Since a few weeks football is slowly coming back, but sadly most of the matches are now played behind closed doors. If there is one thing that this whole crisis taught us is that football without its fans is absolutely worth nothing. Maybe the saddest thing we’ve seen is the urge of some broadcasters, for example in Germany and Spain who try to recreate fan atmosphere with recorded crowd sound and other forms of artificial support. Fans are hard to replace by these kind of fake things. All this led to discussions inside the European fan scene: leading to a joint statement published by Fans Europe (an independent, democratic, non-profit association of football fans). Read the full statement down below:

The recent return of football behind closed doors has demonstrated that fans are the lifeblood of the game. Their presence in the stands has been sorely missed, and the spectacle we are accustomed to has been absent without them. It is therefore more important now than ever for supporters to be included in discussions that will determine the immediate and long-term future of the game.

These discussions should revolve around three core pillars.

First, the safe return of spectators. The impact of the virus is not evenly distributed—different countries have understandably adopted different measures at different times. Still, the health of players, staff, fans, and the general public must always come first. This means minimising the risk of the virus spreading in all settings. UEFA, national leagues, and football associations have acted in line with this principle, but it must remain our foremost concern. To this end, the return of spectators to stadia must be accompanied by a meaningful consultation with fans’ representatives at every level of the game on health safety protocols and other operational measures.

Second, a recognition that the contribution made by fans is irreplaceable. As such, we have significant concerns regarding attempts by broadcasters to replace or imitate the unique atmosphere produced by fans. Augmented reality technology, pre-recorded chants, and other forms of artificial support represent a rebuke to match-going fans. Empty stadia are a direct consequence of a public health crisis that has impacted every single one of us and the absence of fans cannot be compensated for by a computer simulation aimed at the amusement of television audiences.

Third, multi-stakeholder dialogue on the future of football. The coronavirus crisis has yet again shown that the current model of football is flawed, unfair, and unsustainable. Football needs to change dramatically. And it needs to change for the better. Any reform process must include fan representatives, on a local, national, and European level. Fans must be engaged and involved in decisions that relate to the wider future of the game, including the necessary overhaul of governance structures and financial regulations.

There can be no “return to normal.” Lasting change is needed to make the game sustainable from top to bottom, and fans stand ready to play a part in shaping that change.

Signed By:

Football Supporters Europe (FSE)

Belgian Supporters – Belgium

Danske Fodbold Fans (DFF) – Denmark

Football Supporters’ Association (FSA) – England

Suomen Maajoukkueen Kannattajat (SMJK) – Finland

Association Nationale des Supporters (ANS) – France

Irrésistibles Français (IF) – France

Bundesbehindertenfanarbeitsgemeinschaft (BBAG) – Germany

Bündnis Aktiver Fußballfans (BAFF) – Germany

Netzwerk Frauen im Fußball (F_IN) – Germany

ProFans – Germany

Queer Football Fanclubs (QFF) – Germany

Unsere Kurve (UK) – Germany

Supporterscollectief Nederland – Netherlands

Amalgamation of Official Northern Ireland Supporters’ Clubs (AONISC) – Northern Ireland

Norsk Supporterallianse (NSA) – Norway

Associação Portuguesa de Defesa do Adepto (APDA) – Portugal

Confederation of Republic of Ireland Supporters Clubs (CRISC) – Republic of Ireland

Irish Supporters Network (ISN) – Republic of Ireland

You Boys in Green (YBIG) – Republic of Ireland

Association of Tartan Army Clubs (ATAC) – Scotland

Supporters Direct Scotland – Scotland

Federación de Accionistas y Socios del Fútbol Español (FASFE) – Spain

Svenska Fotbollssupporterunionen (SFSU) – Sweden

Taraftar Hakları Dayanışma Derneği (Taraf-Der) – Turkey

Taraftar Hakları Derneği (THD) – Turkey

FSA Cymru – Wales



Previously we published joint statements by the German fan scene and the Austrian fan scene. But today a statement came out signed by 90+ groups across Europe, pointing out perfectly the current situation and what needs to change in nowadays football “Industry”. The statement is mostly signed by groups in Italy, but also by groups from Germany, Belgium, France, Spain, Bosnia, Portugal, Austria and Romania!

