Bundesliga News

Kicker Report:
Fourteen clubs now back new revenue-sharing reform

By Peter Vice

German footballing magazine Kicker reports that fourteen first and second tier Bundesliga sides have now signed on to a very progressive reform initiative that seeks to overhaul the manner in which television revenues are redistributed among the 36 clubs under the DFL's purview.

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The DFL executive board prepares for a Thursday meeting. Among other topics on the docket, the committee shall consider a proposal proffered by four clubs--FSV Mainz 05, Arminia Bielefeld, VfB Stuttgart, and Jahn Regensburg--to up the amount of TV-contract revenue pooled for clubs in the second division.

The working paper petitions for a sizable increase, from €9 million to €50 million when the new contract takes effect next season. The additional clubs adding their support to the proposal have thus far been kept secret, but Kicker's journalists have identified some of them.

According to Kicker, SV Werder Bremen, Holstein Kiel, SV Darmstadt 98, 1. FC Union Berlin, and 1. FC St. Pauli are thought to be on board.

One club that Kicker can confidently verify is now part of the initiative is FC Augsburg. Club president Klaus Hofmann has always been outspoken about the need for reform.

"The footballing establishment must decide whether it aspires to be a sporting competition or merely an entertainment industry," Hofmann told journalists over the summer, "If the former remains the goal, the parameters must be changed. Retention of the current redistribution model, the gap between the haves and have-nots will only widen further."

The details of the proposal can be described as rather radical when juxtaposed against the current arrangement. With still more clubs lending their support, a significant change in German football's financial culture appears to be on the horizon.

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