After Türkgücü Bankruptcy – How does the DFB want to prevent more third-degree bankruptcies

Türkgücü Munich stopped playing in its second season in the third division – and the results of all matches were cancelled. (Imago / Lakovic photo)

“Unsportsmanlike and unfair.” With these words 1. FC Saarbrücken describes the withdrawal of Türkgücü Munich from the third division. Saarbrücken had already won twice over Munich. They lost those six points due to Türkgücü’s withdrawal – and thus are no longer in the promotion race.

This kind of competition distortion is an extreme case. But Türkgücü is not the first third-tier team to go bankrupt in the middle of the season. Last season, KFC Uerdingen filed for bankruptcy, at the 2018 Rot-Weiss Erfurt. And this is despite the fact that both clubs passed the pre-season federation admission test in a row.

However, a judge of the Munich First Regional Court, dealing with the Erfurt bankruptcy case, wrote in an order issued in January of this year: “I have come across more than one football club where the playing license has been issued, but a proper examination of the liquidity situation has led to A different result.”

So the acceptance test gives little value. Kicker editor Benny Hoffman viewed the regional court document and emphasized the judge’s statement: “Basically, he says: ‘Everything the FA checks is well and good, but what they check is actually complete nonsense. The DFB checks the quasi-promised liquidity. If you were to compare it to Then it would be like this: I want to buy a house, so I go to the bank and say: “Dear bank, give me a million.” Then the bank says: “Do you have equity?” I say: “Yes.” Then the bank says: How much? “Yes , 100,000.” The bank says, “Well, that’s enough for us if you say that. That would be something like that.”

Player contracts are not linked to the acceptance procedures.

The German Football Association is asking clubs to plan their finances for the upcoming season. And then trust that the administrators can really manage their expenses.

When Türkgücü submitted its documents for the current season about a year ago, the club apparently counted staff expenses around three million euros. But in the summer, she signed into the third division with several former Bundesliga players. Offensive forces such as Sercan Sararer or Petar Sliškovi also receive annual salaries in the six-figure range.

Criticism of the FA: He must realize – regardless of the guarantees and calculations – that a club like Turkgocho will not be able to afford the team. The contradiction with this thesis comes from Tom Eilers, chair of the Third Division Committee:

“It is always said by people who are more or less competent: the German FA, whoever it is, knows everything, they know that the players are very expensive.” In fact, this is the case in licensed leagues, of course player contracts are announced to the league carrier. But this is permission to play. So far, this has not been linked to the approval process as such.”

Typical licensing procedures in Europe

Ellers can imagine changing that in the future. “This is a question we have to examine: Does it make sense to be able to recognize the warning signs here and elicit something from them? And at what legal level can you do that? I would probably be a lawyer too much to say it in general terms. But I think keeping a yellow card here would definitely be a thing. You have to think about it.”

Meanwhile, Andreas Rettig, former managing director of the German Football League and now working with third-tier team Victoria Koln, lauds: “The licensing process in its current form is ideal in Europe. But the fundamental problem is a well-known problem, which we also know from other regions. Gaps Keyword taxes. Therefore, where resets and modifications are always the result of a specification that has not yet been fully regulated.”

In Rettig’s view, the German Football Association has already begun to make improvements. From the 2023/24 season, clubs that are heavily indebted must increase their capital by five percent annually. In the event of relegation from the second league, the negative liquidity should not be exacerbated. Violators will be punished. Clubs that provide a positive economic result are rewarded with marketing revenue from relegation matches.

More cases despite changes to the procedure?

“These are really good tools and useful tools,” says Rettig, “because those who break the bar and keep doing this nonsense will now be punished twice. On the other hand, by already getting a penalty. These financial penalties, these penalties being thrown into the bowl, add to the million.” From the relegation bet it is then distributed to the clubs that are entitled to remain economically. This again has a double effect, strengthening competitors who work wisely and seriously. A good model, favorable in my view.”

Rewarding clubs who have a surplus and plan to match actual results is nothing new. The Federation will punish violations in the future, and the Federation emphasizes the value of this tool in the current debate. In particularly serious cases, clubs are even threatened with a point deduction.

However, even such a deterrent cannot prevent every negative situation, as Tom Eilers says: “At the end of the day, the approval process is the traffic light at the turn. Of course, that’s what determines what to do. And if the person driving doesn’t comply. Across the curve with the speed limit, you can only live with the penalties if everything goes well. This is also regulated in the admission procedure. However, you can no longer save the person who flies outside the curve.”

More recently, some third-tier teams did not get through the curve, as they often wanted with all their might in the second most lucrative German Bundesliga. Thus, other Uerdingens and Türkgücüs can follow in the near future.

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