By Peter Vice @ViceytheSS
Following his narrow election to the DFL board on Friday, 1. FC Köln executive Christian Keller sought to deny that his appointment constituted an automatic “no” vote on the German league body’s new plan to allow outside investment in.
|Christian Keller||Raimond Spekking CC-BY-SA 4.0|
In the vote to find a replacement on the DFL board for departed German footballing executive Fredi Bobic, Köln boss Christian Keller narrowly prevailed over SV Werder Bremen manage Klaus Fillbry on Friday. Keller’s late nomination for the post was widely considered to be aimed at installing a firm “no” vote on a new DFL investor model designed to bring more money into German football.
Keller – who prevailed over Fillbry by a razor-thin 18-16 vote margin – sought to emphasize that he was not automatically opposed the new investor onramp. Though some of the Köln executive’s recent comments made in an interview with Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) appeared two suggest an ultra-conservative approach to changes in the league body’s business model, Keller insisted he was open to change.
“I want to make this absolutely clear,” Keller noted on Germany’s famed Sunday footballing roundtable “Doppelpass”, “My election didn’t really have to do with my comments. These are two separate issues. One would be erring to conflate the two.”
“It’s the job of the DFL Executive committee to present ways in which the leagues can develop,” Keller continued on the Sport1 broadcast, “I have noted that the important next strep is to determine how all the clubs can come along. When the clubs know what the options are, it will be a matter of determining the most mutually beneficial common denominator.”
Keller’s words did, in fact, suggest that he was not necessarily a fan of what might be considered radical change that would disproportionately benefit some clubs above others. In the FAZ interview, Keller railed against the DFL’s tendency towards emulating the “monstrous competitiveness of other international clubs”.
Keller essentially reaffirmed this stance on the program.
“Football is something that is there for the people, not for certain groups in society,” Keller said Football is really something for everyone. This idea should be the driving force [behind all decisions]. The game should always be the focus. Money and commerce should be a means to make the game work better, not the other way around.”
Stressing that “common goals” remained his priority when it came to any decisions made on behalf of the 36 clubs currently under the DFL umbrella, Keller wanted to express his openness to change in his new post. From Keller’s perspective, there should be no automatic bans on forward thinking.
“There are two sentences I never like to hear,” he concluded, “[Those are] ‘It’s always been that way’ and ‘We’ve never done it that way’.”