An era will come to an end at Eintracht Frankfurt with the early resignation of President Peter Fischer next year. The 67-year-old entrepreneur is one of the most dazzling club bosses in the Bundesliga. Not only did he make Hessen a model sporting club, but he also found nationwide recognition for his commitment to fighting discrimination and racism. As Eintracht announced on Friday, the board member Mathias Beck is to succeed him at the general meeting in early 2024. Normally, Fischer’s term would have ended in 2026.

He did not give a specific reason for his resignation after 23 years at the top. “Looking back, the 23 years have demanded a lot from me, also in terms of health,” said Fischer, emphasizing that the last few months had shown him very clearly to take care of the family more intensively, to protect them.

“Although I have repeatedly emphasized that I am aware that the private individual Peter Fischer no longer exists,” he explained. “But the past few weeks have crossed borders.” Fischer and his family hit the headlines after a house search became public in March. The Eintracht President, his 25-year-old son, his partner and the housekeeper were accused of storing cocaine in their apartment in Frankfurt. The 13-year-old son of Fischer’s partner is said to have had access to it.

According to testimonies from a school friend of the same age, Fischer’s stepson is said to have consumed cocaine at school with his classmate. Although a hair sample from the school friend showed that he had repeatedly consumed cocaine, the connection to Fischer could not be determined. The investigations were discontinued.

Under Fischer’s leadership, the Bundesliga team from the Main has experienced an unexpected upswing in recent years. In 2018, the Hessians won the DFB Cup, in 2022 the Europa League and played in the Champions League for the first time in the club’s history. In addition, Eintracht will again fight for the DFB Cup against RB Leipzig on June 3 in Berlin.

“If someone had told me when I took office in 2000 what milestones we can look back on today, I certainly wouldn’t have believed it,” said Fischer. During his tenure, the traditional club has also grown from 4,700 to more than 125,000 members. An increase that the trained advertising salesman may have promoted with his unconventional manner, his closeness to the fans and his pithy sayings. After the Europa League victory on May 19, 2022 against Glasgow Rangers, he called out to the cheering supporters as a “monster-proud president”: “I’m going to drink from this pot tonight.”

But Fischer is also a person who showed his stance and took on the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. “Nobody can be a member of us who votes for this party, in which there are racist and inhuman tendencies,” he said in December 2017 in an interview with the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”. In 2021, Fischer was awarded the Fair Play Prize by the German Olympic Sports Confederation.