Recent comments emerging from officials inside Borussia Dortmund have slammed the state of the English game claiming that Germany and the Bundesliga is a much more romantic and pure version of football. It’s true.
To begin with very few people will believe that the Bundesliga is the most watched league in Europe in terms of live sport. On average around 45,000 attend each league match in Germany’s top division compared to just over 35,000 in the Premier League.
A large part of this is to do with the regulations which are used in England and Germany. For example, in some German stadiums it is still possible for fans to watch matches in standing areas which significantly enhances the number of people that can get into that area.
The Hillsborough disaster of 1989 showed the dangers of overcrowding in standing areas which prompted legislation in England for all seated stadiums which is still viewed by many as the safest way to watch live sport.
In terms of ticket prices there is absolutely no comparison and a large chunk of this is to do with the additional people that German clubs can get into a stadium. Ticket prices for an adult at some games in Germany weigh in at as little as just over £10 while it will cost you over £100 if you want to go and watch Arsenal just the once. This means you could watch the German champions ten times for what it would cost to watch a single Arsenal game.
Match tickets in Germany also have the added advantage that they can act as free rail passes in certain areas and fans are not restricted in terms of drinking, singing, chanting or eating on public transport as they make their way to a match. Food and drink is also cheaper on average across all grounds in Germany.
Another interesting difference between the Bundesliga and the English football in general is that away fans are granted at least 10% of the official attendance of a stadium. They pay exactly the same price for their tickets as home supporters. In England away allocations are determined by the home club in terms of the popularity of a match e.g. a local derby and the prices are set accordingly.
The Bundesliga is also a soundly run financial institution with clubs spending less than 50% of their revenue on player wages compared to over 60% of revenue from clubs in the Premier League.
The Premier League has the advantage in terms of the massive broadcasting deals meaning financial incentives to some of the top clubs but it’s very clear that so much can be learnt from the German game.
image: © wuestenigel