At Hamburger SV and Hannover 96 things are going haywire. As so often in the past. Actually, both traditional clubs had created all the conditions for a sportingly successful season. But now internal disputes are even being fought in court in both cases.
In Hanover, the dispute between the parent club and the capital side led by majority shareholder Martin Kind has been blocking the club for more than three years and is dividing even the supporters. The conflict escalated last week and ruined the spirit of optimism that had arisen with the new coach Stefan Leitl and many well-known newcomers.
There are two areas of conflict at HSV: The finance and sports directors Thomas Wüstefeld and Jonas Boldt do not understand each other without the supervisory board having contained this conflict so far. CFO Wüstefeld also raises serious allegations against his predecessor Frank Wettstein and investor Klaus-Michael Kühne because he was allegedly denied the need to renovate the Volkspark Stadium and the city had long since spent an amount of 23.5 million euros for other purposes. All this affects two already notoriously restless clubs. While the next HSV opponent 1. FC Heidenheim had only one coach and one sports director in the past 15 years, the Hamburg team employed 17 head coaches and six interim coaches at the same time. In Hanover, Leitl is already the 14th coach since 2007.
The 96 majority shareholder child divides the fans. While some emphasize his undoubted merits for the club, others accuse him of sole rule and an emotional distance to football. The current e.V. leadership comes from the fan scene and has always made a name for itself with a programme: the child has to go. The conflict escalated last week when the parent club dismissed Kind as managing director of the professional football division. The 78-year-old is defending himself legally: Thanks to a decision by the Hanover Regional Court, he can continue to work as managing director until the hearing date on August 16th.
At HSV, things aren't looking any better at the top: Sports director Jonas Boldt and CFO Thomas Wüstefeld can't get along - even if Wüstefeld downplayed this on Tuesday. The break became public at the latest when Boldt demoted sports director Michael Mutzel. "Michael doesn't work in a leadership role around the team," Boldt said in early June, even forbidding him to keep in touch with the team. Mutzel had previously committed himself to Wüstefeld, which Boldt interpreted as disloyalty - and finally gave him leave. Mutzel went to court and was right in the first instance. Consequence: The separation is much more expensive than expected - and the whole dispute is now publicly visible.
The protagonists have allies: Boldt has coach Tim Walter, the players and most of the staff in the office behind him. Wüstefeld wants to downsize for reasons of economy. The entrepreneur from the medical technology industry and HSV shareholder has the chairman of the supervisory board, Marcell Janssen, on his side, although members of the control committee have now also spoken out against him. Investor Kühne told the "Hamburger Abendblatt": He hopes "that Dr. Wüstefeld will soon be history at HSV". Four months earlier he said: "With Dr. Wüstefeld, a man has taken over the management of HSV Fußball AG who works with as much prudence as he has a zest for action. This opens up completely new perspectives for our HSV."
The parent association of 96 has accused the capital side of the association - and thus Martin Kind - of repeatedly violating the so-called Hanover 96 Treaty and the sponsorship agreements concluded at the same time. A fixed donation was not paid at all and further donations "were not paid at the agreed time". The professional football sector denies the allegations of the parent club.
At HSV, the burden of an estimated 30 to 40 million euros in renovation costs for the club's own arena, which is getting on in years, is weighing heavily on it. Five European Championship games are to take place there in 2024. But the money provided by the city to purchase the stadium land has long since been spent. Because the roof is dilapidated, the operating license for the arena could even be withdrawn. For eleven financial years, HSV has been writing bad things on a regular basis. Wüstefeld wants to present a balanced balance sheet for the past season, which is more than surprising. In the ten days he wants to present a financing concept for the arena renovation.
With decent performances, 96 have only scored one point after games in Kaiserslautern (1:2) and against FC St. Pauli (2:2). In both games, the Lower Saxony conceded late goals. After the 3-0 win over Schott Mainz in the DFB Cup, SC Paderborn welcomes them at the weekend. In terms of sport, things are not going as hoped at HSV. Coach Tim Walter would like reinforcements for the offensive. The board of directors has not yet approved the budget, and expenditure has been frozen. After an unconvincing 2-0 at the start of the league in Braunschweig, Hamburg suffered a 0-1 defeat against Rostock at home.