A rise can turn into a decline. This is especially true in the professional sports sector. The Kassel Huskies are yet another example. The amateurs had been promoted to the Oberliga [third division], whereupon the operating company hired professional players. A poor start to the season and expensive player purchases led to a six-figure loss that could not be recovered in the subsequent period. The managing director sought a shareholder loan to offset the increased energy costs and rent as well as the accumulated losses. However, negotiations with the shareholder were sluggish and ultimately unsuccessful. In this difficult situation, the managing director felt compelled to terminate the existing lease for the ice rink as a means of putting pressure on the landlord, with whom there had been differences for some time, and to negotiate a new lease — unsuccessfully. Without a lease for the ice rink, however, the operating company did not receive any new sponsorship money — a vicious circle that, after several seizures by the social security agencies and the fiscal authorities, finally led to the petition for insolvency in February 2014.
The Insolvency Proceedings
After receipt of the insolvency petition, the insolvency court initially appointed attorney Jutta Rüdlin as provisional insolvency administrator. With her consent, business operations were continued without restriction during the preliminary proceedings and the team was able to continue playing its matches. In the last game of the Oberliga finals, the Kassel Huskies secured their place in the qualifying round for promotion to the DEL2 [second division]. These five additional home games meant potential income. The provisional insolvency administrator Jutta Rüdlin conducted extensive negotiations with the contract partners based on an earnings and liquidity plan she and her team had prepared. At the end of the qualification round, a surplus in the low six-figure range had been realized. At the same time, a public relations drive and considerable public interest in the fate of ice hockey and its long tradition in Kassel generated positive attention and support.
Playing under these conditions, the Huskies were able to compete successfully on the ice and were promoted to the DEL2. The promotion was the prerequisite for a new operating company to take over management in the new season.
New operating company commences management for the 2014/2015 season after initiation of insolvency proceedings. The Kassel Huskies are still represented today by an active professional team in the DEL2.