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    A little piece of Germany for the English



    Price of Football 2014: Why fans flock to Borussia Dortmund

    By Ben Smith, Dortmund BBC Sport
    Borussia Dortmund's slogan "echte liebe" - or "true love" - says it all. The final whistle goes at the majestic Westfalenstadion. Dortmund have lost at home.
    And yet none of the players disappear down the tunnel. None of the fans leave the ground. Defiant, determined, the 25,000 fans who religiously flock to the mythical south stand continue to serenade their team.
    Manager Jurgen Klopp joins his players on the edge of the penalty area, where they stand for five minutes in awe, gazing up at one of European football's great sights, the "Gelbe Wand" (Yellow Wall), a sea of luminous shirts, scarves and flags. Towers of smoke rise from pockets of fans and waves of noise cascades down the steep terrace and onto the players.
    This love is unconditional.
    Moments such as this are why Dortmund are one of the last great romantic clubs. The tickets - and beer - are cheap, the atmosphere is raw and seductive and fans, not finance, come first.
    When Dortmund reached the 2013 Champions League final, the club received 502,567 applications for 24,042 tickets. The entire city has a population of 580,956. True love, indeed.
    Football is all encompassing here, it reaches ever facet of life. One fan even leaves the club shop having just bought a Borussia Dortmund-branded lawn mower. The chance to experience this love affair is attracting more than 1,000 fans from England to every home match.
    The scene in the Westfalenstadion after Dortmund's defeat by Hamburg

    It is a scarcely believable figure, but walk around the stadium and British accents are audible among the 80,000 at Signal Iduna Park. "We jump on the Channel Tunnel train," says Matthew Gerrard, from Kent.
    "We make a weekend of it. With tickets, accommodation, transport, this trip will cost 65. When you think it cost me 51 to see the Arsenal game last season, you can see the benefits."
    Another group soaking up the beer and bratwurst outside the stadium are wearing Stoke shirts, while there are also fans from Aston Villa, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Port Vale. When you discover that the majority of Dortmund's 55,000 season-ticket holders have paid an average of 9 to see this match, this influx begins to make perfect sense.
    Jack, a Chelsea fan, is here with two of his friends from London.
    "Prices are too high in England," he says. "But here, everything is cheap. It's a better experience for the fan and the atmosphere is incredible."
    Dortmund are increasingly aware of the English invasion. The club has even begun to conduct stadium tours in English. "It's amazing," says marketing director Carsten Cramer. "It's always nice when English fans tell me that including the cost of a flight, two beers and a ticket, they do not pay more than a match in England.
    "Why are tickets cheap? Football is part of people's lives and we want to open the doors for all of society. We need the people, they spend their hearts, their emotions with us. They are the club's most important asset."
    It is a phrase that many clubs use, but two stories demonstrate why it is, perhaps, far more than words here in Dortmund. In recent months, the club's caterers asked them to increase beer prices for the first time in three years. But Dortmund said no.
    "What is the economic sense for the club to increase the price by 10 cents?" Cramer added. "For the overall economic success of the club it is not important to increase the price of a litre of a beer. It is still money, but not a lot to the club. But it does affect our fans, if they are spending their money match after match."
    The Gelbe Wand/The Yellow Wall

    Bayern Munich and Germany midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger was recently asked whether he feared Dortmund's players or their manager, more. He responded by saying: "It is the Yellow Wall that scares me the most." The sudtribune, or south stand, has the capacity to assault the senses with its raw passion and noise. More than 25,000 people stand on the terrace during Bundesliga games. For European games, safe standing rails are replaced by seats.

    Puma, the club's shirt manufacturer, also urged them to increase the price of the kit after three seasons at the same figure. Dortmund, once again, said no.
    "We try to be as fair as possible. It is easier to ask sponsors for cash than the fans," Cramer says.
    Dortmund plan to introduce free wifi to all fans inside the stadium from January. Other clubs are doing the same, but not quite in the way that Dortmund are.
    While the club want to encourage fans to engage with them online, order food and send tweets, once the match starts, they want their fans to put their phones down, use their hands to clap, their eyes to watch and the voices to sing.
    And to ensure that remains the case, the club are discussing plans to dip the wifi signal once the match begins. Supporting the team is the be all and end all.
    Borussia Dortmund have the highest average attendance in the world

