Who will be responsible for DOSB in the future? This is a question that worries many in German sport at the moment. The umbrella organization is looking for a successor to outgoing President Alphonse Hormann. A number of influential leading federations have suggested that table tennis employee Thomas Weckert, and representatives of state sports federations argue over an opposing candidate, and various names are spread throughout the German Olympic Sports Federation.
But at the same time there is another important question. It reads: What should DOSB say in the future?
This week saw another great meeting of the top German sporting staff. They met for three days to discuss the last summer games. And after deliberations on Tokyo’s balance sheet – which turned out to be easier to manage with 10 gold, 11 silver and 16 bronze medals than it has been since reunification – the conclusion was: German competitive sport needed “fundamental changes”.
That sounded so funny. Because “fundamental changes” have been hanging around German sport for a long time. In 2016, under pressure from politics, the German Football Association (DOSB) passed a controversial but by no means overhaul of competitive sports reform, which was primarily intended to bring in more medals. Now the additional slogan is: “We and the whole system must evolve and change.”
On the political arena, there is great discomfort with DOSB
In such requests to speak, some desperation and helplessness are documented. If the top sport doesn’t lack one, it’s concepts and analytics. More like implementation. There are a lot of adventurous stories from associations, which, of course, good work is done in many places: from successful sports directors who have to leave anyway; A site that works well but is not as powerful as it should be due to internal vanity; of athletes who are lost or overlooked in the breadth of the system.
Many of those involved in politics are very upset. After all, there is a lot of tax money in first-class sport: from the budget of the Federal Ministry of the Interior alone, it is now around 300 million euros per year. There are corresponding expectations that DOSB and its sections will perform well.
What comes into play here is that the sport has traditionally been able to do whatever it wants without any real control. That only changed with the higher-level sports reform, for which there was more money, but sports also increasingly came under policy guidelines. Sports finance is now full of terrible words: there is the “Probability Analysis System” (Bottas), which meticulously checks all disciplines for medal odds. The “Shift Rule,” which uses the Potas score to calculate funding amounts for each individual major, is completely new. The first funding decisions will be made these days, showing the specific financial results of the new system of individual societies and disciplines.
But the way the situation is and how DOSB presents itself, shouldn’t be the end of development. Not only in many authoritarian countries, but also in democratic countries, there have long been structures in which politics determines the financing of sports to a much greater extent than in Germany. In Austria, for example, there is a “Bundes-Sport GmbH” that awards, processes and controls funds for sports; In Great Britain, UK Sport is a “strategic investor”, and its decision to support athletes and athletes almost exclusively with high medal prospects has been a cornerstone of the lucrative return for Britons in recent years, especially in London 2012.
Britain cannot be the model
In the end, the question is who controls the sport, and this is a fine line to walk, it is necessary that politics strictly control the sport. But it becomes problematic at the latest when everything in the finance system is subordinated, as in Great Britain, to the goal of winning as many medals as possible.
This is not only true because the doping issue in some sports is so widespread that the lack of medals is more welcome than regret. But also for the question of how to connect first-class sport to society. To further enhance bobsleigh and bobsleigh, because the chances of medals are particularly high because of the international controllable competition, or to invest a lot of money in cycling because the athlete can win many medals there unlike beach volleyball, the track cannot be a sports system German is very diverse.
The only problem with the sport is that with its greed for more money and yes the competitive sports fix, it has lifted all that spirits. And no matter what the next president’s name is: he’ll hardly be able to get rid of them.
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