The German Bundesliga on Tuesday kept the door closed on wealthy investors effectively buying up a club.

In a vote at the German Football League’s general assembly, the 36 first and second division clubs voted down a move to scrap a rule which prevents majority holdings by potential investors.

Hanover president Martin Kind had called for the Bundesliga to open itself to outside investment, saying it would allow smaller clubs to be more competitive against wealthier rivals.

However his call for Germany’s 50+1 rule to be overturned — which would have needed a two-thirds majority — was overwhelmingly rejected.

Mr. Kind has argued that German football regulations were not keeping pace with international developments and may also be in breach of commercial law.

However federation officials as well as most clubs fear the traditional nature of the game in Germany would be severely compromised if the Bundesliga were to follow the route taken by some English Premier League clubs among others.

“We don’t want German football to be controlled from Russia or Asia,” Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke had said this week.

German football federation (DFB) president Theo Zwanziger has also been an opponent of any attempt to allow an investor to take over a club by gaining a majority stake.

“We have to ask ourselves: can and do we want to allow ourselves (a situation) that a sponsor or a sheikh buys a club and then sells it?”

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