Until 2017, Martin Schäfer (64) was Chairman of the Supervisory Board of VfB Stuttgart. He knows the club and its structures very well, describes himself as an “ardent supporter” – and in an interview with BILD is very concerned about the current developments at VfB.
BILD: Mr. Schäfer, how do you assess the decision of the association’s advisory board to nominate Pierre-Enric Steiger, who was previously almost unknown in the sports business, as the opposing candidate for incumbent Claus Vogt for the presidential election on July 18?
Martin Schäfer: “I’m confused.”
Shepherd: “I didn’t know Volker Zeh either, but I got to know him in the course of his application. So I can say that he has the profile, potential and trustworthiness to be a presidential candidate – and he had a plan. I find it extremely strange that they did not allow him. The reasons are not acceptable. Zeh has already achieved a lot as a businessman and president of the Kitzbühel ice hockey club. “
There are rumors that Steiger’s nomination had long been agreed between him, Vogt and the advisory board. Also because Steiger posed for photos in front of the VfB office last week.
Shepherd: “If you add two and two together, it can’t be any different. It looks like the decision was made before behind a closed door. I am convinced that Steiger has no chance of choosing. “
Shepherd: “As remarkably positive as it is, what’s going on in terms of sport this season – what’s going on around it is amazing! If you talk to insiders, even the greatest disaster. Vogt places his people everywhere. His strategy is to turn the club inside out. Good people who were more likely opponents of Vogt have resigned from the advisory board. Or Jochen Röttgermann, Rainer Mutschler, Stefan Heim and Dr. Bernd Gaiser, whom I know as absolute men of honor – they were simply pushed out against the background and with the help of the data scandal. I’m afraid nobody can stop Vogt now. If Zeh had been set up, I would have seen a chance, but it was probably too uncomfortable for some gentlemen. “
How do you see the future now?
Shepherd: “This is a very bitter development, especially regarding the corporate culture at VfB. And I can imagine that Sven Mislintat and Thomas Hitzlsperger, who really do a first-class job, will hardly be sustainable under these conditions if there are other interested clubs. “
What does the situation mean for the VfB commitment of the Würth company, of which you are the managing director?
Shepherd: “We still have 70 business seats, we will probably reduce them again for the new season, as we are currently in talks with SC Freiburg.”