    It is why Dortmund do not sell drinks in their corporate boxes during the game. It is why the stadium announcer demands fans return to their seats in time for the start of the second half. The club could allow fans to spend more money buying food and drink. But not at Dortmund.
    "We are a football club," Cramer adds. "If the football doesn't run properly, the rest of the business would not work. The business is part of a train, but not the engine."
    Cramer arrives in the room having spent much of the past 15 minutes on the phone to a fan with a complaint - yes, they do exist.
    "It is important that the fans know that their concerns are being listened to, that as a club we have a feeling for what they want," he says.
    "Our CEO is in a deep conversation with the fans, we have five guys who just work for our supporters. Our fans know we care about what they think."
    Dortmund fan Marc Quambusch, from Kein Zwanni (Not Twenty), a supporter campaign to keep tickets cheap, admits he is proud of what Dortmund has become, having grown up looking to England as the home of football's soul.
    Dortmund stats - the club:

    Season ticket holders:
    55,000
    Waiting list for season ticket:
    30,000
    Stadium capacity:
    80,645
    Average home attendance:
    80,291 (highest in the world)
    Number of fans attending in 2013-14 season:
    1.855 million

    "When I was young, we all watched English football, the Kop and said 'yes, that is what football is all about'," he says.
    "Now, when we go to English football, the stadiums are quiet and we say that it is actually quite boring. If you price people out, you change the atmosphere. If you price people out, it isn't the people's game anymore."
    Dortmund's fervent atmosphere is the envy of Europe but it is not there by accident.
    The club keeps prices low precisely to ensure all areas of society are represented in the crowd. There is no such thing as the 'prawn sandwich brigade' in these parts.
    "Prices are also going up here and have gone up in recent seasons. But Dortmund is one of the homes of fan culture now, every type of person in this city can afford to go to the stadium," Quambusch adds.
    "Not just the old people or the rich. That isn't the case in England."
    It is important to remember this is a club run by the fans, for the fans. The Bundesliga's "50% plus one" rule requires clubs to be owned by their members. All but three of the 36 Bundesliga clubs are owned or controlled by their members, with Wolfsburg, Bayer Leverkeusen and Hoffenheim the exceptions.
    It is a model that is the envy of many in Europe, especially when it is so successful, as Dortmund have been since 2010, winning two Bundesligas and reaching the Champions League final.
    "You have to find your own way," Cramer says. "I am not that arrogant to think that our way might be the right way for all clubs.

    Visit the Price of Football calculator to see how much you spend supporting your team.
    "This way fits to the core values of our club. We are a very, very down to earth club.
    "If you know what your club stands for, it helps you know how to act. But I could put the figures to other clubs and say there you go. It is the Dortmund way, and for us, it is most certainly the right way."
    The Dortmund model may not, though, be as attractive for those clubs determined to make money above all else. The amount of money Arsenal generate on match days dwarfs those of the German club, despite having 20,000 less seats.
    "This is impressive," Cramer added. "But if we were to ask for prices like this, we would lose the people. And the people are one of the most important assets for our club."
    English fans will continue to flock to this unglamorous corner of Germany. It is an intoxicating experience, it is cheap and the football is among the best in Europe. What is not to like? Perhaps it is that Germany reminds English football fans of something they think the game in this country has forgotten.
    Modern football may be the land of the sporting superstar, but in Germany the fan is king.
    Heart of Gold and a Knob of butter.

  2. #2
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    It is why Dortmund do not sell drinks in their corporate boxes during the game.
    Well fuck that.

    Just like the Nazis innit.

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    I was at Dortmunder Rundschau for training ,very run of the mill joint but great Women beer and sausages what more could a young carnivore need ,there's a place up the road called Barmen with a floating tram

    Wuppertal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wuppertal
    Wikipedia
    The Schwebebahn floating tram in Wuppertal-Barmen ... Wuppertal (German pronunciation: [ˈvʊpɐtaːl] ( listen)) is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.
    I used to have a job at a calendar factory.
    I got the sack because
    I took a couple of days off.

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    chassamui's Avatar
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    Took my brother to M'gladbach a few times. Great atmoshere. Not so much at the Olympia Stadion Munchen for the Forest Malmo European cup final in '79. Open air stadiums lose it on the atmosphere front.
    Gotta love the Dortmund ethos though. It's what the game should be about.

