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SBD Global/May 24, 2013/International Football
German Football Clubs Setting Example On, Off Pitch Ahead Of Champions Final
Published May 24, 2013
NEAR PERFECT MODEL: In London, Rory Smith reported Bundesliga CEO Christian Seifert said that the two clubs are "perfect standard bearers for German football’s 'DNA.'" It is "a structure that is easy to envy." Both are "majority-owned by their fans." Both "turn a profit, despite allowing ticket prices to drop as low" as €13 ($17). Seifert's praise for the Premier League is qualified -- “admiration is a strong word” -- and his belief in the German model "is absolute too." That is "not hard to explain." It "stands out because all of its individual strands -- the fan ownership, the youth, the cheap tickets -- tie together so neatly." It is "a dirty word in England at the moment, but Germany’s approach is, in the best possible sense, holistic." The league "is profitable, and wages under control, because of the emphasis on youth." That means tickets "can remain cheap, and safe standing can remain, so there is no appetite to change the 50+1 shares rule that means most clubs are owned by their fans." It "is a perfect circle." Still, though, Seifert "is not satisfied." Seifert: "The Bundesliga is not a perfect model." The problems? A rise of "far-right extremism and occasional violence among some fans." The "unsightly, and to English eyes, disturbing fences separating supporters from the pitch at some grounds" (LONDON TIMES, 5/23).