Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has admitted his fears over an 'ideological divide' in German football, after the controversial vote over the 50+1 rule went ahead on Thursday.
As stated by DFL rules, German clubs are prohibited from playing in the nation's top two leagues if they have commercial investors owning more than 49% of the business. This rule was challenged, after Bundesliga 2 side St. Pauli tabled a motion for a vote. 18 clubs, including BVB, voted to keep the rule, while four voted to scrap it - including RB Leipzig and Bayern Munich.
Speaking after the vote to maintain the rule, Watzke expressed his concerns over the club's who had voted in opposition to the 50+1, stating:
"We must be careful to not attack those who have another opinion, even more so if that's a majority opinion. We must be careful that we don't divide the Bundesliga like German society right now is beginning to be divided."
"We must learn how to argue with respect. Once that's in China, we won't get it back, and investments rarely run as smoothly as at Paris [Saint-Germain] or Manchester [City]. Most of the time, they just fail. I have the feeling that there is a dangerous tendency in German football right now, and the fans are fighting it.
"Let's look at over-commercialisation, Monday night games, transfer fees, players on strikes. Some of those things also annoy me.There's a load of social dynamite in it. We [Dortmund] have 153,000 members, and I know that most of them want to keep 50+1. Should we decide over their heads?"
"Things would just blow up in our faces because, once investors have control, those people will not see any fans - only customers. That's why I am deeply worried about a complete ideological divide in German football."
In other news, BVB have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of AC Milan striker Patrick Cutrone, after the 20-year-old sensation is reportedly close to agreeing a new deal with the San Siro sleeping giants.
The youth academy product has been on fine form for his side this season - scoring seven league goals to help his side rise to sixth in the league table.