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Exactly one year ago this week Hans Rinner became the president of the Austrian Bundesliga (the League) Supervisory Council. President Gernot Zirngast, from the Austrian players' union (VdF), voices the union's view when he says that he is not impressed by what Mr Rinner has achieved over the past year.


During his year as president of the supervisory council of the Austrian league Rinner attracted special attention with his failure to dismiss the president of the Bundesliga (Georg Pangl) and his opinion on the recent decisions to award the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup tournaments to Russia and Qatar. ‘This was the most honest procedure in history,’ he said, ‘because the decision was about nothing more than money.’


As a result of this latest statement, the players' union VdF drew a comparison with the current situation of Austrian football. ‘This means that the Bundesliga must come to the conclusion that in our case it is also about nothing more than money and power’, infers Gernot Zirngast.


'Bad luck for Austrian football and its players!', Zirngast explains. 'Last year it was not even possible to discuss very urgent adaptations to the trade union agreement signed with EFZG focusing on rest periods or the dual education system for new generation players. We are still waiting for measures to protect players against unemployment and for an explanation on the topic of sports betting, but the Bundesliga does not seem particularly interested in these topics.'


For Zirngast this situation is intolerable: 'The Bundesliga knows exactly what is being discussed internationally and provides no reaction. The non-profit status of professional teams in sports clubs is in the process of being abolished. Nevertheless our clubs continue to work on models that exploit this non-profit aspect of professional teams.'


‘In social dialogue, one aspect raised by the European Union involves a dual education system for young professional footballers - also continuing after graduation. In Austria this is precisely what most clubs try to prevent, even when the player is not registered as a professional player. The Bundesliga and the VdF now face a joint challenge to change this together and to guarantee compliance with the trade union agreement. Now we will see whether the league and its president might show a little interest in this…’