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A break down of the German-style 50+1 ownership scheme

This article breaks down the German-style 50+1% rule to analyse its relevance, benefits, shortcomings, and sustenance.


A dozen major English clubs’ failure of the European Super League plan has caused disquiets, leading eyes to Germany’s Fan-Owned scheme. Germany’s Bundesliga is highly reputed for its ‘democracy,’ allowing all participants with special interests in its teams to influence decisions by owning part of the teams. The move is currently England’s most potent weapon against greedy investors seeking to rake in money by steering teams to make more profits without considering anyone else’s interests.

However, not everyone understands how the scheme works. Therefore, this article breaks down the 50+1% rule to analyse its relevance, benefits, shortcomings, and sustenance.

Trigger Events

Tweets by the 12 significant teams to form a European Super League separatist reminded the whole English football community why a shared control system is critical to the smooth running of games. Fans are a significant part of football teams. Just as such, their consideration should be considered before implementing decisions that break tradition.

The failed plan faced concordant opposition from coaches, players, fans, local leagues, competitor teams, and Global bodies such as FIFA and UEFA. Worsening the scenario was their flawed plan which only focused on the commercialization of football rather than the whole authentic entertainment factor based on the communal ownership of the sport.

Seeking a more democratic approach, critics are now more into the long-desired German club ownership model.

What it Takes

Remodeling English football would mean changes from the inside to the outside of clubs, including the boardrooms. For example, participating clubs must allocate more than half their shares to fans, a fundamental rule by which the Bundesliga operates.

However, the model has to have unmatched support, to be sustainable. Taking after German’s model, the British have to mobilize consistent resistance to commercialization through acts such as fan activism. Essentially, the fans have to form a democratic football culture, which might mean contention against elites who threaten its success, as Germans have done.

How it Could Help

Across the history of football, Germany has established its place as a maverick. Thanks to this consistency, the 50+1% rule has proven effective.

When it comes to event turnouts, Germany is supreme. Not because of single matches’ enormous attendance but due to its unmatchable average turnouts. With the highest average crowd, Germany boasts the most consistent fan turnouts.

However, these numbers are backed by a reasonable cost system, made possible by the rule. Football tickets are cheaper in Germany.

Besides affordable entries, fans can immobilize game-killer investors’ moves simply by voting.

This aspect makes German football the closest to football origins, where accountability was shared by the supporters and team management rather than being enforced by the law.

With such a fan culture, even away-side supporters get to enjoy affordable meals and seats. In fact, when fans are actively represented at the board level, their engagement and loyalty increase, boosting the sport as a whole.

British football tournaments may then have a more predictable attendance. The fanbase is granted the desired freedom to enjoy and leverage games how they wish with accessible matches, freedom to engage in sports betting in popular online destinations like jackpotjoy login, or even deliberate on strategies to improve Premier League teams.

The Downside

Regardless of how strategized the model might be, it is always bound to loopholes that become an obstinate barrier to its objectives.

Germany’s football scene is not an exception to this, and the English might also experience it.

In most cases, such flaws develop in trying to maintain a club’s global competitiveness while trying to check all boxes for supporter satisfaction.

In teams such as Bayern Munich, a fan-owned club, excessive spending to impress the fans is compensated by under-the-table deals such as outside elites using football to improve their public image. In return, teams and facilitators get enormous amounts of cash.

Maintaining Control

Implementing the rule alone isn’t enough to prevent the commercialization of the sport. It has to be backed by active antagonism, which requires a change in the way fans view their role in football.

Supporters have to renounce the mentality of supporting and embrace that of investing and participating. This way, they would feel the impact of derailing decisions more significantly and react with the same energy.

If the fans feel compromised by development in their invested teams, they will most likely engage in constant opposition to immobilize it. Besides, fan participation is one of the most distinguishing characteristics between Germany’s fan culture and the British.

Without it, British Football might follow after the likes of Real Madrid, where fan ownership is only in words.

Final Word

Fan ownership will only work if the fans begin to feel more political about the sport and think unanimously. If the scheme is to make any reasonable change in England’s football, it has to overpower profits-oriented plans such as the ESL together with all its facilitating factors.

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