Posts

Best from the Stands” is the serie which shows you monthly all the finest moments happened in the global ultras scene. Ultrasbible believes that being an ultras is an art, and on art we decided to lean on for our project. With the partnership of the young illustrator Giuseppe Bonardi, we analyze one of his new artwork containing all of the best shots of last month, in our own style!
Best from the Stands returns with a new bimonthly schedule to bring you inside our favourite moments in the ultras world. Differently from most of the best we saw in the previous episodes, this month isn’t represented by just Europe, and scenes in other continents take an important part of our selection too. Traditional tifo-cities are still widely involved, with special mentions for moments coming from Switzerland and Poland, two cities owning famous and appreciated ultras sides, lately living a particularly lively period. Big football countries (in this case Spain and France) are there aswell, as we see two very diffent methods of creating an athmosphere to stay close to the team; in both cases the results were quite efficent, with good signals from their team and ovverall a remarkable feeling in the home stadium.

INDIPENDIENTE MEDELLIN vs Deportes Tolima, 23-01-2022, Estadio Atanasio Girardot

Who wouldn’t join a fierce hinchada for an unforgettable tifo experience in one of the classic games in South America? With the ultras movement finding luck mostly in Europe with a decennial tradition, it’s still important to be updated on the scene in the latino countries, looking up to Colombia, Chile, Paraguay, and all the other movements, aswell as the two from the biggest and most famous nations of the continent, Argentina and Brazil. And it’s in Medellin, Colombia, where we find one of the most interesting and entertaining tifos of those two months at the beginning of 2022.

The Colombians showed their best dress with an ambitious and remarkable project, bringing a unique banner to cover their whole stadium minutes before the game, both in height and lenght (the whole oval was clothed in it). The result speaks for itself, and it’s a very big plus added to the usual experience in such a warm stadium, with such loud and fizzy fans.
The execution is also something to look up to, with all the people in the stadium being able to collaborate with the help of rods and rope in order to cover all the 45.000 seats of the Estadio Atanasio Girardot, but their work becomes even more notable if you think back of all the realization and carriage problems that such a big and heavy banner can lead to.

Europe already withnessed a similar show with the Dynamo Dresden ultras being able to do the same just a few years ago; their stadium, the DDV Stadion, may present even bigger troubles with the fitting of their banner, but with figures to support, Indipendiente Medellin guys involved 45k people, against “just” 32k people by the Germans.

SENEGAL National Football Team, 8-02-2022, whole country


For the first time in this serie we find in our selection a fanbase from a national football team, and not from a specific club. And the exception comes after Senegal’s first ever victory in the Africa Cup in the 2021 edition hosted by Cameroon. Despite having a respectable football tradition, this country had to wait for so long to get their first continental title, and the scenes were so festive that it looked like the celebration were being prepared since decades. Colours, rhythm, passion and joy all came together in the streets of Dakar and all the major cities of the country, leading to the declaration of a national holiday on the day after the victory. We’ve also been reached out by videos and pictures of European cities (Madrid, Milan, Marseille, etc.) full of Senegalese people celebrating in the streets during that magic night for the Lions of Teranga; a nice example of how football can re-unite, and create communities for everyone, everywhere.

BASEL vs Lausanne, 19-02-2022, St. Jakob Park

We waited until deep February days to select our first European choice for those two months edition, as FC Basel gets into its best dress in a classic game at home. A memorable pyroshow lighted up St. Jakob’s Park before the match against Lausanne, creating such a special athmosphere which wouldn’t be possible in a lot of countries due to strict rules against flares and any fires on the stands. But as we know, the Swiss side is looking very modern and entertaining in recent era, and this show crowns a whole month of great condition from the RotBlau. For the whole winter this ultras base has definitly been one to watch in the whole global scene, applying to be selected for our serie in multiple occasions. A few days ago, they also used their last chance in an European match (vs Marseille, double leg in early March) to shine even in an European stage: mission accomplished?

RC LENS vs Ol. Lyonnais, 19-02-2022, Stade Bollaert Delelis


Funny idea, nice display and good execution from the RC Lens boys, which have always been a solid movement in the French ultras scene despite coming from not-so-nice years on the pitch. Recently though, the performances have clearly improved and the team is set to clinch a top flight result in Ligue 1, with big chances of European football next year. Just like that Red Tigers 94 (RT94) group, which has been the biggest and most influent in the recent era, organized a big banner as a political propaganda one, with an actual governmental plan to respect for the upcoming years. Easy ultras rules, against modern football business and collective repression, in favour of a return towards popular football and pyro legalization. We’re in!

