The Bundesliga is 60 years old. And yet: Enthusiasm does not want to arise for the anniversary season. The “ProFans” organization compared the league then and now from a fan perspective. The verdict is devastating.
Yes, yes, you already know that and get annoyed when people – mostly older people – comment on things that used to be nicer, more colourful, better. So how are you supposed to rate that when the organization “ProFans” speaks up now, immediately before the Bundesliga anniversary season that starts on Friday, and after 60 years of elite football, judges: The Bundesliga has evolved over the past 60 years developed negatively.
The organization, which sees itself as an independent, nationwide lobby for active fan and ultra groups in Germany, has chosen a total of 15 categories for its comparison, such as “open competition”, “kick-off times”, “rules”.
From a fan point of view, the Bundesliga has developed negatively in 60 years
From a fan’s point of view, the balance is quite sobering: In 13 areas, football things have developed negatively for the fans in 60 years of the Bundesliga. Only in the category “Spectators and care offers” does the interest group come to the conclusion that the live experience in the stadium has improved. When it comes to “stadiums” in general, she takes a neutral position. Otherwise it was said 13 times: A lot was better in the past.
In fact, the inventory hits many a sore point. Probably nobody likes to seriously contradict the analysis in terms of “open competition”, where it says: “In 1998, 1. FC Kaiserslautern became champions as a promoted team. Is something like that still conceivable today? On the contrary: for ten years there has been no other champion than Bayern Munich. The increasingly unequal distribution of income in the league as well as in international competitions leads to a steadily decreasing permeability and tension and thus damages the attractiveness of football enormously is the opposite of fair sporting competition when individual companies or billionaires can decisively decide which clubs are particularly successful.”
According to fan analysis, the “design of the rules” has not improved at all. The rule, for example, when and how a handball is to be punished, “was last changed almost every year”. Complications such as video evidence only provided more justice in a few situations, “but destroy the spontaneous emotions in the stands”.
The verdict in the complex “identification with the team” was also negative. This is becoming increasingly difficult, especially for clubs at the top. Kickers and fans have little in common today. The exorbitant income of the players, “most of whom only see a club as a station on their career path”, ensures distance. The fact that someone like the recently deceased Uwe Seeler is hard to imagine today indicates the decline in values.
The other categories in which the Bundesliga has developed negatively over the past 60 years according to “ProFans” are:
- kick-off times: Distributed over the weekend. Nothing works without a calendar.
- standing room: Supply has dropped dramatically
- Participation and participation: Outsourcing of licensed teams and exceptions to the 50+1 rule devalue participation
- International competitions: Unequal distribution of income leads to the cementing of existing performance relationships. Devaluation of the one-time highlight of the week, the European Cup
- Fan monitoring: Misuse of tools such as block segregation and security controls. Complete video surveillance of the spectators.
- Discrimination of away fans: Bad seats, longer waiting times, stricter controls – many clubs treat away fans discriminatory
- Admission prices – fans pay more: Pay TV. Jerseys & Co.: Today, fans pay far more for the same sport than they used to
- Social integration: Not social values, but business goals are the top priority for clubs and associations
- Role of associations: DFB, Uefa and Fifa are perceived as corrupt, lawless and morally depraved. Fans perceive DFB as the opposite of their advocacy.
- Role of the national team: There is a discrepancy between the proclaimed value-based attitude and actual action. Example: the World Cup in Qatar.
Conclusion: Who is the circus actually organized for?
In summary, the organization came to the following conclusion: “Football today comes along as a modern, glossy product – and yet it has lost so much of its appeal among its most loyal supporters! Although the fans are looking forward to the start of the season, their frustration is growing from year to year, so that one wonders who the circus is actually organized for”.