Klaus-Michael Kühne, the billionaire businessman behind Hamburger SV, has said he cannot continue to finance the club in the current market. Kühne has invested an estimated 60 million euros in the Bundesliga club.
Long-term investor Klaus-Michael Kühne has announced that he is suspending his financial backing of Bundesliga side Hamburger SV.
In an interview with the German financial newspaper Handelsblatt on Tuesday, the 80-year-old labelled transfer fees in the current market as “scary” and said “I’m done for the time being.”
Kühne, the majority owner of the international transport company Kühne + Nagel, has invested an estimated 60 million euros ($72m) in the club, an amount which he has described as “a disproportion amount of money, but the fees being spent in the industry now are on a different level altogether.”
“This club has been through some difficult times,” he continued. “There have been so many changes and some transfers have been complete flops, so it’s obvious that you start getting concerned when you’ve invested as much money as I have.”
Kühne’s words echo comments he made in an interview with Spiegel magazine last month when he singled out former striker Pierre-Michel Lasogga as the “flop of the century.” Lasogga has since joined English second division side Leeds United where he has registered two goals and three assists in his first three appearances.
Ahead of Hamburg’s 2-0 defeat to Hannover on Friday night, Kühne voiced his support for Hannover investor Martin Kind in his campaign to abolish German football’s 50+1 ownership rule and assume full control of Hannover. The 50+1 rule prevents any single entity from owning more than 49 percent of shares in a club.
“I fully understand Mr. Kind’s campaign and am also in favor of abolishing the 50+1 rule,“ he told the Hamburger Abendblatt.
Kühne holds 17 percent of the shares in HSV but, according to the club’s statutes, only 24.9 percent of the club is up for sale.
“[Kühne’s] engagement [at HSV] gives him every right to talk about HSV,” said Kind. “With the current model, it will be difficult to attract investors, even in a large, wealthy city such as Hamburg.”
mf/hf (SID, DPA)