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Sharks owner: “You cannot make money with a hockey team”

Jan 31, 2013, 9:00 PM EDT

Hasso Plattner Getty Images

After announcing he’d purchased shares from a pair of former investors in the organization, Sharks majority owner Hasso Plattner sat down with a group of reporters to discuss owning a hockey team.

Specifically, how it doesn’t make him any money.

“You cannot make money with a hockey team,” he explained. “You cannot make money with a hotel, either, and you cannot make money with a golf club. I have all three of them (laughs).”

Here’s more, from CSN Bay Area’s Kevin Kurz:

Investors Kevin Compton and Stratton Sclavos, who were the acting figureheads of the company, have sold their shares to Plattner, it was announced by the team on Wednesday.

The reasons for their decision and departure are private…

…“We want to continue as much as possible the same way,” said Plattner, who had a majority share of the company even before acquiring Compton’s and Sclavos’ shares.

“We still want to have a championship team and win the Stanley Cup. That’s clearly the number one objective of a sports club, otherwise you should not be in the sports business.”

Plattner also wants to make sure the Sharks, who claimed a loss of $15 million last season, have a sustainable business model. He has no fantasies of turning a major profit, though.

“The financial situation is not better this year than last year,” he said. “On the other hand, I said this to the employees, don’t worry. My credit line is good enough, if you look it up.

Plattner is the co-founder of SAP, one of the world’s largest software companies. According to Forbes, he is the world’s 127th richest man and has a net worth of approximately $7.2 billion.

The golf club/resort he owns is the Fancourt Estate in South Africa, which features a luxury hotel and four Gary Player-designed courses — its links course hosted the 2003 Presidents Cup.

So as you can see, the man has quite the financial portfolio and sporting background. Why, then, invest in a hockey team he readily admits can’t make money?

Easy.

“Despite it’s such a hard sport, and tough sport, and sometimes violent, it is aesthetically unbelievable when you see the guys and what they can do on skates at the tempo,” he said.

“This is missing in soccer.”

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