Another protest banner has appeared in Germany today as club football supporters express their anger over Bundesliga matches proceeding behind closed doors.
It has been a good weekend for armchair fans around the world as German football's top two divisions resumed on Saturday but not all of the supporters of clubs in the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 are happy.
At the Millerntor Stadium today home team St Pauli enjoyed a 1-0 victory over Nurnberg and while there were no chants to be heard at the Budesliga 2 match, the supporters made their voice heard with a banner hung in the stands.
"Football lives through its fans," the banner (see main photo) read.
Football was suspended in Germany in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic but as the daily infection rate dropped league bosses were given the green light earlier this month to resume under strict under strict health and safety guidelines and behind closed doors.
The decision to go ahead with the 'geisterspiele' (ghost games) has angered club supporters who generally hold a lot of power due to the 50+1 Rule.
Ahead of FC Köln's game at home against Mainz today, supporters of the host team plastered posters around the city that read: "Money matters more to us than your health!"
They also left a sofa outside the stadium with the words, "Stadium instead of sofa! Against ghost games!", sprayed across it and banners which read, "Empty stadiums, full of cash: Hating your business was never easier!"
"No football without fans! End season now!"
All of these were documented by writer Felix Tamsut who covers football and fan culture in Germany.
Banners at 1. FC Köln‘s Müngersdorfer Stadion protesting against the Bundesliga‘s resumption before the game vs. Mainz:
“Empty stadiums, full of cash: Hating your business was never easier!”
“No football without fans!”
“End season now!”
(Via @neunzehn48y) #Effzeh #KOEM05 pic.twitter.com/TdZYWNf26h
— Felix Tamsut (@ftamsut) May 17, 2020
The chief sports reporter with the Munich Mercury, Günter Klein, posted photos of the Augsburg fans protest.
Wolfsburg were 2-1 winners on Saturday on their visit to the WWK Arena where a banner behind the goal read: "Football will survive, your business is sick!"
Auch wenn Fans nicht da sein dürfen - Kritik findet ihren Platz. pic.twitter.com/xExIbV1kvh
— Günter Klein (@guek62) May 16, 2020
It may be another couple of weeks before it is fully known whether the return of football in Germany this month has been a success but it may leave a bitter taste in the mouths of supporters for quite some time.