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General meeting votes to introduce special representatives and quota

FC St. Pauli members on Saturday voted to introduce special representatives and a quota at the club's general meeting at the Millerntor Stadium. The two motions sparked an engaging and lively discussion before the members in attendance voted to adopt them, each by an overwhelming majority.


Brief summary of the motion: FC St. Pauli now has an annual turnover of more than 50 million euros and employs several hundred people, the equivalent of a medium-sized company. In view of this development, the current governance structure is outdated and stretches the presidential board to its limits. In addition, the assumption of responsibility [by the board members] no longer bears any relation to their sole liability risk. For these reasons, the supervisory and presidential boards have in recent years developed various models for the club's board and governance structure and, after in-depth discussions, formulated a joint motion to amend the club constitution.

In his address to the meeting, club president Oke Göttlich outlined the reasons behind the motion at length. A host of members took the opportunity to ask substantive questions relating to the liability and responsibility of the special representatives, their appointment, the financial outlay and the options for members to evaluate the work they do. Questions were also asked about the possibility of consulting experts on a fee basis or establishing a full-time presidential board instead of appointing special representatives. During the discussion, supervisory board chair Sandra Schwedler explained the function of the supervisory board as a control body and, along with the freshly elected club vice-president Esin Rager, reiterated the importance of the motion. At the end of the discussion, the meeting agreed by a majority to vote on the motion in writing.

After a brief intermission, the result was announced. Of the 416 valid votes cast, 353 were in favour, meaning that the members had approved the motion to introduce the special representatives by the required three-quarters majority, for which 312 yes-votes were necessary.


Brief summary of the motion: for elections to the supervisory board, the honorary board and the elections committee, the number of seats reserved for women shall be in proportion to the number of female members of the club, but at minimum 30 per cent. FC St. Pauli stands against racism and discrimination and thus for diversity and inclusion. Hitherto, this diversity has not been reflected on the boards and committees elected by the general meeting. The proportion of women on these bodies does not correspond to the proportion of female members of the club and, above all, in society. Experiences at other clubs and organisations have shown that the introduction of a quota is the most effective means of quickly and sustainably achieving more gender balance on our boards and committees.

Susann Edding, member of the honorary board since 2017 and the Diversity Working Group since 2019, addressed a few words to the meeting, providing an insight into the work of the Diversity Working Group before outlining the reasons for the motion in more detail. A quota was a clear signal to interested women to get involved in FC St. Pauli that the club wishes to send and an important social goal, Edding said. Oke Göttlich emphasised that the motion had the full support of the presidential board, and an intense discussion of the pros and contras of introducing a quota ensued.

The meeting voted by a substantial majority to decide on the motion by a show of hands rather than in writing. With just six votes against and three abstentions, the motion was adopted by the members with an overwhelming majority.


Photo: FC St. Pauli