COVID crisis,” Dowden told talkSPORT. “We need to put this on a more sustainable footing.
“For example in the German leagues they have a different governance structure so it’s right we look at those things.
“The PM was good, I had a meeting with him and fans on Tuesday and he said we had to do whatever it took and that includes legislation and if legislation is required we’ll do that.
“But the immediate legislation we were preparing to pull together was to deal with this immediate threat from this outrageous proposal.”
What is the 50+1 ownership rule?
The 50+1 rule is where fans hold the majority of voting rights at a club. Teams are not allowed to compete under DFL (German FA) rules if private investors hold more than a 49 per cent stake in a club.
It wasn’t until 1998 where private ownership of any kind was permitted in German football with clubs run as non-profit organisations.
There are some exceptions in Germany, including Bayer Leverkusen, Wolfsburg and Hoffenheim whose owners have been allowed to take a majority stake following a period of greater than 20 years of involvement at the club.
Could Germany’s way of doing things work in England? The Mirror have answered fans’ comments on it all.
What does it mean?
In short, it means that clubs – and, by extension, the fans – hold a majority of their own voting rights.
What would be required here?
Under Bundesliga rules, football clubs are not allowed to play if commercial investors have more than a 49 percent stake.
So it would mean a major overhaul of the British game, and fundamental change in the boardrooms of our top clubs.
What are the advantages?
Football in Germany is popular because it means cheaper tickets.
They have had the highest average attendances in world football, and a great fan culture.
What does ‘fan culture’ mean?
A better match day experience. Away fans guaranteed some of the cheapest seats. Competitively price food and drink. Representation of fans at board level.
‘Membership’ for supporters (around £60-a-year) which gives them a greater say in how the clubs are run.
How much are tickets?
Season tickets for 2019/20 standing places for SC Paderborn and Borussia Dortmund were the most expensive at 225 and 219 Euros respectively (£194 and £189).
West Ham United sold the least Premier League expensive season ticket at £320, followed by Man City at £325.
Tickets for individual matches are often available for advanced purchase in Germany, at around £15 in many stadiums, though demand is high.
How can they stay so cheap?
The ownership rules mean that private investors cannot take over clubs and put profit over the wishes of supporters.
The ruling simultaneously protects against reckless owners and safeguards the ‘democratic customs’ of German clubs.
Is this likely to change?
Some German clubs are worried they cannot remain competitive at a global level. In 2017, Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said it should be left to each club to decide if they open the door to outside investment.
Fans reacted after seeing that English football is potentially set to follow Germany’s fan-friendly 50+1 ownership model…
@pjcjohnson: Wish they would, but I don’t see it happening
@AlexJacklin: Boris producing for once ? ?
@pete_ahab: Yes please. The german model is the way foward. Give fans a say in their clubs.
@GfcJamieFtb: Cheaper tickets, free/reduced travel with match ticket, refreshment on arrival etc. Adopt it all. People will happily pay 40/50 quid for a ticket in that instance. Something has to change.
@FreddyThomas89: exactly what is needed.
@jondavis9: 100% should do it
@ambergriffo: In theory a great idea. In reality don’t see it ever happening
@trampygyan: It’s now the time to change football ownership in this country. This is our last chance to save the game, 50+1 rule is required in England now! Give the power back to the fans
@JackDolan24: Hopefully this will happen
@charliearthur_: DO IT! Give it back to us
@Peter_B_04: Change ownership rules. Bring in 50+1 for the fans. #GlazersOut
@RyanMcNamara3: Cap on player prices and wages. Only 50+1 ownership of clubs. No agents. Bin all uefa and fifa chiefs and starts again. Lower prices for kits and tickets. Bring back financial fair play
@MUFC_RA: If the Government can make it Law and back a 50+1 ownership rule like in Germany that’s the next step we as fans should be working towards. It’s all down the Gov to make that happen now. If they start putting the motion in place for that then Glazers are f**ked. Can’t wait.
@RapidRedz: Give fans the 50+1 ownership of the English clubs and there won’t be another Super League #GlazersOut
@DaleBannisterG2: If you want to punish the owners hit them in their pockets, the only thing they care about. Seize 50% +1 ownership of the clubs and give it to the fans, do not compensate them for the loss of ‘value’.
What @GNev2 seems to describe here is a similar system as it is in the Bundesliga. A 50+1 rule where shareholders buying up shares of a club can never get a “full ownership” if they come from outside of the club, to prevent this from happening #SuperLeague #SuperLeagueOut https://t.co/Vr3x0p7lbk
— benji27 (@benji2717) April 22, 2021