Ex-professional Marcell Jansen is aiming for presidential posts

Marcell Jansen:

He has played 242 times in the Bundesliga.

(Photo: imago / Michael Wigglesworth)

Dusseldorf Marcell Jansen was only 29 years old when he ended his football career. “Anyone who does something like this has never loved football,” World Champion Rudi Völler called after him. Jansen, who has been in the service of the Hamburg sports club since 2008, even agreed with his critic: he never loved the football business. He was only grateful for what made it possible for him.

Now Jansen wants to go back to that business, if only on a voluntary basis. This Saturday, the HSV members elect a new club president – and the now 33-year-old is considered the most promising candidate. The ex-left-back has been on the supervisory board of HSV Fußball AG for almost a year, as the outsourced professional department is called.

Jansen criticizes the lack of sports competence at the top of the HSV, which is also home to amateur sports in more than 30 divisions. He wanted to use his network to find sponsors “so that the amateur sector doesn’t have to live on membership fees only”, explained Jansen in the “Rheinische Post”.

Born in Mönchengladbach, he has earned money as a speaker and TV expert since his professional career – and has invested in companies. Among other things, he is involved in a medical supply store, a sports brand and a patisserie.


Marcell Jansen should ensure unity

VMarcell Jansen did not actually have to position himself. He had played for Hamburger SV soccer between 2008 and 2014. But he wanted to present his thoughts and ideas now that he has an important position at HSV Fußball AG. As is the case in these times, there was a press conference via video. In it, Jansen outlined what is important for HSV to get back to the top: “Teamwork, team play, communication.” Now one could ask heretical: What have these terms had to do with HSV in the past ten years?

At just 34, Jansen is an amazingly young chairman of the board. Jansen has played a special role since Bernd Hoffmann was dismissed as CEO of Fußball AG at the end of March. He took over the post of chief inspector because his predecessor Max-Arnold Köttgen did not want to continue without Hoffmann. Again, as Hoffmann’s successor, Jansen had been elected president of HSV e.V. a year ago and thus had a seat on the control committee. Even back then, many had said that Jansen was less interested in visiting the table tennis and athletics department than looking at professional football. He can now – from the top.

The fact that this task is extremely complicated and demanding is part of the nature of the matter at HSV. Two confidants of Hoffmann, whose contract was finally terminated on Tuesday, continue to serve as Vice President in the Presidium of the registered association and could make life difficult for Jansen there, after all, he was the one who had caused the mood change against Hoffmann on the Supervisory Board. In the beginning, Jansen was still entirely on his side. He wanted to unite HSV, said Jansen during his presentation. He can start immediately in his own presidium. And continue in membership and in the fan base. Because Jansen is considered a man at Klaus-Michael Kühne’s side. Jansen had already visited him in Mallorca as a player; the billionaire then campaigned for a contract extension. In the current dispute over Hoffmann, who wanted to keep Kuehne at a distance, Kuehne even pleaded for Jansen as CEO. Jansen has said several times that he doesn’t want to be at all.

Nevertheless, the door for Kuehne now opens again. He currently holds 20.6 percent of the shares in HSV Fußball AG. More than 24.9 percent may not be sold – as of now. It was his job to check what the club could exploit as an option, said Jansen: “The issue of equity is always important.” One thing is clear: without Hoffmann, but with Jansen and still with Frank Wettstein, CFO and supporter of Kühne , Kühne could get more influence again. Perhaps also in such a way to acquire shares over 24.9 percent.

It was noticeable that sports director Jonas Boldt recently praised and protected the billionaire. It would not be appropriate to call Jansen an extended arm, however – Jansen will already know that being too close to Kühne can be harmful. There were a number of people at HSV that Kuehne first appreciated, then dropped if they acted differently than he wanted – or if the sporting success failed to materialize. The HSV is certainly not easier with Kuehne on board.

Step towards becoming an entrepreneur

Jansen again felt that the new unit in the top management was urgently needed. He says: “We had cracks on the board. What we need to be successful, however, is a relationship of trust at all levels. ”Most recently, Hoffmann’s loneliness had repelled Jansen in such a way that he voted for separation from him. A hardness and clarity that some would never have believed in the always confident Sonnyboy he was as a player. But Jansen has just participated in how things go at HSV. In the event of failure, guilty parties are sought. Jansen experienced no fewer than four coaches in his last active season 2014/15. Then it was over, at the age of 29.

