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Bundesliga protests: German fans turn their back on the top flight

As Bundesliga protests rage on in Germany, fans have seemingly turned to the second tier of German football for their football fix this weekend. For the first time in history, 2 Bundesliga attendances were higher than those in the Bundesliga this weekend as German fans showed officials that they are serious about not wanting outside investment in the top flight.

Protests have been ongoing for months now after it was revealed that DFL plan to sell some of the Bundesliga's media and marketing rights to outside investors. Although the deal would provide German football with over £800m, fans are dead against the proposals due to their strong beliefs that football is a game for working-class fans rather than a money-making scheme for billionaires.

The protests have been widespread and regular from chocolate coins being thrown onto the pitch in Cologne last month to kick off being delayed in the recent top-of-the-table clash between Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich due to sweets and rubber balls being launched from stands.

Bundesliga protests
Schalke fans have the largest average attendance in 2 Bundesliga – Photo by Icon Sport

Bundesliga protests: Second tier attendances outperform the top flight

This weekend, more fans went to 2 Bundesliga matches than Bundesliga matches in perhaps another signal to German bosses that fans will turn their backs on the German top flight if they don't scrap the plans.

The second tier, which is already the fifth-most watched league in Europe on average, brought in crowds of 284,800 over the weekend while the Bundesliga only brought in crowds of 264,050. Several matches were sold out including St Pauli vs Braunschweig, Schalke vs Wehen and Rostock vs HSV.

In comparison, some games in the Bundesliga brought in significantly less than 20,000 supporters. Hoffenheim vs Union Berlin had an attendance of 19,050 in a 30,150-seater stadium while matches played in Heidenheim and Darmstadt had less than 15,000 fans in attendance.

In 2 Bundesliga, seven clubs have averaged more than 35,000 this season, including Schalke who bring in an average of 61,400  fans each week. This is the 11th-highest average attendance in the whole of Europe which goes to show how passionate German fans are for their clubs regardless of how well they are performing.


Andy Delaney

Andy is a freelance sports writer with ten years of experience covering major sporting events across Europe. He has also been a season ticket holder at Old Trafford since 2008 and has visited over 40 football stadiums in the United Kingdom and abroad following the Reds.

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