ATLETICO DE MADRID vs Manchester United, 23-02-2022, Wanda Metropolitano

https://www.instagram.com/p/CaZSQEhgClE/

Differently from the examples of Basel and RC Lens (previous) and Legia (next), Atleti gets into our selection with a classic choreo using their whole stadium, with permissions and help from their own club. Used to be a fierce fanbase in their old Spanish-styled stadium Vicente Calderon (high walls, open air in multiple sectors), the Atletico boys managed to quickly create an identity in their new Wanda Metropolitano, which works fine for European nights and big league matches. Pumping their team before the clash against Manchester United, the whole stadium collaborated in forming a huge display with an aviator as protagonist, and the words “Vuela Atleti” (=”Fly Atleti) launching the team towards the next turn. A new chance for the Spaniards fans to show their best condition, and reminding us how close they are to a team that in the last year worked well to create a solid bond between the parts.

LEGIA WARSAW vs Wisla Cracow, 25-02-2022, Stadion Wojska Polskiego

Brilliant work coming from Warsaw, with the Legia boys snatching another pass for our bimonthly selection and confirming themselves as one of the most active and influent fanbases in the whole scenario. After some good years during the 2010’s, Legia is now facing a downfall which put them out from the European spots, a very rare bad moment for arguably the biggest club in Poland. And for the fans, being so big and recognized despite the small league they play in, missing out several times on chances to show themselves to the world would be a huge let down. This is the reason why we’re already withnessing disputs and protests choreos on the stands of the Stadion Wojska Polskiego, with the team being currently 20 points short from an European spot in the league. Lots of responsabilites are given to current chairmam Dariusz Mioduski, who fully own the club since 2017, and has been protagonist of the downfall in both economy and performances of club and team. Legia ultras decided then to use a metaphore to explain their feelings about the lawyer leading to this situation, picturing him as a Tinder profile, quoting the 2022 movie “The Tinder Swindler“, bases on stories about an Israeli entrepeneur accused to manipulate individuals with fake promises, to financially support his controversial lifestyle.
Despite the lovely work from our artist Beppe in making Dariusz look charming, we doubt we’d swipe right. Would you?

Fellow ultras friends, this article opens up with a question. Have you ever watched a football match, before starting turning your sight towards your stand? If the answer is yes, then you’ll easily understand the dimension of what happened, and what we’ve just lost. If not, just put in mind that all the tangible passion you feel from your ultras mates, surrounded by all the socio-political reason you wish and thousands of other reasons, comes from one common thing: the poetry of football.
On November 25th 2020, we’ve lost who many consider to be the greatest poet of all time, Diego Armando Maradona.

Other websites or newspapers will give you the chance to read millions of lines about his football skills, his career and his famous yet controversial life outside the football pitch. In this article we’d like to explain and give an identity to his role and size in the life of all of you, individual fans, living inside the wide football system.

Imagine to being given the task of make an imaginary index of the must-have-features of an ultras. You may be listing all of your main traits, if you have an high consideration of yourself, or more vaguely the ones that defines a person you look up to in the ultras life, your capo for instance. We easily could decree that Maradona owned and showed a large number of this features, more than you could imagine by only thinking of his figure on a yacht, in a debatable psychophysics condition, with a cigar hanging out his lips. Everywhere he played, his memory will last forever as a legendary thought, an entity, an institution. Argentinos Juniors, Boca Juniors, Barcelona, Napoli, Sevilla, Newell’s OB and Boca again, because as everybody know, we always go back where we had a good time. Six different clubs, places, passions, one common thought: Maradona represents us! Don’t we all work on our own stands to represent the feel of our club, our people, our beliefs? With his unbridled celebrations, armed with blunt and outspoken way of doing, a great social commitment and fidelity, impeccable and faultless whatever are your political thoughts, Diego could have easily figured in a hypothetical rank of the best ultras of the century. Luckily he decided to live football also inside the pitch, gifting us with memorable performances and moments, and gifting the chance to fall in love with it. Someone has to do the hard job, right?

