The German Soccer League (DFL) confirmed last Thursday that the regulation preventing foreigners to possess majority shares in German clubs will remain in effect. The 50+1 rule (the first such ‘numbered’ rule to make sense) was voted on by the DFL, determining that Germans must own majority shares in Bundesliga clubs.
Reinhard Rauball, DFL President, stated at a press conference that the ‘stability and continuity’ of the Bundesliga must be maintained to keep the competition fair. The German majority ownership rule has nothing to do with national pride and everything to do with preventing football from becoming divorced from it’s local and cultural roots and run purely as a business operation.
The rule stands regardless of opposition from some clubs. Martin Kind, president of Hanover 96, who aims to attract foreign investors, has said that more and more clubs wish to change the ruling. And the pressure will keep increasing as the Premier League races away with their takeovers, lucrative sponsorships and multi-billion dollar TV deals.
In order to change the regulation, two-thirds of the DFL members and the DFB, German football association, would have to approve it.