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Textbook, 2014, 58 Pages
This study analyses the legal and statutory environment for investments in football clubs in Germany, as opposed to the situation in England. Whereas German regulations limit the acquisition of shares of football clubs, the legal framework is much more liberal in England. The paper looks at the potential conflicts of interest involved with club ownership issues as well as at the arguments for and against the German '50 plus 1' rule and how this rule may cause a shortfall in competitiveness as compared to English football. Finally, the study looks at doubts over the lawfulness of the rule in relation to European antitrust legislation and doubts over its effectiveness concerning legal loopholes provided by German corporation law. The paper relied predominantly on the analysis of literature concerning the regulation of club ownership in England and Germany, whereas a significant amount of German literature was used. Essentially, the research found that there is reason for severe scepticism about both the lawfulness and the effectiveness of the '50 plus 1' rule. It would probably not bear up against a test before the European Court of Justice. There are several opportunities in German corporate law to circumvent the rule. Finally, the paper urges the German Football Association (DFB) to consider a softening of the regulations currently in place, and effective modifications of the underlying licensing system, respectively, as well as the introduction of supporters’ trusts and fit and proper person tests. Finally, the paper claims that competitive balance on a European club level can only be restored if club ownership issues are resolved on a European level.
Academic Paper, 65 Pages