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Supporter organization counters Karl-Heinz Rummenigge’s recent criticism of fan behavior

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After Rummenigge criticized a new supporter’s initiative that aims to increase fans’ influence in football, the supporter organization ‘’Unser Fußball’’ (‘’Our football’’) hit back at the Bayern Munich boss.

Photo by Ronald Wittek/Pool via Getty Images

The Bundesliga became the first league within Europe’s top five who restarted their 2019/20 campaign after the coronavirus hiatus. It was a successful campaign as the Bundesliga teams secured the crucial broadcasting revenues and more importantly, prevented the pandemic to spread.

However, the end of the campaign was one that felt emotionless for many supporters as the stands remained empty throughout the remainder of the season. In a new initiative called “Unser Fußball,” meaning our football, German football fans have demanded measures to ensure fairer domestic competition, greater social responsibility, democracy, sustainable financing and most significantly, the importance of match-going supporters.

The group, who includes individuals that were instrumental in the successful campaign to retain the 50+1 rule in 2018, has rubbed Bayern Munich boss Karl-Heinz Rummenigge the wrong way. “Unfortunately, we have reached a point where I only ever read that the ultras are demanding this, demanding that. And now they want a say in the distribution of TV money,” Rummenigge said.

Speaking to Sport Bild, the magazine that gave Rummenigge and Dietmar Hopp their award for “Gesture of the Year,” Rummenigge continues by saying that he finds the name “Unser Fußball” itself somewhat presumptuous. ‘‘Who does football belong to? Most likely to those who play it, no matter what level. The fans are part of football, but it does not belong to them.”

Manuel Gaber, spokesman for ‘‘Unser Fussball’’ has responded to the Bayern chief executive:

“Rummenigge has not understood that it has long ceased to be only ultras who are demanding changes in football,” Gaber said, “but rather a broad fan base that stands behind ‘Unser Fußball’ and is demanding fundamental reforms.”

Gaber emphasized that the group has never claimed that football belongs exclusively to the fans, but has used their organization merely as a platform for advocating their vision of football.

‘’Rummenigge is one of the people who profit from the current system,” Gaber said. “He has no interest in reforms... Of course you have to talk about reforms with the people who actually have some interest in a new form of football.”