The German Model
Today for a change I will be looking at German football as certain events there have peaked my interest . I swear this to you now though , I often praise the German people to my buddies , one in particular as he has a distinctly German surname yet probably couldnt find it on a map . Welcome to America and thats actually a common story. But I digress-their efficiency and quality of product I admire,not to mention some social aspects . For instance,I’m told that in order to file your taxes in that country you must have seen a doctor that year and got the stamp to prove it. So basically it’s mandatory to see the doctor once a year. As a result of such a simple practice the economy saves billions by catching illness earlier and the people live and contribute longer . Its beautiful . You dont pay tax on a car made in country either so its Audi or Bmw Sir ? Damn good beer ( Spaten is the fav ) also and you have my kinda people . I like ze Germans .
I was flabbergasted to read that the German fourth tier had accepted the Chinese under 20 team into its division of 19 teams to be team number 20. This floors me !
The German Football Association and Chinese government signed a deal in 2016 aimed at raising the level of football in China and their under 20’s were part of the deal. The immediate aim was to prepare them for the Olympics in 2020. However the team where not officially part of the league and their games where officially friendlies. The teams playing them got way more cash than they usually do and the games were beamed back live to Chinese tv viewers !
The experiment crashed after a protest by Tibetans unfurling their national flags on the sidelines caused the Chinese to walk off in protest . Some teams refused to play them at all.
Such a strange episode again reinforces to me that the game is constantly evolving and to assume nothing nor take anything for granted. There was a will and a way, some compromise but eventually the team got the move . That at least shows something. As does the idea of join the bottom and your bigger profile should be welcomed. I have often thought ignore the top tiers of anywhere if moving , thats jumping in the deep end and you might get embarrassed being underprepared. Easier to get voted in down below and work solidly upwards.
The next item I would draw your attention to is the clash between the league’s governing bodies and fans. Last weekend was a cup weekend and it was used as a backdrop to protest what the fans groups see as the emerging face of commercialism taking over the sport at the fans expense. Areas they are particularly upset about include ,,,,
Monday Night Football
Fan equipment – megaphones and banners and such are at the mercy of the clubs, no set rules.
Collective Punishment – closing entire stands for the actions of a few.
Commitment to Standing Terraces.
Talks between the two sides broke down and the games have seen many displays including one in English proclaiming “ Welcome to der Horrorshow ! “.
On the Monday night games issue the governing bodies insist the games are at the behest of the clubs for economic benefit. Amazingly one fan cited people must get up for work the next day ! It might and does seem strange to us as we are very used to the concept of MNF and its also a cornerstone of the NFL.
Reading the areas of contention and the accompanying articles it seems that just like Scottish football the domestic game in Germany is also at a crossroads.
The fans desire is to keep the sport pure and clean and dedicated to the fan, not Tv or money and certainly not to protect its chosen 11 . Foreign investment in clubs is frowned upon and they like the community to own their own teams.
Living next door to the monster that is the English top tier for so long,I suppose it would be easy to accepts its protocols as the norm throughout the game but it seems that concept is misguided.
What is for sure is that this is not just a small minority that are protesting . Some 20k Dortmund fans recently stayed away and the stadium announcer spoke words of support for them.
The fans groups seem to hold a lot of sway and have put differences aside to work for the good of the game which is very admirable,one must admit. They have vowed to continue their work but “ inside the stadium and with greater purpose than ever “.
There’s lessons to be learned here , and we should watch and learn. There is nowhere near the groundswell of support for action against the governing bodies as far as Celtic fans are concerned but that could change in the future. It’s heartening to see other supporters stand up for themselves and the good of the game .
We aren’t alone in feeling disenfranchised . Perhaps some of their actions might translate over in the Scottish set up and we could discuss using their tactics.
On behalf of the site I shall contact the various groups involved and ask them can we help and would they like to use these pages to spread their message. I shall keep you appraised.
Should you the reader wish us to contact anyone or any group for a question and answer session or to write about them and help promote just let us know. This blog is yours , take it wherever you wish.
Please consider writing an article for the site . Any and all will be published.
And get a move on,please-otherwise majoc will be on tomorrow demanding we take up the pitchforks and storm The Bastille!