Manske resigns: Hertha continues to argue
Sseven hours and thirty-one minutes, that’s how long the general meeting went by Hertha BSC. Many had even reckoned with an even longer stay in the exhibition halls. The reason was the chaotic season with the rescue at the last moment and all the internal quarrels that culminated in the resignations of President Werner Gegenbauer and CFO Ingo Schiller last week. The management confusion arose less than 24 hours after Hertha had managed to stay in the class by beating 2-0 in the relegation second leg at Hamburger SV.
So there it was again, the contentious Hertha, eaten up by internal turf wars, which a speaker called “the most embarrassing club in Germany”. It was a verbal slap that resonated well beyond the city limits, but it was by no means unexpected after all the bickering and arguments that have paralyzed the club.
representatives of the old era
The focus was on investor Lars Windhorst and the old presidium – Windhorst had regularly announced what he thought of the representatives. Namely nothing. He linked further investments to the departure of the President counter pawn, so his move came as little surprise. In addition, there were several motions to dismiss him. “It has always been an honor for me to be able to serve the club and its members,” said Gegenbauer at the end of his fourteen-year tenure.
His immediate successor didn’t stay in that position for long. After Gegenbauer’s resignation, Thorsten Manske took over the post on an interim basis, but the outraged members identified him as a representative of the old era and urged him to resign. Although a motion to be voted out against him brought only 64.2 percent of the votes (75 percent would have been necessary), the obvious distrust prompted Manske to resign immediately. A successor is now scheduled for June 26th new elections being found.
Under no circumstances will Lars Windhorst, he has already ruled that out. His appearance had been eagerly awaited, but when the time came, we had to wait. Waiting for the loud boos to die down. Again and again there were chants against him, “Windhorst out!” was the most common. The investor, who has given Hertha the sum of 374 million euros since 2019, answered in his own way. “Whether most people like it or not, I am here as the majority owner. Windhorst out, that doesn’t actually work. I cannot be voted out and my shares are not for sale. I’m not leaving, it’s not possible for the next ten, twenty years,” he said.
Windhorst only wants to give money back if “a promising new start” succeeds. He didn’t get any more specific than that, and he didn’t campaign aggressively for a candidate in the new elections. The field is still clear, entrepreneur Marco Hennig and former Ultra Kay Bernstein have deposited their ambitions.
In any case, Hertha should have a new coach faster than a new president. Sandro Schwarz, courted by the Berliners, announced his departure from Dynamo Moscow on Tuesday. The announcement of the move to Hertha BSC is expected in the next few days.