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FCA record man Pepi and the influence of American investor Blitzer

Football Germany last week learned with great surprise about the economic opportunities of FC Augsburg. In economic terms; however; the club is not as “small” as many think.

Ricardo Pepi is the record transfer from Augsburg.

Ricardo Pepi is the record transfer from Augsburg.
image images / ULMER press image agency

Would Ricardo Pepic Landed in Wolfsburg; at least the financial aspect of the transfer would hardly have received more attention. But while VfL believed they were on pole position in the race for the now 19-year-old American talent; the tide turned between Christmas and New Years. A club from the south had outperformed the wolves financially. But not FC Bayern; for example. The record champions teamed up with FC Dallas; but ultimately had nothing to do with the transfer. It was FC Augsburg that put 16 million euros on the table.

Obviously; many were unaware that the club had opened up to investors in 2005 by divesting the professional division. But the club’s communication in this area was not always transparent either.

Hofmann’s Powerful Double Role – Blitzer’s “Secret” Entry

But first: all the threads come together in Augsburg at Klaus Hofmann. The 54-year-old fire protection entrepreneur; who himself comes from the fan scene; is chairman of the e. V.; Hofmann Investors GmbH also owns 99.4 percent of the shares in FC Augsburg GmbH und Co. KGaA. Since Hofmann acts as general manager of the investor-only group; in which he owns 30 percent of the shares; he is in control of the financial reins of the club – a powerful dual role that has been viewed critically; but which on paper still remains the 50 +1 rule.

David Blitzer (Bolt Football Holding) has been the largest shareholder of Investors GmbH since February 2021 with approximately 45 percent of the shares. It caused annoyance in the environment that the entry of the American investor initially not publicly communicated and was discovered by fans with reference to the commercial register. Blitzer is also involved in the Premier League at Crystal Palace and with American professional clubs such as the New Jersey Devils (ice hockey) and the Philadelphia 76ers (basketball).

“I want to make it clear that this will not change anything for FC Augsburg compared to before. In the past I had decision-making power at Hofmann Investors GmbH and will continue to do so in the future;” explains Hofmann in an open letter after the events in April 2021. With the American on board; people are more firmly positioned in the event of a crisis.

Blitzer wants ‘Augsburg to play for Europe’

Back to Pepi: Even if it met with surprise in industrial circles; the old Hofmann friend Blitzer had nothing to do with the transfer operationally; director Stefan Reuter emphasized. The FCA; which suffered only minor losses even during the Corona crisis and built up 53 million euros in equity over the years; was able to handle the transfer itself.

But it’s also clear that if Pepi had been Brazilian; for example; he almost certainly wouldn’t have ended up with the FCA. It goes without saying that speed cameras aim to increase the value of their stocks through better marketing worldwide; especially in the US. So its influence is probably not going to be zero. Especially since Blitzer told “manager magazin” in November that he would like “Augsburg to play in Europe”.

One Pepi will not be enough.

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