Diego singing Dale Boca together with 60.000 Boca fans

Diego educating his son the Neapolitan way 

Only a well rated scriptwriter could imagine Maradona’s career to explode in a city like Naples, Southern capital city of a passional country such Italy, in the crisp and fizzy late ‘80s. The whole globe, and in particular the “Southern world” was watching a 165cms tall man making his way through the biggest and most important social figures, only helped by two very gifted feet, and an immediate and plainspoken way of life. Billions of hungry mouths finally felt represented by someone, so close to them with both his early life and lately his social ideologies fitting in a perfect wedding. Diego was the sweetest revolution! Who better than the best footballer in the world, born and raised in an extremely poor neighborhood of Lanus, and close to the South American leftist parties (ed, Peronism in Argentina, Castro and Guevara in Cuba, Sanchez in Venezuela) could have given voice to them?

Diego widely loved and respected Fidel Castro, leader of the Cuban revolution. Fidel love Maradona, symbol of an allegorical revolution, voice of many “forgotten” people around the whole world, through his football art

An indirect freekick from inside the box; lately, Juventus wall was discovered to be put around 4.5m. Who would be able to still bend it under the bar?

Roughly pointing out some reasons why we think Maradona could do a better job than most of us, ultras, as an ultra, we’re pretty sure to have the support of the ones with those beliefs. To the ones still lulling a doubt, here’s something that could smooth your heavy judgment over his rock ‘n roll life, between drugs and controversial behavior. Would you throw away a redemption opportunity to save a legendary career, only to cover our hated FIFA with mud? Diego did it, in 1994, inside one of the darkest and gloomiest pages of modern football, catching an opportunity, and putting his reputation on the line.
Clearly close to the cocaine and drugs “world” for at least ten years, Maradona had some troubles participating in the 1994 World Cup, held in the USA. His drug problems, alongside some doping controversies, forced him out a number of countries which made it difficult for him to be a stable component of Argentina national team. Despite not being reported in any book to dates, his participation to 1994 WC only happened through a tacit agreement between his agents and FIFA, willing to hide his doping results at the cost of having him in the biggest football competition. His absence in fact would have been too big, and FIFA was already attacked by millions of fans saying the federation wasn’t defending the show and beauty of football.
A long and silent procedure allowed Maradona to the World Cup, joining a really strong Argentina, looking forward to the final. However, Diego hot temper and nature didn’t slow him during the competition. Knowing the risk he was running, he made a big voice complaining about the crazy FIFA decisions of playing in the maximum heat, and in the hottest time slots, only to allow televisions to transmit the competition in westerners countries. A futile controversy that brought FIFA to reveal the positive results of his doping tests, right before the second Argentina match, giving birth to the memorable picture of D10S, calmly brought outside the pitch by a nurse. His attitude and posture really seem to say: “I’m guilty, but you’re guiltier”; the sacrifice of a son that could have still brought joys to football, in particular to Argentinian people. Would you put yourself in line, your identity, only to screw up one of the federation that we regularly insult in our ultras chants, stickers, arguments? Diego did, and without even wearing specific colors, but only to defend an idea, and attack an already rotten system, twenty-five years ago.

Maradona leaves USA 1994, holding hands with a nurse after the antidoping results were revealed

Someone says that we only discover the dimension of someone, when we don’t have him anymore. Will anyone miss the pub version of Maradona? Probably not, unless we’re looking for a goliardic laugh.
Will someone miss Maradona as in idea, as a conviction, as an entity? We’d better ask the ones crying his memory on the streets, in a moment where human contact is our worst enemy. We’d better ask Argentines, a country which went through dozens of economic collapses and social crisis, but always had faith in fùtbol. We’d better ask the ones renouncing to a historical saint, in order to rename a stadium after his figure (ed, Stadio San Paolo, which will newly become Stadio Diego Armando Maradona in Naples).

 

A chapel inside the city centre of Naples. Warm, loud and faithful, Neapolitan people easily fell in love with the legendary figure of Maradona, in and off the pitch. Nowadays he’s compared to various saints, and will overtake San Paolo for the new name of Napoli stadium!

On November 25th 2020, a man died. Still, a myth was born, and an identity finally found his space, intangible.

Diego Maradona, D10S, louder than us, as ultras as us.

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

 

Source: Fanseurope.org

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.

previous arrow
next arrow
Slider
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

Via: faszination-fankurve.de

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

Source: 90minuten.at