German fans petition for fairer competition and reform of TV money distribution

June 25 – German football is widely regarded as the most fan-friendly of any of the major European footballing nations. But more than 1,000 supporters have so far signed a petition to demand a major reform of the sport saying the current model cannot continue.

Named ‘Unser Fussball’ (our football), the initiative covers a number of issues not least  fairer competition between the haves and the have-nots.

“A more equitable distribution of TV revenues, the introduction of a national financial fair play system and a clear limitation of the influence of investors,” are among the demands for next season in order not to return to a “broken system”.

Other pillars include a more democratic and financially sustainable model and better communication with fans rather than treating them as an “addendum”.

“Football has enormous economic and social power; with that, comes great social responsibility – a responsibility which it has all too often failed to meet,” says the petition.

“Our football is committed to human rights and diversity in sports and the wider community. It will consistently campaign against discrimination and take concrete steps to combat corruption. Our football is socially sustainable, fulfils its ecological obligations, and serves as a role model for the rest of society.”

“Short-term thinking and careless business practices must become a thing of the past. Football should prepare for the future with registered (membership) clubs as the basis of democratic and transparent decision-making processes. In our football, clubs belong to their members thanks to the 50+1 rule. A management strategy based on long term stability is possible for these clubs at every level. Economic sustainability and the creation of financial reserves must be the cornerstone of the club licensing system.

“Fans must be recognised as the lifeblood of the game, rather than an addendum to it. Our football is derived from a diverse fan culture, promotes self-organisation and takes the interests of fans into account through binding and consistent dialogue and participation. It is characterised, among other things, by socially responsible ticket prices, an inclusive stadium, and fan-friendly kick-off times.

“Continuing as we did before is not an option. We do not want to return to a broken system. We therefore urge clubs and associations to act before the beginning of the 2020/21 season. This will require … the introduction of tangible reforms.”

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