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Karl-Heinz Rummenigge

‘Our members would reject outside owners’

Bayern chairman and German Football League (DFL) board member Karl-Heinz Rummenigge attended the league association’s plenary session in Frankfurt on Tuesday 10 November, where key organisational and administrative decisions were taken. The agenda included external investors, and the reintroduction of the pre-season Supercup. asked the Bayern chief to summarise the meeting. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, the most important item discussed at the DFL session was the 50+1 rule, i.e. a debate whether to allow external investors to take majority stakes in Bundesliga clubs. What was decided?
Rummenigge: The Bundesliga resolved to retain the 50+1 rule by an overwhelming majority of almost 90%. I think this was the right decision, as I’m convinced we have a different culture when it comes to this matter than they do in England, for example. Our members and fans would not accept Russian oligarchs or Arab Sheikhs as owners of Bayern.“

Which way did you vote?
Bayern’s clear and strongly-held position is to retain the 50+1 rule. This is the only logical position for us, especially as the [members’ club] FC Bayern München e.V. statutes stipulate that 50% of the shares in Bayern must be held by FC Bayern München e.V.

After a two-and-a-half year debate, is the 50+1 issue now settled?
The Bundesliga has clearly voted to retain the 50+1 rule. I hope Hannover 96 President Martin Kind abandons his plan to pursue the matter through the courts. I hope he’ll show solidarity with the Bundesliga and accept the majority decision.

The meeting also discussed reintroducing the Supercup. What was decided here?
The session decided to reintroduce the Supercup from 2010 onwards. Naturally, we hope Bayern will be involved when the Supercup returns.

What format will be used?
It’ll be a single game: the champions against the cup winners. If the champions also won the cup, their opponents will be the team which finished second in the league. That’s new; it used to be the defeated cup finalists, but we think the new arrangement is fairer. The DFL just has to decide on a venue.

Another subject discussed was a proposal for a Fair Play and cost control system.
Schalke 04 withdrew their proposal for Fair Play and cost control at yesterday’s meeting. I think that was very prudent, as UEFA is currently working on an appropriate system, and it would be unwise to act before a decision by the UEFA Executive. We should wait on UEFA’s decision and then see if it’s applicable to the Bundesliga. The goal has to be equality of competitive opportunity for all clubs in the UEFA Champions League and the Europa League.

Thank you for talking to us.