Association of taxpayers against city credit for the HSV

Hamburg (dpa) – The taxpayers’ association expects the city of Hamburg to deny the club a guarantee for a 13 million euro loan for the renovation of the Volksparkstadion, even after hearing from HSV CFO Thomas Wüstefeld. “We hope that this attitude will remain and that no loopholes will be sought. It is not the job of the taxpayer to help HSV out of a self-inflicted financial misery,” said Chairwoman Petra Ackmann in a statement sent on Thursday evening after the meeting.

Background: The city bought the stadium property from the second division soccer team for 23.5 million euros two years ago. With the condition that HSV use the money for the arena renovation. Not least because of the corona pandemic with high costs and less income, the money was spent elsewhere – but before Wüstefeld’s time. Since the 53-year-old answered evasively in this context, the committee now also wants to question the sports director Jonas Boldt, who has been working for HSV since 2019. “He will have knowledge of the exact operational costs,” said SPD spokesman Milan Pein. Especially since HSV also received 14 million euros in corona aid.

Wüstefeld has advertised HSV’s main sponsor HanseMerkur as a lender, but is still looking for guarantors and is – in addition to the city – “also in talks with other partners”. He emphasized that HSV would raise ten million euros for the “first of three packages of measures” for ongoing game operations. The arena, which was rebuilt in 1998, needs to be renovated in order to remain in the running as a venue for the EM 2024. The other packages of measures relate to the EURO and therefore do not have to be implemented immediately, emphasized Wüstefeld.

© dpa-infocom, dpa:220923-99-873458/3

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