The Bundesliga, overseen by the German football league (DFL), has decided to halt its plans to involve an external investor in its media rights earnings following persistent protests from fans. The DFL board announced the abandonment of the deal.

CVC Capital Partners, a private equity firm, had been the sole remaining interested party looking to acquire a portion of broadcast and sponsorship revenue for a 20-year period in exchange for an initial lump sum payment.

Demonstrations by fans, which included throwing objects onto the field, led to prolonged disruptions during matches for several weeks after clubs in the top two men’s divisions voted in December to explore the investment proposal. Fans utilized remote-controlled vehicles and aircraft to interrupt games, with one incident involving the affixation of bicycle locks to a goalpost.

Hans-Joachim Watzke, a spokesperson for the DFL executive committee, remarked, “Given the current circumstances, it appears unfeasible to proceed successfully with the process. Although there is considerable support for the business necessity of forging a strategic partnership, German professional football is facing a critical examination, marked by significant disagreements not only within the league association among clubs but also, in some instances, within the clubs themselves, involving players, coaches, club administrators, supervisory bodies, members’ associations, and fan groups. These disagreements increasingly endanger match proceedings, specific schedules, and thereby, the integrity of the competition.”

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