BERLIN (Reuters) – Bayern Munich Chief Executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has reiterated his call for the Bundesliga to scrap the so-called 50 plus one rule which effectively bars big investors from taking over clubs.
The rule bars commercial investors from having more than a 49 percent stake in a club, stopping them from taking over clubs and forcing changes against the wishes of supporters.
Speaking at a news conference in Miami after the Bundesliga champions finished a pre-season tour, Rummenigge said that Germany was not a “desert island” and the rule was preventing Bundesliga clubs from competing in Europe.
“Our behaviour in this matter is the cause of condescending smiles here in the United States,” he said.
“Everyone is worried and fearful that we will lose competitiveness if we open up the market. The opposite is true, Germany would benefit from it. Either we go down this path as well or we will wind up paying a price for not doing so.”
Rummenigge added: “We have to stop promoting populism in this republic, which we are pushing to an absurd level in almost all Bundesliga clubs but especially in associations. Germany is not a desert island.”
The most recent attempt to overturn the rule failed when a majority of the 36 clubs voted in favour of a motion from FC St Pauli to retain it.
The rule is credited with keeping ticket prices down, giving Germany one of the healthiest fan cultures in European football.