Werder Bremen hosted Hertha Berlin today in a Bundesliga match held at a date and time that made some German soccer fans angry. In light of growing concerns about soccer officials’ greed ruining the sport fans love, some Werder fans in attendance held up a huge sign that read—well, you can see it quite clearly on FS2.
Here’s a video that better shows the translated version at the bottom of the stands:
As a spokesperson for a collection of Bundesliga fan groups explained to ESPN FC, the fans’ grievance stems from their dissatisfaction about the direction of German soccer—specifically with how things seem to be increasingly moving toward a raw profit-maximization focus at the expense of the fans’ interests:
“Large parts of the society are more or less excluded from professional football through sometimes absurd price hikes, adjustments to kick off times for foreign markets and a reduction of standing areas,” a spokesperson representing the interests of various Bundesliga club ultras told ESPN FC.
The thinking is that games played on weekdays and at odd hours, at times too early for working people to attend in person and other times too late for kids and working people to stay out, make it harder for local fans to follow their teams. Many of these sorts of changes are made with TV broadcasting, both domestic and international, in mind.
The planned protests across German soccer were centered on a 20-minute period of silence. The Frankfurter Allgemeine, a German paper, reported noticing this silence in Werder’s match and others around the country. A coalition of German fans had been in dialogue with officials from the German league and the country’s soccer federation in an attempt to come to a mutual understanding, but the fans have recently backed out of talks.