Bundesliga fans in silent protest over tickets
Fans of several Bundesliga clubs have announced a silent protest for the upcoming midweek matchday in a stand against ticket prices, kick off times and treatment of supporters.
Werder Bremen and Hertha Berlin will kickoff this week’s action on Tuesday at the earlier time of 6:30 p.m. CET.
“Large parts of the society are more or less excluded from professional football through sometimes absurd price hikes, adjustments to kick off times for foreign markets and a reduction of standing areas,” a spokesperson representing the interests of various Bundesliga club ultras told ESPN FC.
Bundesliga fans are set to remain silent for the first 20 minutes of most of the nine midweek league games, weeks after a coalition of German fans ended a dialogue with the German FA (DFB) and German League (DFL).
At that time, the fans, frustrated in particular by the introduction of Monday night games in the Bundesliga and the third tier, said in a statement that they got the impression the discussions were only held “to avoid actions by all means with a media-effective offer for talks.”
The DFB replied that they regretted the coalition’s decision to end all talks, and announced that they will resume discussions.
However, in a statement released earlier this month, the coalition said that things have not changed and announced plans to stage the protest this week.
“While we had some success for the first time in 20 years of fan politics, the experience from the past year also showed that there was no improvement in a direct dialogue,” a spokesperson for the Fanszene Deutschland told ESPN FC. “Twenty years of dialogue with associations and clubs have shown that the only way forward is through loudness and provocation.”
The spokesperson said that they felt ultras were being forced out of stadiums, and was also critical of VAR, as fans in stadiums are alerted when a decision is taking place, but do not get to see the incident in question again.
“We’d like to think that they are seeking an overall exchange of the supporters,” the spokesperson said. “Those inside the stadium no longer play a big part in the overall communication, they are rather regarded as cash cows. And those are all issues we take an active stance against with our protests.”
Fan protests in Germany have been frequent in recent years with various fan groups from Bundesliga clubs joining forces on several issues.
In 2012, Borussia Dortmund fans staged a silent protest due to a DFL movement called the “Safe Stadium Experience,” which aimed to reduce ticket allocations for away supporters from 10 percent to five percent, as well as seeing a reduction in safe standing.
Dortmund fans have also been involved in the “Kein Zwanni” movement, which protests against away tickets in safe standing areas costing more than €20.
Both protests proved to be successful following the 12:12 movement in 2012, which were staged protests against ticket prices, allocations and safe standing.
In 2013, the fans received an award from respected football magazine 11 Freunde for their peaceful protest.