He was initially smiled at when he said there had to be more to life than soccer. But there was more. Jansen founded his MJ Beteiligungs GmbH, bought shares in a medical supply store, restaurants and a fitness fashion label. Jansen is now involved in five start-ups; he made the step to becoming an entrepreneur with a persistence that surprised many companions of the Rhenish happy nature. As a critic of the HSV path, Jansen remained loyal to the Hanseatic city. With the relegation in 2018 at the latest, he saw his time to strive for an official position at HSV.

In this way he has now reached the top. And that he still holds the bones for the “third” of the HSV in the upper league gives him – if you will – an additional dash of credibility. He promised no fairytale castles when he presented them. If at the end of the season (so it ends) nothing will go up with the promotion, you will try again in the next season. In this context, Jansen praised CFO Wettstein, who ensures the necessary liquidity. Of course, Jansen knows very well that HSV has lacked money rather than cohesion in recent years.


Is Michael Kühne’s influence growing?

Two to five: This is a significant defeat in football. Only two of the seven supervisory boards of Hamburger SV voted on Saturday afternoon for further collaboration with CEO Bernd Hoffmann. In the days before, the possible result had seemed even scarcer, and even Hoffmann’s remaining as CEO of HSV Fußball AG had been considered possible. But at the end of a four-hour discussion, five of the councilors were against Hoffmann.


                As expected, only Max-Arnold Köttgen and Thomas Schulz sided with Hoffmann. Both will now leave the top control body. Just like Hoffmann: His second term at the top of the HSV after the thoroughly successful times from 2002 to 2011 ends after just under two years. He has a contract until June 30, 2021 inclusive.


                            Power struggle lost
He lost the power struggle against the board colleagues Jonas Boldt (sports) and Frank Wettstein (finance). There have been inconsistencies with Wettstein for a long time, and with Boldt since late summer of the previous year – Hoffmann had brought him in as the preferred candidate to succeed Ralf Becker in May 2019. And while Boldt had struggled a few times with Hoffmann, the tablecloth was cut with betting stone. The two had said that in a conversation with three supervisory boards on Wednesday, making further cooperation with Hoffmann impossible.

                            The control panel had no longer seen the possibility of “keep it up” at least until the end of the season or until the worst time of the corona pandemic was over. So the signs were already separated in the middle of the week. Without Hoffmann, the new HSV board now consists of two equals, Wettstein and Boldt. Of course, the association is also able to act in this constellation; despite the interruption of the season, liquidity would remain secured until the end of June, Wettstein had said.

Hoffmann left the Volkspark on Saturday with a pre-made comment and did not want to say anything on Sunday. Instead, someone spoke for HSV, which most observers outside of Hamburg probably still have in mind as a player: Marcell Jansen. The 34-year-old former professional has been President of HSV e.V. since January 2019 and is thus based on the AG’s Supervisory Board. On Saturday he also voted against Hoffmann and is now the new chief inspector because Köttgen has given up. “We cannot afford to lose energy and create a difficult relationship of trust in this most difficult time in professional football,” said Jansen, getting to the heart of the matter. He himself is not said to have any ambitions for the board position – so far.



                            Contacts to Kuehne
Jansen should maintain good contacts with Klaus-Michael Kühne. The billionaire had no longer played a public role at HSV for a long time, but had now reappeared in the dispute between Hoffmann and the board members by speaking out against Hoffmann in an interview – Hoffmann had minimized contact with Kuehne and largely isolated the billionaire without giving up its millions for HSV. Kuehne had recently asked for a reorganization of the club without Hoffmann. It was currently about a new contract for the naming rights at the Volksparkstadion. Perhaps Kuehne’s influence on HSV is now increasing again, which many welcome in view of the looming losses of millions due to the Corona crisis.

The background to the dispute between Hoffmann, who was now dismissed from HSV for the second time, and his (former) colleagues on the board of directors initially lay in different attitudes towards players. Hoffmann wanted professionals that Boldt didn’t want. This became public, and the bad mood at the office, where old ditches opened up again, became public. Hoffmann was annoyed by this. With Wettstein it had been crossed for a long time. There were solo efforts and interference in foreign business areas. The mediocre sporty situation with third place in the second Bundesliga may have been added – it certainly increased Bernd Hoffmann’s dissatisfaction with the overall situation.

A comment from
Frank Heike




Frank Heike, Hamburg



A comment from
Michael Wittershagen





                            It is also disappointing that the expensive team with the nominally best squad next to Stuttgart and the experienced trainer Dieter Hecking is hard to maintain a place in the top trio. The derby defeat against St. Pauli on February 22 and the subsequent 0: 3 in Aue had made the bad mood at HSV even worse – then came the corona pandemic. She could no longer mask the leadership crisis at the Hamburg club.