Former Bundesliga team 1860 Munich faces demotion to Germany's fourth or even fifth tier after failing to meet a deadline for a third-division license.
MUNICH (AP) Former Bundesliga team 1860 Munich faces demotion to Germany's fourth or even fifth tier after failing to meet a deadline for a third-division license.
1860 was due to make a payment of reportedly 5 to 10 million euros ($5.6-11.2 million) to the German soccer federation for the license by Friday afternoon, but financial backer Hasan Ismaik said through his company HAM that he wasn't prepared to pay it because 1860 ''refuses to make necessary changes to solve the many issues facing the club.''
Ismaik, a Jordanian billionaire who owns 60 percent of 1860, was the club's only hope of meeting the payment deadline.
1860 was relegated from Germany's second division on Tuesday in a playoff defeat to Jahn Regensburg, a team that was playing fourth-tier football the season before.
Despite missing the payment, Ismaik said he will continue to support the club at the fourth or fifth level ''and push forward necessary changes.''
''His emotional ties to 1860 and his loyalty to the fans remains strong. The financial commitment to the beneficial work of TSV 1860 e.V. is also not affected by the aforementioned business decision,'' the statement added.
Ismaik is at loggerheads with those remaining at the club over changes he wants pushed through that 1860 said on Thursday ''the club cannot fulfill for legal and organizational reasons.''
The Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reported that Ismaik, who only has 49 percent voting rights at 1860 in line with the Bundesliga's 50-plus-1 regulation, has made his financial support dependent on conditions that would have given him more power. The 50-plus-1 rule seeks to limit the influence of external backers.
Ismaik, who didn't attend Tuesday's playoff loss, has denied any responsibility for the club's plight and accused management of ''unscrupulous power struggles.''
President Peter Cassalette and chief executive Ian Ayre resigned on Tuesday, leaving vice presidents Heinz Schmidt and Hans Sitzberger in charge.
The playoff loss at home was marred by violence from angry fans. Around 1,000 riot police lined up to prevent the situation escalating as the game was held up for 15 minutes.
1860 had the third most expensive squad in the second division after Stuttgart and Hannover, which both secured their return to the Bundesliga. 1860 finished third from bottom, leading to the playoff against the third division's third-place finisher.
1860, which won the Bundesliga in 1966 and played in the top flight as recently as 2004, returned to the third level for the first time in 24 years, but Friday's missed deadline means it will drop even further.
1860's under-21, under-19, under-17 and under-16 teams were also relegated this season.