German fans keep pressure on over 50+1 ownership rule

February 27 – Despite the German football league capitulating to fan power over third party investment, more protests occurred at the weekend, this time over Germany’s much coveted 50+1 rule.

Last week, the DFL agreed to scrap its controversial plan to sell future media rights income to an outside investor for an upfront payment.

Union Berlin and Dortmund fans celebrated the decision at the weekend, the latter displaying a banner that said ‘Game, set and match – the winner is football’.

But there were still pockets of protests as both Dortmund and Eintracht Frankfurt supporters displayed banners during their teams’ respective games in support of the 50-plus-1 rule that limits how much influence an outside investor can wield over a single club.

‘50-plus-1 is the foundation of our sport. Football lives through its fans!’ the Dortmund supporters declared during the 3-2 defeat to visiting Hoffenheim.

And Frankfurt fans briefly interrupted their side’s match against Wolfsburg by throwing small plastic balls on to the field behind one of the goals early in the second half.

One giant banner criticised Volkswagen-backed Wolfsburg with an expletive, saying the ‘investor club’ should be thrown out because it does not adhere to the 50-plus-1 rule.

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