Here’s the complete statement;

Europe is under the attack of Coronavirus.
Governments declared various total lockdown to preserve the most precious thing we own: personal health, first target for everyone.
For this reason we think it’s more than right to think about a general stop of the whole European football scene.

The ones that handle this topic instead, only had one thing in mind: RESTART.
We are firmly sure that on the pitch you would only find economical interests, a confirmation that we can also find in the fact that the restart would be behind closed doors, without the beating heart of this “sport of the people”: THE TIFOSI.

For us is more than legit to think that money supremacy climbed once again on top of the value of human life.

For these reasons we firmly ask to all the organs in this matters to keep still all the football fixtures, until stadiums could once again be full as usual, without hurting collective health.

If the whole football system finds itself in such difficulties, all the fault has to be because of the management in the last decades. A bad management which we always pointed our fingers at, as it was the only way to preserve and protect the most beautiful sport in the world.

Nowadays football is considered as an “industry” more than a sport; where pay-tv keep in check all the clubs, dealing with their tv rights, allowing clubs themselved to pay exagerrated salaries to players, also giving the opportunity of making money to “shark” managers, with the only target to get a full wallet. A system based exclusively on business and personal interests, which unless it will be changed quickly, will bring us to an only possible ending: DEATH OF FOOTBALL ITSELF.

We also wanna make clear that if us ultras wanted to make any money out of our passion, as we saw written and speaked by some medias in these days, we would also rush for leagues restart, unless fighting for the opposite, going against all the football system and everyone involved.

All of this has to change.
We are ready to face who’s in charge of this in order to bring football back to more glorious days, and coming back to live this great passion by bringing football back to be the “SPORT OF THE PEOPLE”


Check out an overview of the groups who signed the statement;



Via Sostieni La Curva

While the Dutch and the French FA have decided to end the current season, the 2019/2020 Bundesliga season is set to continue at the end of this month according the plans of the DFB. Matches will be played behind closed doors, known as “Geisterspiele” (ghost games) in German. Numerous fan and ultra groups have already spoken out against the resumption of football in the current situation, with individual statements and by displaying banners across their cities.

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Just like the fan scene in Austria, Germany’s fan scene joined forces and published a joint statement last week. But the Germans mention a deeper problem in nowadays football.

The question when and in what form professional football should continue has been the subject of many discussions in the past few weeks. In this still partly confusing social situation, a variety of ethical, epidemiological and other arguments were put forward by various people.

In the following, we would like to comment on the topic as a nationwide association of fan scenes and with a view to the DFL general assembly:

The resumption of football, also in the form of ghost games, is not justifiable in the current situation – especially not under the guise of social responsibility. An early continuation of the season would be a mockery of the rest of society and especially those who are really committed to serving the corona crisis. Professional football has long been sick enough and should remain in quarantine.

Football is of great importance in Germany, but it is certainly not systemically important. Restrictions that apply to comparable areas of the sports and entertainment industry must also apply in football. At a time when we are all accepting very massive restrictions on our fundamental rights in the interests of the common good, it is out of the question for the Bundesliga to play. If a lack of capacity in CoVid 19 tests has been reported for weeks, the idea of ​​screening football players for the virus at extremely high frequencies is simply absurd. Not to mention the practice of a football match with physical contact. 

The talk of social responsibility and plans for exclusive test contingents (over 20,000 pieces) for professional football do not go together. We understand that club officials have legal obligations to act in the financial interests of their club. However, in a situation in which the entire society and economy face enormous challenges, it is incomprehensible to us that apparently all concerns are put aside when it comes to keeping the game going as long as possible or starting again.

Obviously, professional football has much deeper problems. A system into which sums of money beyond the imagination of many people have flowed in recent years is on the verge of collapse. The preservation of the structures is completely dependent on the flow of television funds, the clubs only exist in a total dependence on the rights holders.

