What impact does the disaster in Australia have on the women’s Bundesliga? The master trainer believes: none. But there are also critical voices.
The question of a setback after the botched World Cup in Australia and New Zealand concerns the entire women’s Bundesliga.
The footballers around defending champions FC Bayern Munich and Champions League finalists VfL Wolfsburg start the new season at the weekend with many question marks. “I don’t think anything like what happened after the 2011 World Cup in Germany, also because the team showed their will until the last moment. But it could happen that the euphoria that has been building since the European Championships last year will be somewhat dampened “It’s gotten going,” said former national goalkeeper and TV expert Almuth Schult in the “11 Freunde” interview.
The boom after the successful European Championships in England could be stopped for now. In any case, the women of FC Bayern have a problem on Friday – FC Bayern. While the championship team of coach Alexander Straus opens the Bundesliga season at 6:15 p.m. (ZDF/DAZN and MagentaSport) in front of around 10,000 fans at SC Freiburg, the men from Munich welcome league leaders Leverkusen for the top game just two hours later. The usual industry noise surrounding the men’s game threatens to completely engulf the public perception of the women’s footballers’ season opener.
A concern that also has to do with the German team’s elimination in the preliminary round of the World Cup. There was also a bitter disappointment at the home World Cup in 2011 with the quarter-final knockout against eventual world champions Japan.
“Of course, a significantly more successful World Cup certainly wouldn’t have hurt in terms of the euphoria in the women’s football environment, also with regard to the first match day,” said Ralf Zwanziger, head of the girls’ and women’s football development center at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim: “You just don’t feel any boost .”
No world title, no boom, no attention? Maybe it’s too simple a calculation. Because the league is growing, moderately in some places and significantly in others. The German Football Association (DFB) points to the massive increase in spectator numbers last season – from less than 1,000 fans on average to over 2,700. “We believe that it is an absolutely sustainable development,” said Manuel Hartmann, managing director Match operations at the DFB. Everyone in charge is hoping for a lot from the league’s new title sponsor (Google Pixel) and from the new television contract with three providers (Sport1, DAZN, MagentaSport), which runs until 2027. ARD and ZDF also broadcast more often than before. For the first time there will be Monday evening games.
Runner-up VfL Wolfsburg with DFB captain Alexandra Popp has almost doubled the number of season tickets sold from the previous year – from 1,000 to 1,800. Eintracht Frankfurt, third last year, now has at least 658 season ticket holders behind them. Last season there were 500. And the village club Hoffenheim, last fourth? At least heralded some stability. 103 season tickets were sold.
Ticket demand higher
“I don’t think it has any impact at all,” said Bayern coach Straus about the World Cup disaster. Demand for tickets was much higher than last year. “This train has left the station and started moving. I am strongly convinced that a pothole, like the one Germany and other countries experienced at the World Cup, will not stop the movement,” explained the coach from Norway.
The concept of the so-called highlight games should once again make the club bosses happy: for selected Bundesliga games, the clubs move from their small to large men’s stadiums. So that everyone is aware of this, we advertise diligently in advance. Last season it worked brilliantly: 38,365 fans set a league record at the game 1. FC Köln – Eintracht Frankfurt. Tobias Trittel from VfL Wolfsburg, chairman of the DFB women’s league committee, is “incredibly positive” about the new round and believes “that the World Cup will not have any major impact on our league for the time being.”
But there are also skeptical voices. “It would be more important to me that at some point women’s football is so accepted and respected that, for example, 1,500 to 2,000 spectators come to a home game like the one against Duisburg – without you having to do any special things,” said Zwanziger, who wants more sustainability: “I would be happier about that than a highlight game with 10,000 fans who then don’t come next time.”
Immediately after national coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s selection was eliminated from the World Cup, DFB officials suspected that this could be a setback for the league. “We missed a great opportunity to create role models for new generations through success here at this tournament,” said Joti Chatzialexiou, head of national teams, in Australia at the time.
I am Pierce Boyd, a driven and ambitious professional working in the news industry. I have been writing for 24 Hours Worlds for over five years, specializing in sports section coverage. During my tenure at the publication, I have built an impressive portfolio of articles that has earned me a reputation as an experienced journalist and content creator.