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Uli Hoeneß: I would totally be in favor of abolishing 50+1

Bayern has spoken out numerous times about abolishing 50+1 but this is the clearest message yet

FC Bayern München Annual Meeting 2022 Photo by Thomas Hiermayer/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

While talking to the Leipziger Volkszeitung (a newspaper based in Leipzig), which was captured by @iMiaSanMia, former Bayern Munich CEO and current Bayern board member Ulrich “Uli” Hoeneß made multiple controversial statements about the league’s 50+1 rule. The 50+1 rule states that the fans must always be the majority stakeholders of the given Bundesliga club, with at least 51% of the shares. This rule has been controversial for a long time in the Bundesliga. Some people like it, some people don’t.

Uli Hoeneß seems to firmly land in the latter camp. “I’d be totally in favor of 50+1 being abolished. In England, every Premier League and Championship club is linked to a company, country or oligarch. That’s why they’re so far ahead of us internationally.”

So, in order to pull even with these clubs, Hoeneß wants to fight fire with fire. “We can’t hide the light under a bushel. In order to give the other (German) clubs the chance to be competitive with FC Bayern, they should get the support of some companies. Each club should be allowed to decide for itself and agree with its members.”

Hoeneß does go on to state that the 50+1 rule is nigh guaranteed to remain in place at Bayern. “We have agreed with our members that we would sell a maximum of 30% of the shares. If we want to sell more than the current 25% plus the five that we are still allowed to sell, then we would need a 75% majority (of votes) at the general meeting, which we wouldn’t get.”

BFW Analysis

Wow. Bayern has been rather vocal in recent years about wishing to change the 50+1 rule, with the likes of current CEO Oliver Kahn also being in favor of it, but never has the stance been clearer, nor the envy of the Premier League’s wealth as obvious. The most striking part of the interview has to be how Hoeneß openly said “every Premier League and Championship club is linked to a company, country or oligarch” and believed it to be a good thing. Football belongs in the hands of fans, not people interested in sportswashing or making profit.

Look at Manchester United, how the Glazer family bought the club by saddling the club with debt. Now Manchester United is a shadow of its’ former self while the Glazers do not care because they are raking in money. Or Newcastle, who went from being owned by Mike Ashley, who never had the club’s interests at heart and nearly ruined the club, to being owned by the state of Saudi Arabia, who have been linked to numerous nefarious deeds.

The state of things is bad.

Only in Germany is this not the case. But, of course, Hoeneß wants to change that. Every person is allowed to have their own thoughts on this. But, in this writer’s opinion, football belongs to the fans and the fans alone.

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