Explaining Germany’s 50+1 Rule

If we’ve learned anything about German football clubs this week, it’s quite simply that their owners are smarter than the average club owner. The 50+1 rule in Germany has recently been getting attention due to its involvement in stopping the dreaded European Super League from coming to Germany and sweeping away the nation’s biggest clubs. But what is the 50+1 rule?

50+1 Rule Explained

The 50+1 rule refers to a clause in the regulations of Germany’s top flight – the German Bundesliga. Essentially, in order to obtain the right to compete in Deutsche Fußball-Liga, a club must hold a majority of its own voting rights. That is – their members, possibly even their fans, must have a say in decision making processes. The club’s members retain control through 50% of the shares, +1 share. Why the +1? So that the majority (more than 50%) comes out the side of the members, and not external investors. In many of Europe’s top leagues, external investors can purchase a club, and own almost the entirety of the club’s power and voting rights. This is essentially how the European Super League was formed, and simultaneously how it fell apart not even two days later. The idea of owners making decisions on behalf of the club for their own best interest would simply never happen in the Bundesliga, and this was key in stopping some of Germany’s elite clubs from joining the breakaway league. Read more on Bundesliga Daily.


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