So what can we Learn from the Germans?

I am not going to look at the football we didn’t play (and they did) on Thursday night (I have another article coming about that). Instead I am looking at the whole footballing experience for the average fan.

It’s fairly well known that ticket prices in Germany are much lower than those in the Premier League and yet they have stadia of the quality of the Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund. On Thursday night there were over 65,000 fans in the ground and that was for a Europa League game where the stadia have to be all seated. For those of you that experienced the atmosphere they generated in there imagine what it must be like when the rail seats are up and over 81,000 are in there!

2016-03-10 18.50.05In terms of stadium design they have got this spot on. Lots of space under the stands with plenty of catering facilities once you are inside the ground. Ok, on Thursday Alcohol was banned due to UEFA rules but that’s a nonsense given the facilities around the ground.

The seats are arranged with steep sides giving everyone a perfect view of the action and the closeness to the pitch enables a superb atmosphere when full of passionate supporters.If the single terrace at Tottenhams new ground comes anywhere near that Spurs could end up with the best stadium in England.

More about the facilities outside the ground. There were plenty of outlets selling Bier, wine, Spirits and shots. Plenty more selling Bratwursts and other food and there was even the Biergartens in which supporters could have a beer and a sausage and get together before the game. Can’t see that working on Tottenham High road but it really added to the whole experience.

2016-03-10 17.12.36This was inside one of the Biergartens about an hour before KO. Very convivial. Spot the bloke in his dressing gown

And then there is the aspect of getting to the ground. Signal Iduna Park is situated in a large area outside of the main town of Dortmund and has superb transport links, Large car parks, Train and tram stations enabling you to get there and back easily from the centre of town. And the cost of the travel is included in the match ticket. Can you imagine a Tottenham (or any other London club including travel from anywhere in London) in the Ticket price.

But it doesn’t stop there. That free travel is covered anywhere within the VRR travel region. We stayed in Dusseldorf and the match ticket include all travel from Dusseldorf to Dortmund as well.

If Spurs do play some games at Milton Keynes as has been rumoured (League at Wembley and cup matches at MK is the rumour) do you think the £25 tickets for a Thursday night Champions League game will include travel from anywhere in the Southeast to Milton Keynes?  If you do – wake up now.

If anyone thinks Domestic and European Football in England will come anywhere close to the experience in Germany in the foreseeable future – dream on. We will always be treated by the English football authorities as cash cows to be milked for all we have.

A cap on away ticket prices may be a start but we still have a long way to go before we are treated with the respect we deserve, to follow the clubs we do. Without us supporters the game is nothing and those in charge need to realise this before they completely destroy the game.

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