July 31, 2021

Bayern Munich: why is Dietmar Hopp hated?

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The scene is lunar. While Bayern quietly leads 6-0 at the PreZero Arena in Hoffenheim, some Rekordmeister supporters put out explicit banners: “Dietmar Hopp is a son of p…. “. This message addressed to the billionaire president of TSG goes badly on the side of the actors of the meeting. The match is stopped, the tone rises between fans and players / coaches of the FCB, and will never really resume, ending with an unprecedented pass to ten.

Same story in Berlin, the next day at Station An der Alten Försterei, where Union Berlin supporters deploy a banner similar to that of the Bavarians, with the portrait of the president in a target. But why is Dietmar Hopp so hated across the Rhine?

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La Buli = 50 + 1

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Hoffenheim – Bayern Munich: the web ignites for the scenario of the meeting
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Anti-Hopp banners in BerlinCredit Photo – Icon Sport

You have to understand that there is a rule that we do not touch in Germany. In 1998, the “50 + 1” principle was put in place. It means that club members must always own it, and that a private investor cannot take command of a Bundesliga team. A safeguard against the vagaries of the financialization of European football.

But there you have it: an exception has been made and has allowed some major companies to enter elite clubs. If an investor has had shares in the club for more than twenty years, then he may exceed the 49% limit. In 2019, this exception concerns three teams: Wolfsburg (Volkswagen), Bayer 04 (Bayer) and … TSG Hoffenheim, owned since 1990 by the co-founder of SAP (software company) and billionaire Dietmar Hopp. A rule today disputed, in particular by the emergence of RasenBallsport Leipzig, puppet of Red Bull.

Hoppenheim does not pass

Hoppenheim does not passStart the slideshow
Hoffenheim – Bayern Munich: the web ignites for the scenario of the meeting
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Hopp, son stade, son clubCredit Photo – Icon Sport

We understand then that the problem is the following in modern German football: the old aristocracy is opposed to the new rich. A scenario as old as the world. But then why aim particularly at Hopp and his TSG, and not Wolfsburg or Bayer?

The story is not the same, and neither is the place. Wolfsburg and Leverkusen remain two medium-sized German cities. Hoffenheim appears to some German supporters as a man’s whim. Because the city barely exceeds 3000 inhabitants. And Hopp, who evolved within the club in his youth, decided in 1990 to build a club where there was only a simple amateur training, with his own funds. A success for the investor who brought Hoffenheim back to the elite in 2008, then to the Champions League in 2017. A scandal for the supporters of the aristocrats of Buli, who cannot bear to see financial powers come to the table of honor.

to summarize

Union Berlin, BvB and Bayern Munich supporters showed their hatred for TSG Hoffenheim owner Dietmar Hopp this weekend in the Bundesliga.

Gabriel Vanhoutte