The question of why, despite all the millions, there seems to be no sustainability in professional football, how the structures and clubs can be made more robust and crisis-proof in the future, has at least not been asked by any official. The only communicated goal is to get on with it as quickly as possible, which, however, only guarantees a manageable number of participants with outstanding income. In most cases, we simply regard the talk of tens of thousands of jobs as an excuse to continue securing exorbitant millions of earnings for a few extreme profiteers. This can also be seen in the absolute inactivity of the DFB, with regard to football below the 2nd Bundesliga. The fact that ghost games have much more serious consequences here than in the DFL leagues is ignored. The main thing is that the “premium product” can continue to exist. Here, the DFB not only does not fulfill its role, it also repeatedly shows whose interests it represents.

“Obviously, professional football has much deeper problems. A system into which sums of money beyond the imagination of many people have flowed in recent years is on the verge of collapse. The preservation of the structure is completely dependent on the flow of television funds, the clubs only exist in a total dependence on the rights holders.”

For years, fans have been demanding reforms for a fairer distribution of TV revenues and criticized the lack of solidarity between large and small clubs. We point out financial excesses, insufficient reserves and the sometimes blackmailing role of player advisors. We have repeatedly demonstrated the risk of dependence on individual large donors using examples such as 1860 Munich, Carl Zeiss Jena and others.

At the latest, it is high time that football officials seriously deal with these points. The current challenge is also an opportunity: associations should understand this crisis as such and fundamentally change the structures of modern football. It’s about time!

In this context we demand:

-The current DFL plan to resume the season in May in the form of ghost games must not be implemented. We do not presume to decide when the ball can roll again. However, in a situation in which football would so decouple from the rest of society, it must not happen.

-A factual examination of the current situation must be accelerated and a move away from the blind saving of TV money must be made. A possible termination of the season should not be a taboo, unless the social circumstances allow it otherwise. In this case, not only should horror scenarios in the form of impending bankruptcies be outlined, but solutions in the form of promotional loans, extended insolvency periods and other crisis instruments that the rest of the economy is facing should also be discussed.

-A future solution must be based on solidarity. There must be no crisis winners and losers among the clubs. The gap between “large” and “small” must not widen further. We expressly include the clubs of the third division and the regional leagues for which ghost games are not an option anyway.

-The discussion of fundamental reforms to make professional football more sustainable and economically crisis-proof must start now. It must not only be run by fans and journalists, but is the central task of those responsible for the clubs and associations. Structures and associations must be brought back on a financially and ideally secure basis. The 50 + 1 rule must remain unaffected.

The phase of a football world completely decoupled from the rest of society must come to an end!

Germany’s fan scenes, April 2020


Paris Saint-Germain announced, in a press release full of sadness and respect , the death of James, a loyal supporter of the club, who has worked for years for the return of ultras to the Parc des Princes.

Accustomed to the Auteuil tribune, he mobilized against the plan of Robin Leproux, which temporarily canceled subscriptions to the Stadium, by participating in the foundation of “Freedom for subscribers” in 2010. He became involved in the Association of defense and legal assistance of stadium bans (ADAJIS) to defend the rights of Parisian supporters in their conflict with club management. Far from simply opposing the policies of the authorities and the club, James strives to renew the dialogue between the different parties and to make concrete proposals to allow the return of active supporters to the Park in good security conditions. This work in the shadows was materialized by the return of ultras in the Parc des Princes in the fall of 2016.

Beyond PSG, James was a well known person in the French fan scene because he has been the voice and face of the National Supporters Association (ANS) for a long time which acts, in the same spirit as ADAJIS, to promote rights and interests of supporters in regular dialogue with sports and public authorities. Combining a passionate character and well-considered positions, he has greatly contributed to the improvement of relations between the ANS, on the one hand, and the LFP and the national anti-hooliganism division, on the other. He notably represented the ANS for more than two years in the meetings of the National Support Authority attached to the Ministry of Sports.

