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, Hamburg
A comment from
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.