Mr. Policeman ? could I have one more snickers please?
When I think about my school days a long time ago I always remember one of my former class teachers. Nearly all of my classmates and me said “he was our best teacher ever!” Why? Because our teacher Mr. D. was a person who signalized natural authority and a lot of competence, which seemed to be absolutely acceptable for us. After my return from Manchester I must say Mr. D. could have been an English police officer.
Mr. D. was cheerful, friendly and cooperatively. But he also was very strict insisting on his simple rules which always guaranteed smooth lessons. Concerning his strictness Mr. D. was always fair and if there was even some punishment for us, these were never too hard and always comprehensible. All pupils knew: “If we will follow his rules we will all have a good time!”
Concerning the match of our Borussia last week, the Manchester police informed all visitors about their rules before, during and after the match. All in all there was one, friendly worded key message: “Behave like normal people, avoid any stress – then everything will be OK!” And that’s the big difference: In Germany, I think, police is very often doubting that football fans could behave like normal people. Regarding this the Manchester police and all security staff show much more coolness. It doesn’t matter if we had met them in the city, in a pub or close to the stadium.
Police and Security people were polite but they signalized that any form of riots won’t be tolerated. Only one example: When we gathered in a pub we heard the announcement: “Please leave, we are closing now”. I showed my nearly full glass of Guinness to the security man and he gave me an understanding smile. He said nothing, but his message was clear: “Don’t hurry, enjoy your last Guinness in this pub!” And this speechless but friendly message made it clear for us not to discuss about such an early closure of this pub. In this case it showed perfectly it’s not only important what you will say but especially how you will say it.
In contrast to Manchester, in Germany, generally at football matches, police is showing their authority mainly by wearing battle dresses and being armed. Despite of their funny hats (for us Germans) and missing weaponry Manchester’s police commanded our respect. Only a few times I experienced such a relaxed marsh of Dortmund supporters from the city to the stadium. And when policemen sometimes gave some instructions to us fans, they never missed a “please” in their sentences. A most desirable model for Germany! Concerning the Dortmund fans this attitude was highly effective and the main question is: why is this model currently not possible in Germany? I personally never felt so good when visiting an away game all the times before. And best proof for these good experiences on both sides is this message of Manchester’s police on twitter: Click me!
What should be our “lessons learnt” after our Manchester trip? We should learn decent behaviour is an advantage for everyone. An advantage for football fans and for police and security staff. And it doesn’t matter if the match will be in England, Germany or wherever! One remark to the atmosphere during the match: I don’t know what happened when some viewers chanted “All cops are Bastards”. Maybe the reason was a riot due to the positioning of some banners. In this case absolutely needless in the consideration of the good atmosphere before the match. But these callings show the bad relationship between fans and police. Very sad!
Very sad also, that Mr. Rainer Wendt, head of the German Police Union wasn’t in Manchester. Thousands of “dangerous” football fans, many of them “doped” with some pints of beer entered and left the stadium peaceful without any disputes. And in the end Manchester’s police distributed a lot of sweets to all Borussia fans returning to their busses to bring them home or back to their hotels. Currently in Germany strictly unimaginable that a policeman is presenting us with some candy bars!
So a big “Thank You” to Manchester’s police! You acted with a lot of coolness but you acted also highly professional and highly effective! And maybe we’ll see again in quarter final or even in Wembley. Who will know? I personally would like to read again that “Dortmund’s fans were amazing”.
desperado09 , 06.10.2012
translated by: Henry
Welcome to Dortmund in December!