“James was a supporter of PSG but he was especially passionate about the cause of the supporters”, says Mohamed Bouhafsi, football editor in chief of RMC Sport. “He fought tirelessly for the ultras of all the clubs.”

For several years, he had been fighting with remarkable strength and courage against a serious and long illness that finally prevailed last night. Our thoughts are with his family and friends, may he rest in peace.

Liberté Pour Les Ultras!


The Austrian FA is planning to restart the Bundesliga behind closed doors due the current Corona outbreak. Today several ultra/fan groups in Austria came out with a joint statement about the so called upcoming ‘Ghost Matches’.

Read the full statement below:

Unfortunately, we are currently unable to live out our love of sport and our clubs in the stadium. None of us like that, but we have to go through this together temporarily. We are fully aware of the current exceptional situation – both socially and from a football perspective. However, we are not so sure about this when it comes to decision-makers in Austrian football. One thing is beyond question: the economic situation of many clubs is tense; The majority of the professional clubs are reportedly insolvent from September at the latest. In addition, UEFA is exerting great pressure on the national leagues and the TV partners are also very interested in the continuation of advertising campaigns. And also a lot of football fans, who usually go to their club’s home games,

These circumstances mean that the decision-makers take the holding of ghost games as a matter of course and without any discussion. Football should therefore only take place indefinitely (in the worst case far beyond the summer) only when the public is excluded. This option is argued by the officials with fairness and the idea of ​​competition. The conclusion of the Bundesliga and thus the allocation of the European Cup seats should therefore be pursued by sport. However, this fairness does not seem to apply to the clubs below the Bundesliga, which are vitally important promotions and relegations – a very clear pretext. The truth is contracts that contain money – lots of money.

A paradigm shift is currently continuing through the back door “Covid-19”, which began in England in the 1990s: football no longer takes place in the stadium for fans, but for television. As a billion-dollar money machine and playground for some empires that can only survive if it is kept running. “No standstill at any cost” currently seems to be the general formula. The grandstand visitor, the fan, is now only the surface for TV broadcasts. The emotions are supposed to sell the product better, but in no way disturb the transmission and the show. Decisions made by video referees, for example, only have to be understood by the audience in front of the television – no consideration is given to the emotions in the stadium.

The public’s great interest is cited as a further argument for continuing the league with ghost games, as it is just now necessary that “an important piece of normalcy returns for people”. Just stupid that the cat literally bites its tail in this context, at least in Austria. Blinded by the money, the TV rights of the league are known to have been moved to pay TV. Again, nothing with mass phenomenon and social responsibility. The subscription numbers of the rights holder will at least let the cash register ring there. We congratulate.

Professional football has engaged in an unholy alliance of windy investors, TV marketing and dubious player advisors in recent decades. Even corruption at the highest association level became normal. In Qatar, people are constantly dying for a World Cup that not a single football fan wants there. From a moral point of view, there is hardly any room left for the football business globally.

At the national level, too, the current approach is a fatal signal that is being sent to society. Many areas of public life are still severely restricted, while a lot of energy is invested in training and ghost games by Bundesliga clubs. Even though it is currently said on every corner that none of this has any impact on other areas of life (keyword: PCR tests), the fact remains that all other team and ball sports have ceased their championship operations and canceled their competitions.

“As a billion-dollar money machine and playground for some empires that can only survive if it is kept running. “No standstill at any cost” currently seems to be the general formula.”

With this special status that cannot be disputed away, professional football is increasingly saying goodbye to its base. Football is more than ever a popular mass phenomenon worldwide. It embodies exactly this symbiosis between players, coaches and fans, which can spark an energy like in no other sport. Even a number of players and coaches have now critically remarked that ghost games would develop “maximum test character” for them – in the awareness of this peculiarity of football. We can only underline that. Nevertheless, the round leather should roll on under sometimes insane conditions. Players should not run into the stadium together, but “fight” against each other on the field or wear masks during the game. These are just two examples of absurd ideas that are currently haunting around.