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    ^Got to love the German approach to the game, full stop. Teams that go into debt get booted out of the league, investment in youth academies, sponsorship by several companies, supporters have to represented in the club's shares, etc.

    German football has learnt from past mistakes to become football's new superpower - Telegraph

    It's no surprise they are the new superpower in football. And world champs, obviously.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kmart
    German football has learnt from past mistakes to become football's new superpower - Telegraph
    A very interesting comment following that excellent article:


    The Premier League has made 3 big mistakes..
    1) The PL is aimed at a worldwide television audience but shows no respect to the English fan base who attend actual games. Late kick off times and high pricing have driven many true fans away
    2) The lack of regulation re. foreign players has killed off home grown talent and finished off the England national team as well
    3) The poor leadership at the PL has seen foreign owners virtually bankrupt many clubs and kill of traditions..eg the FA Cup Final
    We are left with a product that appeals to first time TV fans of football, Indonesian taxi drivers, Chicago soccer moms, farmers in Botswana etc but has disconnected from true English fans who actually used to attend games.
    The germans have a different ( healthier ) attitude to debt on a personal & business level....they don't like it. Unlike the UK germans save and plan in all aspects of life...so to follow the german model requires a cultural shift in the UK.
    Asking Brits to live within their means ?? Some chance

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    The germans have a different ( healthier ) attitude to debt on a personal & business level....they don't like it. Unlike the UK germans save and plan in all aspects of life...so to follow the german model requires a cultural shift in the UK.
    Asking Brits to live within their means ?? Some chance


    Come to think about it...I've rarely, if ever, seen a German over here, on his uppers!

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    Quote Originally Posted by charleyboy View Post

    Come to think about it...I've rarely, if ever, seen a German over here, on his uppers!
    One notable Yerman very recently, charley:
    On his flippers, by the looks of things.


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    Quote Originally Posted by chassamui
    "Prices are too high in England," he says. "But here, everything is cheap. It's a better experience for the fan and the atmosphere is incredible."
    Dortmund are increasingly aware of the English invasion. The club has even begun to conduct stadium tours in English. "It's amazing," says marketing director Carsten Cramer. "It's always nice when English fans tell me that including the cost of a flight, two beers and a ticket, they do not pay more than a match in England.
    Very interesting...but maybe that is why the English clubs can afford better players...maybe

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Bayliss
    Very interesting...but maybe that is why the English clubs can afford better players...maybe
    That's the whole point Bruce the majority of the Bundesliga players are home grown talent. They invested in youth, coaching and grass roots facilities.
    The national side has been successful for the same reason. They play predominantly at home under german coaches, and it is rare for that to extend to two German sides in a champions league final, but that's exactly waht happened in 2012/13.
    Last edited by chassamui; 17-10-2014 at 03:26 PM.

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    Thailand Expat cyrille's Avatar
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    Agree with you chas.

    Just about everything good about England has been sold off by Thatcher and Blair.

    While this hasn't happened directly with the Premier League it now exists pretty much in a vacuum because nothing matters any more except the bottom line.

    Next up for sale is the British share of the Channel Tunnel.

    What a joke.

    Good to read about a club, a league and a country that stands by the things that should be valued above their financial worth alone.

    Shame the yellow and black strip sucks. Way too close to Wolves.
    Last edited by cyrille; 17-10-2014 at 03:19 PM.

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    I lived in Germany for over 10 years and even then, between 1979 and 1995 (with breaks in between) i would marvel at the quality of sports facilities in small towns all over Northern Germany. Small places with a population of 10-15,000 would have floodlit all weather pitches with separate training grounds and other facilities like tennis and athletics. The Clubhouse and first class dressing rooms were immaculate and often the the focal point of family and community life, especially in the really small towns and villages.
    I guess they have moved on since then eh.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chassamui
    That's the whole point Bruce the majority of the Bundesliga players are home grown talent. They invested in youth, coaching and grass roots facilities.
    Yes, like the good old days when England won a World Cup...by a dud goal at home.
    From the article:
    Rule number one
    The Premier League remains the most lucrative in the world.

