Gelsenkirchen (dpa) – At FC Schalke 04, his era ends after 27 years, but multi-functionary Peter Peters will remain an important figure in German professional football for the next few years.
The 57-year-old can keep his posts at the German Football League (DFL) and the German Football Association (DFB) for the duration of his election despite his surprising retirement from the Bundesliga soccer team. This is clear from the statutes of the DFL e.V. Schalke announced on Friday that their ways would separate on June 30.
At the DFL, Diplomkaufmann Peters has been the first deputy spokesman for the DFL Presidium since August 21, 2019 and thus deputy for DFL boss Christian Seifert and chairman of the supervisory board of DFL GmbH. The terms of office are three years, are not linked to a function at a professional club and therefore do not end until August 2022. Peters is also DFB vice president and sits on the club licensing committee of the European Football Union UEFA.
DFB Vice President Peters has worked his way up as a sports official. Peters, born in Ochtendung / Rhineland-Palatinate, became at home in the Ruhr area. After studying business administration, he was the head of soccer at “RevierSport”, did a traineeship at the “Westfälische Rundschau” in Dortmund and worked as a sports editor for the “Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung”. From 1991 to 1993, Peters was deputy managing director of 1. FC Kaiserslautern, before starting in 1993 as managing director together with Schalke’s former manager Rudi Assauer and chief financial officer Josef Schnusenberg, he helped to build and shape Schalke.
In 1994 he rose to the board of directors of the royal blue and was solely responsible for the finance department after the departure of treasurer Schnusenberg, who became head of the board in 2007. The trio Peters, Schnusenberg and Assauer built the modern Schalke with new statutes and structure in the 1990s. The UEFA Cup victory as the greatest success in the club’s history and its permanent presence in the European club competitions was the sporting achievement, the construction of the Veltins-Arena opened in 2001 was their structural beacon project. Together, the triumvirate circumnavigated some cliffs.
So it is meant quite honestly, when Schalke’s powerful supervisory board chairman Clemens Tönnies thanks the faithful Peters goodbye, although it was never the great love between them. “Peter Peters has had a decisive influence on our club in the past almost three decades. He has made courageous and far-sighted decisions for the benefit of the club. Without him, FC Schalke would not be the club it is today,” emphasized Tönnies.
The reasons for the – supposedly amicable – separation are complex. It certainly did not come about at the instigation of Peters, who always knew how to pull the strings behind the scenes. Apparently, the balance of power at the Revierclub has shifted recently. Just a few weeks ago, longtime head of media Thomas Spiegel lost his job.
Now it has caught Peters, who on the bottom line, despite ever new sales records, failed to reduce the huge mountain of debt of almost 200 million euros. Nevertheless, he leaves a great legacy that others now have to manage better. “Nobody has to worry about Schalke,” stressed Peters, despite the turbulence recently.
It is not clear whether the cooperation between the three board members Peters (finance and organization), Alexander Jobst (marketing and communication) and Jochen Schneider (sport) was as harmonious as it was documented to the outside world. The latest faux pas in dealing with season ticket holders when it comes to ticket reimbursement, when Schalke asked the members for a case of hardship, basically falls in Peter’s financial area.
But sometimes there is also a problem with communication, which Jobst is responsible for. Another reason for separation could be different opinions about the future strategic direction of the traditional club. In the corona crisis, which particularly affected Schalke, plans to outsource the license player department came into focus. Jobst is a clear supporter, Peters more traditionalist, who always advocated the possibly outdated legal form of the e.V.
The former Schalke manager Christian Heidel considers the farewell to Peters understandable. “The position of CFO at Schalke is not necessarily subject to amusement tax. Peter has been doing this for many, many years at Schalke. Maybe at some point the point has come to say that it is enough,” said Heidel on the program “Wontorra – the football Talk “of the TV channel Sky about the developments at his ex-club. “I can already imagine that at some point he also reached a point saying that it was now, at some point it is enough.”
Dissonances are perfectly normal. “One shouldn’t speculate too much in there. Even Peter Peters would not do it justice after 27 years,” said the 57-year-old.