Derby Boycotters draw first résumé of the campaign
Derby day is over. The not so well supported BVB managed to grab three points in Gelsenkirchen. The boycotters celebrated the team at their arrival back in Dortmund. But what became of the boycott campaign? Was the boycott a success? Will the campaign continue? Here´s a first résumé from the organisers of the boycott taken from the keinzwanni.de homepage and translated for you by sg.com:
Kein Zwanni für nen Steher – The Boycott Résumé
Just three weeks ago the resentment of increasing ticket prices lead to the foundation of the protest campaign „Kein Zwanni für nen Steher“ (20 € for a standing ticket is a no-go). With the boycott of the Derby at Gelsenkirchen on 19.09. we have reached a first important milestone of the campaign and hopefully that was the starting signal for a movement beyond the boundaries of individual football clubs. Now it is time for a first résumé.
From the start of the campaign, we have emphasised, that this action was not directed against Schalke 04 or part of the usual Derby build-up, the boycott was only meant to mark the beginning of the campaign. We want to be true to our words and want to be measured by them. In fact the boycott existed before the campaign started. Talks between fans and fanclubs showed beforehand, that many were not willing to pay the increased ticket prices and spared to order the tickets, that were reserved for them. On their own these warning signals would have remained unnoticed, so we decided to organise the protest and make it public. Nobody expected that we could achieve this much on such short notice.
The signal best visible were the 1.600 empty places in the away fans area. Many seats remained empty, the guest standing area maybe looked well filled at first glance, but no guest fans have ever had so much elbowroom in the away stands at Gelsenkirchen. Additionally the people that spared to order their tickets beforehand have to be taken into account, so the real number of boycotters was way beyond 2.000. At a Derby usually the ticket demand exceeds the supply for away fans by far, so this was a strong signal. We thank everybody that supported the campaign and stayed at home. Not to visit the Derby was for sure as hard to you as it was to us. And even though we missed a memorable match – it was the right thing to do. We also thank Borussia Dortmund that supported the boycott by not re-selling the returned tickets. That is no matter of course and to take back the tickets already sold, caused a lot of work for the club. We really appreciate that.
A drop of bitterness was the fact, that it was not possible to organise an event where all the boycotters could watch the Derby together in Dortmund. We did our best to make that possible, but totally unrealizable security requirements by the Dortmund police made it impossible. The peaceful and boisterous victory celebration after the match was proof enough, that such an event could have taken place without supervision by masses of security personnel.
Maybe even more important than the boycott are the following two points to us:
1. We received a lot of encouragement by fans of other clubs. It was our aim from the start to send a signal to all fans, that something can be done by fans about the current pricing. The campaign was promoted and supported by banners on many terraces throughout the country. We hope that many fans and supporter groups will pick up the campaign because together we can turn it into something real big.
2. The boycott was covered by most of the relevant nationwide media. This public approach was chosen was chosen by us, to create a widespread awareness towards the problem of rising ticket prices. We wanted to make clear, that our point was not to say “everything was better in the past”, but that the increasing ticket prices will be a long term problem not only for fans but for the clubs as well. The healthy and diverse fan base, most clubs still have today could be permanently destroyed, if tickets become unaffordable for a growing group of fans. This was mostly picked up by the media in a factual and objective way.
How does the campaign continue?
We will establish contact to fanclubs, supporter groups and other fan organisations by other clubs as soon as possible, to broaden the base of the campaign. The problem concerns us all and only together we are able to make the campaign a success. The homepage of www.kein-zwanni.de will be redesigned soon, to clear out the BVB references and make it a platform for fans of all clubs.
How important the cohesion of different fan groups and a unified approach are, was demonstrated to us by the reactions of English fans we have received. Even though 20 € for a ticket is ridiculously cheap compared to ticket prices in England, we have received a lot of support for our campaign from there. Many English fans regret, that they did not take action against high ticket prices in time, as it is now too late to reverse the past development in English football.
We still have the chance to influence the future price development. Let´s take it.
translated by web 28.09.2010