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German fans won the fight!
Bundesliga clubs have voted to retain the 50+1 rule, which ensures that German football clubs must retain a 50 percent plus one share in the team. They also voted to keep VAR for at least another season.
A majority of the 36 Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 clubs voted on Thursday for the retention of German football's so-called 50+1 rule, approving a motion tabled by second division club FC St. Pauli.
The 50+1 rule states that a German football club must retain 50 percent of the shares in its professional football team, plus one share, thus preventing any other shareholder or entity from acquiring a majority stake.
After hearing aid manufacturer Martin Kind temporarily withdrew his application to obtain an exemption from the rule and acquire majority control of Bundesliga side Hannover 96 in February, the German Football League (DFL) called for a "fundamental debate" on the future of the 50+1 rule.
"We had a lively discussion and frank exchanges," reported DFL President Reinhard Rauball. "The 50+1 rule belongs to the foundations which have strengthened German football and anchored it in society."
The decision is also being seen as a victory for the "50+1 stays" campaign, which presented a petition signed by over 3,000 fan groups from across Germany to DFL officials ahead of the talks. However, Rettig also cautioned:
"Now is not the time to sit back with our hands on our laps, nor to completely shut ourselves off from new developments. We must be open to changes, but only within the parameters of 50+1."