German soccer league abandons investment deal after fan protests disrupt games

AP , Wednesday 21 Feb 2024

The German soccer league said Wednesday it is abandoning plans to sell a stake in its media rights income to an outside investor after months of increasingly disruptive protests by fans.

Bundesliga football
Bochum s Brazilian defender #05 Bernardo tackles Bayern Munich s French defender #02 Dayot Upamecano during the German first division Bundesliga football match between VfL Bochum and FC Bayern Munich in Bochum, western Germany on February 18, 2024. AFP

 

The league, known as the DFL, said its board decided Wednesday not to proceed with the deal. Private equity investor CVC Capital Partners was the only remaining prospective buyer for a 20-year slice of broadcast and sponsorship revenue in return for an up-front payment.

Protests by fans throwing objects onto fields have caused lengthy stoppages at games for weeks since the clubs in the top two men's divisions voted in December to proceed with talks on the investment plan.

Some protests have involved fans using remote-controlled cars and airplanes to stop games and in one case attaching bicycle locks to the goalpost.

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