Another important aspect comes into play in this discussion: Football must be affordable for all social classes. The fan scenes of the individual football clubs have been vehemently campaigning for moderate ticket prices for years. And this is especially true in the current time when hundreds of thousands suffer from short-time work and unemployment. Due to the current situation, we have to temporarily adjust our request: The league, the clubs and all decision-makers have to ensure that for the time of this exceptional situation, every fan can watch all games without an additional subscription contract with a TV station. This service must be free of charge for current season ticket holders! The process is to be carried out by those who benefit from the fact that football was hidden behind the payment barrier, namely the league,

The Bundesliga and the ÖFB must now work together with the government on concepts for how football can be played in front of stadium spectators as soon as possible in accordance with health and legal requirements. Everything else is just a helpless attempt to keep an already sick system alive so that the football business can continue for a few. Especially for teams that are not currently playing in the professional field, ghost games are not even a sensible alternative even temporarily. In the third, fourth or fifth league, games without fans make no economic sense.

And as far as ideas from cardboard figures, fan apps or other pipe cracks in ghost games are concerned, we have only one answer: Anyone who wants ghost games should also be presented as the bare truth. Anything else would not be authentic and should therefore be strictly rejected!

It is high time to think about the general development of football. Now is the right time to take appropriate measures to make yourself less dependent on sponsors and TV stations. Perhaps this difficult situation is the chance to return to a healthier path. Football must become more independent again and say goodbye to this obviously broken business model. It is time to focus on those who are the backbone of football – the fans. Our support is certain for the people involved in this project.

Altacher Jungs – Block West – Fanszene Austria Klagenfurt – Fanszene Ried –Fanszene Vorwärts Steyr – Friends of the Friedhofstribüne – Gate 2 Admira –
Kollektiv 1909 – Landstrassler – Nordtribüne Lustenau – Stahlstadt Kollektiv – Tivoli Nord – Union ’99 Ultrà Salzburg – Vienna Supporters – Wolf Brigade 04 St. Pölten




Two years ago, ultras groups from AC Reggiana asserted their own rights!

New investors, economic difficulties for many Italian clubs in the lower divisions, and the more and more insistent arrival of “modern football” even in a country so grounded to its tradition such as Italy, put down on their knees various historical football cities in Italian calcio. Between them stands Reggiana, club from Reggio Emilia, a city in the hearth of Emilia Romagna region.

Reggiana is one of the various historical clubs in Italy: founded in 1919, they can vaunt seven season in the first division, and nearly fourty in the second, just before being stucked from the third division and below. In the last period, the arrival of another club to Serie A level, Sassuolo, made even more bitter the present era for the Granata (Garnet Brown). Division rules, even starting from Serie B, brought Neroverdi away from their little city of Sassuolo, towards in Reggio Emilia stadium for their home matches, simultaneously with hosts of Reggiana. Lucrative sponsorships in Sassuolo world also leaded to a change to a change of the stadium name, traditionally known as “Città del Tricolore”; the new name “Mapei Stadium” comes from a famous bulding industry, property of the recently deceased president Giorgio Squinzi.

If on the one hand we could find the fairytale of Sassuolo, starting from a small town and already reaching European football in the last seasons with a stable club managment, for us is much more interesting to give voice to the other side, Reggiana one. Granata supporters, already in a descending parabola after awful corporate managements, also have to deal with a stolen historical stadium, symbol of the city that gifted the famous Tricolore to the Italian flag.

Today recurs the second anniversary of a big demonstration in the streets of Reggio Emilia city center, organized by nonother than Reggiana ultras. From more than thirty groups affiliate to the club, Teste Quadre (Squared Heads) and Gruppo Vandelli were protagounist of a pacific but very meaningful corteo: Sassuolo is not welcome in Reggio Emilia, and will never be accepted. A banner on top of the corteo really is the symbol of this protest: “One club, one city… history!”

To all the ultras group around the world suffering a negative period, our call is to keep on fighting for your own rights and tradition. Now and always, against modern football!