Home » Business » District court: Covid19 voucher regulation does not apply – SC Paderborn appeals: Ghost game: Reimbursement for sponsor – SCP

District court: Covid19 voucher regulation does not apply – SC Paderborn appeals: Ghost game: Reimbursement for sponsor – SCP

In the opinion of the court, VIP cards are not comparable to normal entry tickets when it comes to compensation. The sponsor had refused a voucher offered by the club and insisted on immediate payment of the services lost due to the lockdown in March. At that time the SCP was still playing in the first division. The personnel service provider had purchased three VIP tickets and one perimeter advertising for the 2019/2020 season.

SC Paderborn 07 GmbH & Co KGaA had invoked the law passed in May to mitigate the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic in event law, which enables organizers to reimburse admission fees as vouchers. According to the law, the second division team would not have to reimburse its value until after December 31, 2021 if it was not redeemed.

“What should my client do with a voucher of this amount, especially since SC Paderborn is now known to have been relegated to the Second Bundesliga?”, Explains the Paderborn lawyer Dr. Olaf Schilasky the lawsuit. To the best of his knowledge, the judgment of the 3rd civil chamber in Paderborn is the first of its kind.

This was also confirmed by Ralf Huschen, Chief Financial Officer of SC Paderborn, who at the same time announced that he would appeal against the first instance judgment. “We will go through this so that the interpretation of the law is clarified at this point. For us, a VIP card is a more expensive entry ticket, ”he said on Tuesday at the request of this newspaper.

It is undisputed between the sponsor and the club that the lockdown in March meant that the contracts for the purchase of the three VIP tickets for EUR 3200 each and the perimeter advertising for EUR 20,000 could not be fulfilled. Accordingly, SC Paderborn, which is represented in marketing matters by Infront Germany GmbH, granted the sponsor a voucher for 6,964.71 euros for the four ghost games he lost out of a total of 17 home games. The total consists of 4/17 of the amount paid for perimeter advertising (4705.88 euros) and the VIP tickets (2258.82 euros). The games against TSG Hoffenheim, Borussia Dortmund, Werder Bremen and Borussia Mönchengladbach were ghost games.

The sponsor then requested an immediate payout. “On the one hand, the advertising effect intended by the contracts only occurs in the 1st Bundesliga and cannot be made up for because of the relegation, and on the other hand, these are not normal tickets. Rather, the purpose of these cards is the associated sponsoring and the agreed advertising, ”explains Schilasky. The “mega-poster” bought as perimeter advertising between the top tier and the stadium roof could not be seen in the television broadcasts.

SC Paderborn claims that the regulations contained in the law to mitigate the consequences of Covid-19 also apply to the club as the organizer of home games. Season tickets are expressly included. The mega poster could also be seen during the interviews before and after the games as well as during the half-time break.

“We have found an amicable solution with 98 percent of our sponsors and patrons,” says Huschen. “This is the only case in which we have different legal opinions.”

The court, chaired by Frank Henkenmeier, takes the view in the grounds of the judgment that the law does not apply in the present case. Because it is not an entry ticket within the meaning of this law. In addition, a large number of advertising services were contractually agreed. The law also does not cover events in a professional context such as training, trade fairs or congresses, because the costs are usually significantly higher and the voucher solution is too much of a financial burden for the self-employed, freelancers and small businesses.

The court sees this professional context also in the present case, especially since the SCP has admitted that 90 percent of the VIP area and the corresponding tickets are used by business customers.

The corresponding contracts for the 2020/2021 season between the company and SC Paderborn have now been terminated. According to lawyer Schilasky, however, not as a result of the legal dispute, but when the relegation was established.

(Az. 3O 252/20)

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