Do you hate the draconian body searches and police escorts to the ground? Do you yearn for an atmosphere inside the stadium that makes every game feel like a Champions’ League Final? Sick of being ripped off by the ticket office at every opportunity?
There exists a place, not far from here, where all your Football dreams come true. A country of Becks, Benz, BMW, Bretzels, Boobs, Borussia Dortmund and Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Deutschland; the Football Utopia. Here is why.
One Ticket for Getting In and Getting Out
Game over, 3 points secured, and after the final celebrations you and your lads make your way to the metro station. But with so many people, you have no chance of reaching the ticket machines before the train leaves. What to do? The Deutsche Fußball Bund are one step ahead of you! See that ticket you held onto for the whole match? It’s valid for one train ride for up to 2 hours, so you can get home easily. How good is that?!
Beer Inside the Stadium
It’s really true. Shame to say that at Villa Park and Stamford Bridge away fans can’t even buy beer inside the ground. But in the Vaterland, not only can you enjoy your litre tank of premium lager in your seat (as you should be able to), but vendors with pressured containers full of beer on their backs also walk through the stands to offer any thirsty individual a complete refill at a reasonable price. Cheers.
German Model of Fandom
On the list of ‘passionate fans’, Germany is probably not the first country that comes to mind. While that might be a bit unfair, one thing you definitely cannot take away from them is their integrity. They work together in close-knit organised groups independently from the club itself to build the atmosphere, preparing and organising their displays before each game. And when it comes to politics, they all take a stand together; against greed, against commercialism, against corruption, you name it.
In Germany after the whistle has gone, win or lose, the players all come together to within touching distance of the fan block (home and away). And they sing together, they jump together, they celebrate together, they live together. It’s so refreshing to watch players giving travelling fans the real appreciation they deserve. Think of that the next time you see your club captain give a half-arsed clap in your direction before disappearing down the tunnel.
You’ve probably heard tell of the wondrously low prices of Football in Germany and the working-man-friendly attitude of clubs. Take it from me; it’s all true. The lowest I have ever paid for a Bundesliga game was 6 €. 6-fucking-€. Not only that, but with abundant concessions for students, U-16s, pensioners, the unemployed and the handicapped, the whole city can make it to the game.
Lower Police Presence
You’ve probably become accustomed to it in the UK and don’t even think about it any more. Big derbies and any game involving Hansa Rostock, FC Magdeburg, St Pauli and / or Dynamo Dresden aside, you’ll struggle to spot constables inside the ground on matchday. And guess what? The event does not instantly break down into chaos.
So pack an overnight bag and give yourself what you’ve always wanted. Do you need any other reason?