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German fans boycott game in price protest

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

More than 1,500 Borussia Dortmund fans are expected to boycott their club’s away derby with Schalke in protest at their local rivals almost doubling ticket prices – but what might come as a surprise to many British football fans are the actual figures involved.

For one of the biggest matches in Germany, their equivalent of the Merseyside derby or the Old Firm, tickets in the standing area at Veltins-Arena, Gelsenkirchen, will come in at €22, or around £19. The reason Dortmund fans are up in arms, is the fact that Schalke are hiking ticket prices by 50 per cent as a “top-game surcharge” – tickets for the same fixture last year were only €14.30.

Dortmund fan groups have had said ‘enough is enough’, and a broad alliance of around 300 supporters groups called for a boycott. Under the banner of ‘Kein Zwanni fur nen stehe’, or ’20 Euros for standing? No way’ fans have rallied to the cause.

To date, around 1,500 tickets have been returned, which means that there will be visible gaps on the away terrace for one of the most anticipated games of the season.

German fans’ willingness to mobilise and challenge authority is well known, and somewhat anathema to the prevailing ‘expect and accept’ culture that’s more prevalent in the UK. A lot of fans in the UK would see £19 to see a top flight match, and a big local derby at that, as extremely good value for money.

It is the principle of the price hike, though, and the subtle creep of price rises for tickets throughout Germany that has angered the Dortmund fans sufficiently to act. Fears are growing that moves such as this are the thin end of the wedge.

For more on the campaign, visit the Kein Zwanni (English) website.

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