Germany's club ownership model sustainable one: Bundesliga International CEO Robert Klein

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Germany's club ownership model sustainable one: Bundesliga International CEO Robert Klein
© Provided by The Times of India

CHENNAI: Over the last few years, foreign ownership in clubs like Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain have shaken up the European footballing landscape. The multi-million dollar deals have empowered these clubs with enormous riches at their disposal with Newcastle United becoming the latest club to join the bandwagon after a Saudi Arabia-backed consortium completed its takeover.

Bundesliga clubs though have remained immune to these acquisitions with its 50+1 rule. The Bundesliga International CEO Robert Klein says he is not envious of these deals and insists that their league’s model is a sustainable one in the long run.

“We are well renowned for the 50+1 rule which gives the fans and members a big say in terms of the development of the club. It has worked very well for us and it has allowed us to keep a community aspect with our clubs which is a reason why you see our stadiums consistently filled. In terms of sustainability, it is very positive and it will also serve us well in the future,” Klein said in a recent online media interaction.

The 50+1 rule states that a club’s members – the actual fans themselves – enjoy a 51% majority of their own voting rights.

Bundesliga has recently signed a two-year deal with Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) for exclusive media rights to broadcast the German top-tier league in India and the subcontinent.

Over the last decade, Bundesliga had become a one-horse race with Bayern Munich winning nine titles in a row. Klein though feels that teams like Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig have been giving Bayern tough competition in recent times. “Bayern have gone on an unbelievable run and it has required a lot of hard work and skill to get to that level. However, it is true that the driver for interest internationally is a competitive league. Luckily, in the last two or three years, the league has been much closer. So I believe Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen and not just them Leipzig coming on strong and Wolfsburg consistently pushing Bayern but haven’t got there yet so we hope that in the coming seasons, we deliver close and excitement till the end and the best team will win,” Klein asserted.

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