Could the German model of ownership work in the UK?

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It was a massive moment in British football and has seen a fan-led review of football announced by the British government. One of the many proposals being discussed is the German model of football club ownership but would it work in the UK?

In the German Bundesliga, fans own a majority stake in clubs and that means they can influence off-field decisions. Known as the 50+1 rule, the idea is that fans have the overall majority when it comes to making decisions at the football club and will also mean a more level playing field as external investors are unlikely to pump millions of pounds into teams. This could lead to an extremely competitive Premier League, where every club has a chance of working their way to the top. It would certainly make for interesting betting and there are plenty of sports betting bonuses which could be used to bet on the Premier League.

However, it does not always work as planned and RB Leipzig are a good example as they have managed to climb from Germany’s fifth tier to the Champions League semi-final in only 11 seasons. Bayern Munich continue to dominate in German football, and they have just taken the manager and best player from the team below them in second place, so there is still dominance in place despite the 50+1 rule.

Nonetheless, the 50+1 model is looking more attractive than ever before to fans of English football but there would be huge legal and technical problems to overcome if it were to ever happen. Firstly, the current owners of the clubs would have to be willing to sell their stake and it appears as though many of them do not want to sell. Even if they did want to sell, where would the money come from to buy them out? We are talking huge sums of money, beyond what any group of supporters could raise and that is a massive problem.

If the government was to step in and try and force the owners to sell, the owners have the money to challenge the move in court and things could become extremely messy. A legal battle could go on for months or even years and that would be damaging to British football. What would happen to the clubs involved as the proceedings were taking place? There are many questions which need to be answered before a change in the ownership rules can happen in British football.

It is also worth pointing out that some German clubs have become worried they will not be able to compete on the biggest stage in the years to come due to the current ownership model in the Bundesliga. Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has previously commented on how it should be left to each club to decide if they want to accept outside investment.

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