Football fans in Germany feel stronger ties with their club than in the Premier League, according to Borussia Dortmund’s chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke.
Most German clubs from the top two divisions abide by the so-called “50 plus one” rule, whereby a minimum of 51 percent of the club must be owned by its members, the supporters, who have a say in choosing the boardroom staff amongst other key decisions in the management of their clubs.
Dortmund need only a draw against Manchester City on Tuesday to finish as winners of Group D in the Champions League, while City are already eliminated; and Watzke reserved particular criticism for the ethos of their English opponents, who are owned and bankrolled by Sheikh Mansour of Abu Dhabi.
In an interview with The Guardian, he said, “In England people seem not to be interested in this. But the German is romantic: when there is a club, he wants to have the feeling it is my club, not the club of Qatar or Abu Dhabi.”
Amidst cries in England that the Premier League is out-pricing its fans, supporters of Germany’s premier clubs depart with very little money by comparison.
In Dortmund’s Signal Iduna stadium, season tickets for the 25,000 seat-strong standing area cost just €190 (£154), with entry to the first three Champions League group games available for an extra €30.