The Washington Times - May 12, 2009, 03:12PM

Any wealthy person looking to buy a soccer team may want to consider investing in the German Bundesliga, according to a new analysis. Park Lane, a sports investment bank in Los Angeles, issued a white paper Tuesday explaining that Germany’s top soccer league could be poised for a new injection of foreign investment, especially if the league changes certain rules governing team ownership.

Park Lane’s argument is a straightforward one: Germany is the most wealthy country in Europe. After hosting the World Cup in 2006, the sports is more popular there than ever. And their top teams are some of the most lucrative in all of soccer. And yet, the English Premier League is the one bolstered by wealthy investors.

“Germany has not received the same influx of foreign investments despite boasting the largest economy in Europe, housing a population with approximately 20 million more people than the UK, constructing brand new soccer stadiums throughout the country, and cultivating an extremely passionate fan base with renewed enthusiasm for the game.”


This could change, Park Lane suggests, if the Bundesliga gets rid of the “50+1” rule that requires at least half of all shares of a team to be German-owned. And there has been a strong push by many teams to get rid of the rule. If the rule is eliminated, foreign investors could buy teams while they are heavily undervalued.

“This change would present a previously unforeseen opportunity to purchase a professional soccer team for all-time low valuations.  Doing so would allow an investor to be a part of the first wave of foreign investors in soccer enthused Germany and take advantage of the expected appreciation in valuations over the next five-to-ten years.”