What impressions are left of the protest evening in Frankfurt? First the picture of an empty northwest curve, on which instead of the usual 8000 standing room fans there was a single large protest poster against the Bundesliga Monday games. In addition, because of the mood boycott of the active Frankfurt fan scene, the supporters of Union Berlin acoustically dominated the game and some saw it as one of the reasons for the away win. But it has also various moments in which many of those present expressed their displeasure with boycott and protest – among other things by whistling loudly while reading the team lineup with little solemnity.
From the 2021/22 season there will no longer be Monday games
It was a Monday evening, which is representative of a debate that is not just about Eintracht Frankfurt. It again leads to the question of how a club should deal appropriately with those from the curve who claim that they are the heart of the fan scene.
Now it is basically the right of every fan group to protest against everything and everyone if no one is hurt. A fan base as a quiet consumer who buys beer and bratwurst, claps a little and enjoys football and then goes back home. They must be able to actively participate, including (club) politically, which of course does not mean that they are right with every request. Monday games can be found inappropriate for good reasons, and by the way, Monday games can still be found inappropriate, although it has already been decided that they should no longer exist from the 2021/22 season. For some fans, Monday is symbolic of the dismemberment of the game day and everything that falls under the collective term of commercialization.
It becomes problematic, however, as soon as a fan group claims sole sovereignty to interpret such questions and the associated external representation, and if club managers, as now in Frankfurt, also bow to the pressure of this group.
The northwest curve was completely closed on Monday evening. Whoever wanted the boycott this boycott, which would also be a good fan right, could not even take up his usual paid standing room. At best, he could settle elsewhere in the arena.
In the Frankfurt case, it is made more difficult by the fact that the hard core of the fan scene not only often provides great support in the stadium and legitimate protest. Special misconduct that led to sanctions from the European Football Union for Europe League matches or recently to delays in the derby in Mainz.
Dialogue with such fan groups is important. But when club managers react too reservedly, they accept that individuals in the curve feel and perform far more powerful than they should be. They feel like the heart of the fan scene, but overall they are clearly the minority.