German football club Hertha Berlin are in mourning after the "unexpected" death of their President, Kay Bernstein. Unusual in rising to his position from the fanbase, Bernstein was a key figure at the capital city club.
German second division club Hertha Berlin announced the shock death of President Kay Bernstein on Tuesday.
"Hertha BSC are mourning the death of Kay Bernstein. The club received the terrible news on Tuesday that President Kay Bernstein has passed away unexpectedly aged 43. The whole club, its governing bodies and staff members are shocked and deeply saddened by the news," Hertha wrote on social media platform X (formelry Twitter).
Bernstein was a well-known figure in German football after rising to his position having once been a prominent member of an ultra (hardcore fan) group. Since taking the presidential position in 2022, he had looked to change the image and fortunes of a club that lost its way on and off the pitch in recent years, culminating in relegation to the 2. Bundesliga last year.
But Bernstein had made plenty of progress with the overhaul, consistently attempting to represent the views of fans and members over business interests. For example, he criticized the dependence on TV money, campaigned for a salary cap and against excessive agent fees, and advocated for the further use of the traditional kickoff time of 15:30 on a Saturday.
"We were stunned and deeply shocked by the news of Kay Bernstein's death," the German Football League, who run the Bundesliga and 2.Bundesliga worte on X: "We mourn with the entire Hertha family and wish the relatives in particular much strength!"
Hertha host Fortuna Düsseldorf at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin on Sunday.