With Germany welcoming England tomorrow in the Olympiastadion for the pre-Euro 2016 friendly, I decided to have a bit of fun. There are less of them overall, but the German Football clubs occupy the same positions and fill the same niches in the structure of national Football in the eyes of the fans as the English clubs do. This post is a bit of a tongue in cheek explanation of where German and English clubs sit in the reality of Football. Enjoy.
Bayern München are Manchester United
Eternally strong and successful, almost eclipsing the legacy of the industrial stage from which the team came. Similarly the core of really diehard ultras are nowadays eclipsed by armchair fans buying their merch from supermarkets and airports.
HSV are Aston Villa
Oh so important in their yesteryear, neither team from the countries’ second city has been relegated from their respective top division. Sad it is to say, that both look destined to finally end that tradition and go down spectacularly after several close scrapes in recent seasons.
VFB Stuttgart are Newcastle United
Former national glory and a good-sized fan base that only seems to generate noise during derbies and in the final third of the season when relegation knocks on the door. Just to clarify, that is where the similarities end; the two cities themselves have little in common with each other. One is famous for Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, the other for a girl with an IQ of 80 who refers to her vagina as a ‘fairy’.
RB Leipzig are MK Dons
Completely artificial with no history whatsoever. Teams created at the expensive of others and stuffed with money like a goose being stuffed with oats. These are foie gras clubs; thinking about how it’s made makes you feel sick. Fans of these teams really are not fans of Football and have no respect to the principles of the sport, however dimly they may still shine. (Yes I looked up how to spell “foie gras”).
Hansa Rostock are Millwall
Oh just fuck off back to your hole and let it be. No one cares.
Dynamo Dresden are Leeds United
The team you love to hate. The one-team-city leading the region that asks the question “why would you want to live anywhere else?”. Their fans are aggressive, obnoxious, violent and numerous. But they play shit Football. (P.s. Dresden fans are however some of the best in Europe. Leeds, not so much).
Borussia Dortmund are Liverpool
The choice club of the foreigner who doesn’t understand the sport nor what it means to support your local team but who still wants to get involved. The self-elected ‘best supporters in the country’ draw tears from TV viewers who rush to book flights and find a hotel to live their dream; a pre-kickoff selfie in front of the Kop / Yellow Wall with a scarf purchased 20 minutes earlier.
Eintracht Braunschweig are West Bromwich Albion
A modest club with faithful support, well run, playing attractive Football and often going up and down between leagues. But absolutely NO ONE is afraid of them. You really just are not scary.
1. FC Köln are West Ham United
These motherfuckers take their club seriously, travelling in numbers and making noise wherever they go. A strong footballing pedigree from an area where low-skilled labour dominated for years, sadly lacking in modern achievements. One recent shock relegation gave us all a good chuckle and has not been forgotten. Cologne has still to host the Olympic Games though.
1860 München are Preston North End
Way before any of us reading (or writing) this were around to poke fun, these two were pioneers of the Sport for the Masses in 19th century industrial strongholds. But unfortunately, success of your rowdy neighbours means that you are now frequently forgotten, confined to the lower leagues.
TSG 1899 Hoffenheim are Bournemouth AFC
A small club from a town not known for Football, your little ground is now brimming with supporters from the city itself (no plastics here) who, if they are being honest with themselves, next season don’t expect to see these superstars from the telly wearing shirts that they buy their sons for Christmas coming to their pitch and putting 5 past them.
Werder Bremen are Sunderland
Geographically-remote, sullen port cities that nobody wants to visit but with really surprisingly spectacular stadia sat on river banks offering a great 90 minutes for guests. Cracked faces weathered by bitter North Sea winds continue to hope for success seen years ago.
Schalke 04 are Chelsea
The other team you love to hate. Whatever your club, when you see these ones play their derbies, you want them to lose. Apart from clear similarities of colour, Russian money coming in keeps the team a threat, year in year out. You also better hope that they don’t come to your town in the Champions League at any stage, because these cunts will destroy it.
Mainz 05 are Stoke City
Offering little in the way of entertainment, culture or excitement, this club simply brings the numbers up in the league, occupying 12th place season by season. And it also doesn’t matter if you’re the current champions or new arrivals promoted last season; you seriously expect to be able to take this lot. But it’s just never that straight forward.
Arminia Bielefeld, Rot-Weiss Essen, MSV Duisburg, Fortuna Düsseldorf are interchangeably Blackburn Rovers, Oldham Athletic, Burnley, Rochdale AFC
Your working class towns are the reason Football exists and are shining examples of why Football matters. But with so many of you so close together, none of you can become a big club because you draw support away from each other. Lack of support means lack of money which means stagnation in the lower leagues. Your kids would rather support Man U / Schalke / Liverpool / Mönchengladbach instead.
There are a few other German clubs I wanted to discuss but for which I couldn’t find a suitable English comparison. These are namely St Pauli, Hertha BSC, 1. FC Union, VFL Wolfsburg and Bayer Leverkusen. The part two to this blog post can be found here.