Hertha BSC: Money from Saudi Arabia at Hertha BSC? – Sports

Hertha BSC: Money from Saudi Arabia at Hertha BSC?  – Sports

After being substituted at half-time of the 3-1 defeat in Hoffenheim, Hertha striker Florian Niederlechner was caught by a TV camera studying his mobile phone on the substitutes’ bench. Niederlechner harvested a so-called shit storm in the depths of the internet – and felt under pressure to justify himself.

The striker later defended that he had only studied the results of his opponents and the table – and that was understandable. A look at the display revealed Niederlechner that he was close to the abyss where he was with Hertha BSC. The Berliners are now in 16th place, level on points with the penultimate Schalke and only one point ahead of bottom VfB Stuttgart. However, another message from the weekend was even more exciting – distributed a few hours before Hertha’s game in Kraichgau by the agency specializing in economic and financial news Bloomberg.

Accordingly, the private equity company 777 Partners presented last Monday as a new Hertha major investor is looking for partners from the USA in turn financiers for their own football division. In addition to Hertha, this also includes other relatively successful clubs in Australia, Brazil, Belgium and Italy. Triple Seven, as Hertha’s new strategic partner is called in the scene, is also knocking on the door of the Saudi Arabian owners of the English Premier League club Newcastle United, it was reported Bloomberg. If one were to agree, this could have explosive consequences. Saudi money could end up at Hertha BSC via this detour – for the first time in the German Bundesliga.

“We don’t comment on rumours,” says a 777 spokesman.

The suspicion is by no means far-fetched. Bloomberg is considered serious and well connected in financial circles. According to the report, Triple-Seven has approached five potential donors. That in itself raises the question of how strong the US financial investor actually is. So are you also trying to get Saudi money? “We do not comment on rumours,” said a 777 spokesman when asked by SZ. Just this much: Of course you are “constantly” in contact with other people from the business and financial world, “inevitably” it’s also about football. A denial sounds different. And that in turn fits the agency report.

Then Bloomberg specified that among the interlocutors was Amanda Staveley – the British businesswoman who plays a key role in Newcastle United. She is said to have helped arrange the takeover of the traditional club by the Saudi state fund PIF 2021. If one were to agree on a capital injection for 777 Partners, “every investment in Triple Seven could include money from the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund,” he said Bloomberg an unspecified source. PIF and Staveley’s company declined to comment on the news, it said.

Money from Saudi Arabia at Hertha? That would be a volte that would be as spectacular as the exit of the previous investor Lars Windhorst in autumn 2022. Afterwards, Hertha BSC emphasized that they would not accept every new buyer. Money from countries with a bad record in terms of human rights, for example, was categorically excluded. When asked by the SZ whether there was a right of veto if the Americans wanted to resell shares in the sovereign wealth fund in Riyadh or whether 777 might even be able to resell all of its Hertha shares, the spokesman for the Bundesliga club said on Sunday: “As already in In the past, the topic of resale is also regulated in the current contract. However, we ask for your understanding that we do not want to answer any detailed questions about the content of contracts.”

Amazing that President Bernstein has announced the “end of megalomania”.

However, there are increasing indications that the entry of Triple Seven marks the sell-out of a traditional German club to foreign investors to the extent that the Bundesliga has never experienced. President Kay Bernstein’s euphoria knew no bounds when last week he celebrated the entry of 777 Partners in place of the unloved German investor Lars Windhorst as a “very, very good day” and the “end of megalomania” at Hertha. Bernstein dedicated the press conference to a “mourning service” for the label from the “Big City Club” propagated by Windhorst.

But the question is now becoming increasingly clear as to whether the Hertha team really “brought back” their club with the election of Bernstein, as the president, in his own words a “child of the curve” and former singer of the Hertha Ultras, even after his freestyle had announced. Many fans obviously see it differently. In Hoffenheim, fellow travelers unrolled a banner in the stands: “Investors not wanted”. And, as the Hertha flag on the banner revealed, this time it wasn’t aimed at Hoffenheim’s patron Dietmar Hopp. At least not primarily.

In fact, there is much to suggest a complete takeover by the Triple Seven. The financial investor from Miami with the two managing partners Steven Pasko and Josh Wander not only takes over Windhorst’s 64.7 percent stake in the Hertha BSC GmbH&Co. Limited partnership on shares (KGaA) outsourced professional department. Triple Seven secured a total of 78.8 percent of the shares. And should Hertha generate profits and pay out dividends in the future, Triple Seven will collect 95 cents from every euro; the club has to be content with the meager rest. In addition, the association’s stake in KGaA has fallen to 21.2 percent and thus below the blocking minority of 25.1 percent. Because Triple Seven carries out a capital increase and pumps 100 million euros into Hertha.

It is a cash injection that will fizzle out immediately and will probably have no impact on transfers or the quality of the sport. The capital club lost 211.15 million euros in the past three seasons alone, and the current season will probably add another 64 million. Against this background, Bernstein’s verbal abuse of Windhorst when presenting Triple Seven seems at least strange. Because without Windhorst’s 374 million euros, Hertha BSC would have been bankrupt long ago. There is nothing left of the money, instead there are 90.8 million euros in debt and negative equity of 15 million euros.

It is all the more astonishing that Bernstein is now reinterpreting the four years with Windhorst as an era of “megalomania”. Especially since Windhorst had offered Hertha millions more to help – unlimited, as he always emphasized. He also hadn’t asked for 95 per cent of any future club profits like Triple Seven now. According to SZ information, the Americans have also won the right to have a say in all player transfers – Windhorst should only have been asked for a purchase sum of 20 million euros. A Hertha spokesman, however, categorically denied such a say in 777.

Either way – without the Americans nothing works in the professional division at Hertha. It is unclear how the German Football League (DFL) will react to all of this. The overriding “50 plus one rule”, according to which every club must have the last word in all decisions, is adhered to pro forma at Hertha. In fact, however, the oldest German Bundesliga side landed where, according to many fans, a traditional club should never land, especially if it is based in the capital: in the claws of a US locust.

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