The game of hide-and-seek has come to an end, the anonymous opposition group comes to light - but no longer wants to be called such.

On Wednesday, the men who want Ralf Rangnick to assert themselves as sports director at FC Schalke 04 and at the same time want to change the structures of the traditional club, which is suffering from sport and finances, presented themselves to the public.

“We are not an opposition.

We want to work with Schalke, ”said Frank Haberbrecher, who together with Prof. Dr.

Ulrich Paetzel is to speak for the group at a press conference in Essen.

Paetzel (49), chairman of the board of the Emschergenossenschaft, a water management association, and Habericket (54), managing director of the German Civil Service Association, forged an alliance nine months ago that has grown since the beginning of January and has been trying to exert massive influence on the future Schalke course since the beginning of January .

It consists of 14 people, including Ingo Anderbrügge, a former Schalke professional.

This includes former and current employees of the association such as Dr.

Armin Langhorst, the former team doctor, Rüdiger Mengede, the former event manager of the arena and Bodo Menze, who worked as a language teacher for the professionals.

The former Schalke Ingo Anderbrügge (left) with the spokesman for the initiative “FC Schalke 04 - Tradition and Future” Frank Habericket

Source: dpa / Roland Weihrauch

Representatives of Schalke sponsors are also involved, such as Hans Mosbacher from the Stölting Service Group and Harfid Hadrovic, owner of the Harfid construction company.

"We are making a clear offer to work for our association: Please, support us," said Paetzel, explaining the motivation.

In the past few days in particular, there would have been a lot of encouragement: “The telephones are no longer standing still.

Other names have registered.

Entrepreneurs, ex-players who want to participate. "

"We have no sheikhs, no locusts"


The group's goal is by no means a kind of hostile takeover of the club, says Paetzel: “We have no sheikhs, no locusts.

Clemens Tönnies is not part of our group. ”Paetzel emphasized the latter after rumors had emerged that the former chairman of the supervisory board could try to regain influence on Schalke with the help of the group.

In January, the group had a conversation with Schalke's supervisory board chairman, Dr.

Jens Buchta, afterwards there was no more contact despite several attempts.

Allegedly at that time the group requested the replacement of the board of directors.

This is not true.

Just as there were no rumors that sponsors had been asked from within the group to withhold payments if the board of directors did not respond to the group's demands.

“I reject that,” said Habericket.

Last Friday, however, the group - this is undisputed - dared to venture into a move that caused massive unrest.

Via a middleman on the supervisory board, Prof. Dr.

Stefan Gesenhus, had them put forward the proposal to make Rangnick, with whom discussions had already been held and from whom there had been a fundamental commitment, to become the sports director.

At the same time, this concern was made public via “Bild” and “WAZ”.

At the meeting of the supervisory board there was a heated argument about this unauthorized behavior of the group.

There was talk of "treason" and "conspiracy".

Ralf Rangnick could initiate the rebuilding on Schalke

Source: dpa / Jan Woitas

Installing Rangnick remains the group's most pressing goal.

With the 62-year-old former Schalke coach, "key points" about a possible engagement have already been discussed.

Also roughly the future budget with which he could work as a sports director.

"Ralf Rangnick is very interested"


After the Rangnick name was made public, there was widespread support.

"We still have the impression that Ralf Rangnick is really keen on Schalke," said Habericket.

Even the statement by Rangnick's advisor Marc Kosicke that Rangnick would especially like to become the future national coach and that Schalke is “far away” for him does not change that, says Paetzel: “We can only say that we are still firmly convinced that Rangnick has a high level of interest.

There is no indication that the train has left. "

In order to implement the plans, there should be a quick dialogue with the supervisory board.

By going public, the group has put the Schalke control committee under pressure.