    Refer to Rule number one
    But the Bundesliga is catching up.
    Its latest financial figures, released in January, revealed record-breaking revenues of 1.75 billion – still some way behind England, but with a good deal of potential to be exploited.

    My comment:

    All those billions in Asia can watch the Bundesliga if they want to...but they don't

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Bayliss
    Yes, like the good old days when England won a World Cup...by a dud goal at home. From the article: Rule number one The Premier League remains the most lucrative in the world. Refer to Rule number one But the Bundesliga is catching up. Its latest financial figures, released in January, revealed record-breaking revenues of 1.75 billion – still some way behind England, but with a good deal of potential to be exploited. My comment: All those billions in Asia can watch the Bundesliga if they want to...but they don't
    Whooosh, Bruce misses the point by a country mile. Again.

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    Thailand Expat cyrille's Avatar
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    The guy's an utter buffoon, sadly.

    How many targets has he conjured up there and completely muffed his shot at?

    Extraordinary.

    He does serve as a shining example on the other side of the world of exactly who English football should not be geared to, though.

    So there's that.

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    I enquired out of curiosity how much for a ticket to watch Crewe costs, a club who play in third tier of English football and it's over 20 a ticket, so that's more than double than to watch a top tier German match, madness.

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    Add on a pie and a pint, plus a programme and travel costs ................. double scary for what used to pass as a working class staple.

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    Thailand Expat cyrille's Avatar
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    It's reflected in the crowds too.

    Few people under 20, lots of balding, middle aged professionals without kids.

    Definitely an older less raucous bunch than in the pic. above.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chassamui View Post
    Add on a pie and a pint, plus a programme and travel costs ................. double scary for what used to pass as a working class staple.
    I went home and away with Ipswich for 2 years, can't remember the years offhand but easily checkable as it was when Ipswich got promoted in the final season of the old second division and thus were in the premier league for the first season it started, some time in the early nineties and I remember only paying about 10 back then which I had no complaints about for watching premier league football. But over 20 to watch Crewe at home in third tier football and they can get fuked even with travel costs being 0 as I could walk to the ground in 10-15 minutes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by buriramboy
    with travel costs being 0 as I could walk to the ground in 10-15 minutes.
    By the looks of your avatar you should be walking from Ipswich to Crewe and back every week.

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    Dortmund are a shining example for the rest of the clubs, not just soccer but any code,stop ripping the supporters off and you will get a loyal following who are the backbone of the clubs, they are proving it works but the management of all other clubs only worry about how they can increase the prices of admission and rip off prices for food-drinks.
    I, like many of my friends have stopped going to sporting events because of the cost
    and it pisses me off because i would gladly support a club-game if it was a fair price.

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    Quote Originally Posted by reddog View Post
    Dortmund are a shining example for the rest of the clubs, not just soccer but any code,stop ripping the supporters off and you will get a loyal following who are the backbone of the clubs, they are proving it works but the management of all other clubs only worry about how they can increase the prices of admission and rip off prices for food-drinks.
    I, like many of my friends have stopped going to sporting events because of the cost
    and it pisses me off because i would gladly support a club-game if it was a fair price.
    Agreed, I like watching live sport but these days just limit myself to a trip up to Edinburgh once a year for a 6 nations match and make a weekend of it with the misses. Even though I'm not from Crewe and have zero allegiance to the team I'd go and watch them if it was 5 - 10 a ticket which I would consider a fair price for 90 minutes of third tier football as opposed to the 20+ they charge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chassamui
    Whooosh, Bruce misses the point by a country mile. Again.
    What point? Sports franchises the world over are ripping every dollar they can out of walk up fans...and the Germans are not...but why? Don't tell me it is because they are just plain generous.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Bayliss
    What point? Sports franchises the world over are ripping every dollar they can out of walk up fans...and the Germans are not...but why? Don't tell me it is because they are just plain generous.
    You could start by having a basic understanding of the game and its history. Then you could actually read the full article in the OP.
    Ok wait, I see the problem now. Having completed all the above, then you would have to find someone to understand it for you.

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    "We make a weekend of it. With tickets, accommodation, transport, this trip will cost 65. When you think it cost me 51 to see the Arsenal game last season, you can see the benefits."
    Same as F1 . My mate goes over on the ferry to watch the F1 at Spa. Cost of whole trip is less than going the 40 miles to Silverstone.

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