Doubts about HSV board member Thomas Wüstefeld
The HSV desperately fights for a loan and sinks into self-inflicted chaos
In terms of sport, things are going really well for HSV in the 2nd division, but behind the scenes there is a lot of fighting. Doubts about CEO Thomas Wüstefeld are growing, and at the same time the club is desperately looking for credit guarantors.
It should be an extremely unpleasant appointment for the entrepreneur Thomas Wüstefeld. Of the HSV-The board of directors should provide information about the financial situation of the heavily indebted association in the budget committee of the Hamburg Parliament. He should answer one question in particular: What happened to the 23.5 million euros that the city transferred to HSV two years ago for the purchase of the stadium property. The deal came about on one condition: the club agrees to use the money for the renovation of the stadium, which is necessary for the 2024 European Championship.
But the club doesn't. The corona pandemic intervened, the money was needed to plug other financial holes. But if Hamburg wants to remain the venue of the European Championship, the chic roof construction of the stadium in the Volkspark will have to be overhauled. Wüstefeld was able to find a new lender in the main sponsor Hanse Merkur, an insurance group. The problem: He still needs a guarantor for the promised 13 million euroscredit. In turn, Wüstefeld wanted to get the guarantee from the city.
No more city support
That was not a good idea. As the Hamburg evening paper reported, no parliamentary group (SPD, Greens, CDU, FDP, Linke, AfD) is willing to give the guarantee. The club has sovereignly ruined its reputation in recent years. "In the current situation, I think a guarantee is out of the question," said the budget spokesman for the CDU parliamentary group, Thilo Kleibauer, the newspaper. His SPD colleague Milan Pein also said: "For image reasons alone, HSV would do well to try to find a solution in the free economy."
The problems with the guarantee are just the latest chapter in a never-ending story of quarrels, power struggles and intrigues. Since Thomas Wuertfeld bought 5.11 percent of the shares in HSV for 14.2 million euros last year, the power struggles in the club have escalated again.
In addition to friction with manager Jonas Boldt, the board of directors started a dispute with Kühne, from whom he had acquired the shares. The dispute escalated so much that Wüstefeld is considering a lawsuit against Kühne. The accusation is that he paid too high a price for the shares because the club allegedly withheld millions of holes in the budget.
Wüstefeld's different roles collide
The absurd example shows how Wüstefeld's role as an investor collides with his role as the club's finance director: "He wants HSV to be financially healthy, but in his role as a shareholder he is fighting for the company to be valued lower, so that the purchase price for his shares is opposite Klaus-Michael Kühne is sinking," said the football magazine "kicker" in astonishment.
Most recently, doubts about the seriousness of the businessman who controls HSV significantly have increased. There are even doubts about the doctorate that the medical entrepreneur carries in his name. The public prosecutor's office in Hamburg has received two criminal charges - for fraud and breach of trust in transactions with PCR tests and test devices. Several million lawsuits have been filed against him and his companies at the district court, and the city's judicial authorities are investigating the alleged illegal sale of medicines.
The reputation of the man whose pre-HSV history remains murky has suffered quite a bit, and that is having an increasingly negative effect. Therefore, under pressure, the supervisory board under President Marcell Jansen persuaded her to set up an internal special commission to examine the allegations. Jansen will not be a member of the commission because he used to have business ties with Wüstefeld.
This is a problem for the heavily indebted club. All this club needs is seriousness and calm. He has to reduce debts in the millions and at the same time make a sporty return to the first Bundesliga. But the intrigues and fights under Wüstefeld and his tarnished reputation have cost a lot of reputation. The "Hamburger Abendblatt" reports that Telekom, the first major sponsor, is withdrawing because of the constant quarrels. HSV hasn't received a loan from the banks for a long time and the club has lost the trust of the citizens. There will probably not be a guarantee for the loan for the stadium renovation.