Participants of the meeting in the Frankfurt Airport Club report that two things could essentially be said about the approximately three-hour meeting: that those present understood each other perfectly, and that the gain in knowledge was manageable. In the end, the representatives of the 15 Bundesliga clubs that Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and his allies had called together for deliberation decided what had long been decided anyway: namely that it was incumbent on the Presidium of the German Football League (DFL) to distribute the income from the next To regulate television contract. It concerns fees for four seasons and a total of 4.4 billion euros, with special consideration of the different needs and demands of the 36 DFL shareholders.
All of this was known before the meeting, and it is therefore not unlikely that some guests who had traveled from far away wondered why they had taken the trouble. From the point of view of the organizers, however, every one of the 15 club representatives was indispensable, because their presence should contrast with the absence of those club representatives who were not on the guest list. The uninvited should learn from this that they are dealing with a closed alliance.
The gesture of ostracism seems to have had its desired effect. Even before the meeting, there was no comment to be heard from among the four top division clubs that were affected a few weeks ago with their own ideas about the distribution of the TV money. And on Thursday, FC Augsburg, VfB Stuttgart, Mainz 05 and Arminia Bielefeld did not give or want to give any statements on the matter, although Rummenigge gave them enough reason with his statement after the meeting. Among other things, the CEO of FC Bayern had declared that the quartet had “broken the solidarity pact” and “threw the gauntlet down” through their special considerations.
Witnesses from among the clubs involved believe that this rhetoric was unnecessary, but they are not surprised either. It was clear to them that FC Bayern and the other big leagues wanted to show that there are more important voices than those from Mainz, Augsburg, Stuttgart and Bielefeld. Rummenigge was “about a media sign”, the demonstrative process with 15 invitations and four non-invitations also a form of “symbolic politics”: not to create a confrontation, but to suppress the confrontation. Behind the said quartet and their so-called impulse paper, which suggests an alternative way of dividing the booty (to the detriment of the top clubs), ten second division clubs had also gathered. Some of the participants in his round also noticed that Rummenigge’s maneuver does not come across as pleasant. Now it looks like the solidarity community of the two leagues is divided by an ugly dispute over money.
Ex-DFL official Andreas Rettig recognizes “a certain piquancy”
Nevertheless, there is tense company peace among the 36 clubs for the time being. Apart from Fortuna Düsseldorf’s CEO Thomas Röttgermann, only the former club and DFL functionary Andreas Rettig criticized the action. Here, diversity and freedom of opinion has been suppressed, he finds. He directed personal criticism to the host. “I have to smile, of course, when Mr. Rummenigge gets upset about secret meetings or secret papers,” he told the “Sky” broadcaster. After all, Bayern had not only had secret talks about the European super league or the Kirch crisis, but also secret contracts Completed. So that someone with this vita then leans out the window like that, I have to say, does not lack a certain piquancy. “
Beyond polemics and power struggles, a clear message emerges from the meeting: The agreed process will not be shaken. The DFL Presidium, which includes the DFL men Christian Seifert and Ansgar Schwenken, three first division and three second division representatives as well as the former Schalke board member Peter Peters, will continue its discussions about the distribution of the television money and present a solution on December 7th. There have been four consultations so far, with three more to follow. Nobody from the executive committee took part in the meeting in the airport club on Wednesday, it is difficult enough for the delegates of the clubs to do their job anyway: On the one hand, they have to develop a model in the committee that applies to all 36 clubs on the other hand, they must serve the interests of their own club.
It’s logical that Steffen Schneekloth, as President of Holstein Kiel, has a different point of view than Jan-Christian Dreesen, FC Bayern’s CFO. Incidentally, major reforms in the definition of the distribution method are not to be expected. Mainly because less money will be available than before, and because all those involved, because of their long-term commitments and calculations, are dependent on working with at least the same sums as before. In view of the corona crisis, the time is not the right time for a revolutionary redistribution. At least that’s how it is seen in professional circles.
So far, the DFL Presidium has always made a unanimous decision. Maybe not all first and second division teams were happy with that, but they had to put up with it. The Presidium, so to speak, sovereignly determines what happens to all the money. Even Karl-Heinz Rummenigge will have to accept it.