Who could play cyborg in the Justice League?

Innauer column

It was Juan Antonio Samranch and Michael Payne who, starting in the 1980s, achieved the spectacular “Olympic turnaround”: The International Olympic Committee (IOC), with its dusty rings and shopkeeping games, turned into the most famous brand in the world.

Like a blueprint, Peter Schröcksnadel - one league lower - shaped the Austrian Ski Association (ÖSV) from a sportily recognized but embarrassingly underfunded shop into an internationally admired model sports company.

In both cases, it was economic instinct, political skill and assertiveness of the presidents who had redesigned many things in courageous moves and led their associations to the promised commercial paradise. Nevertheless, a canonization would be an exaggeration. It was also “the favor of the special years”, the dramatically and globally changed political framework conditions, coupled with technological innovations and developments, which enabled completely new approaches. Many economically savvy and fearless people were able to identify and exploit previously unprecedented opportunities:

The iron curtain had fallen, real communism and socialism on the ground. A finally uninhibited capitalism discovered professional sport, the sanctimonious Olympic amateur statute was disposed of without resistance and the world of sport was radically rebuilt. Companies pushing into the market, private television companies, betting shops and the dawning of the digital age found congenial partnerships in top sport. The prices for TV rights and advertising partnerships spiraled into unimagined heights.

Our future ÖSV-ex-President recognized the possibilities in good time and helped to shape them, cleared up entangled structures in the association, legally fought for essential rights for the ÖSV and secured economic growth with sustainable sporting success.

With a proud look at his remarkable life's work, he could now hand over the association to new drivers and magnanimously release them into the post-Schröcksnadel era!

But the background noises around his successor sound less harmonious. Michael Huber withdraws, Michael Walchhofer suddenly falls from grace, Renate Götschl is a surprising candidate.

The cloak should be taken off, but not the scepter! In doing so, he severely restricts the development opportunities and reputation of his successors.

The old emperor wants - for whatever reason - to keep the most important reins in his hands. Anyone who is the chairman of the supervisory board of a newly founded holding company of the ÖSV companies that negotiates TV contracts and advertising contracts for the current sporting superstars wants to keep the say, no matter who will be the president or the managing director "above them".