News : 1. FC Union Berlin discusses dealing with opponents RB Leipzig


News :

1. FC Union Berlin discusses dealing with opponents RB Leipzig


When it comes to remembering the dead, silence in itself is the appropriate response. The fans of the 1. FC Union have come up with something special for the Bundesliga premiere of their club. They had posters printed with pictures of deceased Union fans, who took them to the stadium at the Alte Försterei. So that those who could no longer live to the Bundesliga promotion, somehow in the first league can be there.

To be weighed in the stands but for a completely different reason: the very lively opponent who shows up in the evening in Wuhlheide (18 clock, TV: Sky, live ticker SPIEGEL ONLINE). It is RB Leipzig.

The first 15 Bundesliga minutes of the 1st FC Union Berlin should be accompanied silently by their own fans - in protest against the Leipzig club structure, against the behavior of the Red Bull Group. The arguments are known. And that there would be a protest when RB Leipzig plays at the Alte Försterei should surprise no one. Both teams were already in the second league opposite, then dressed the Berlin fans in mourning black.

A small perfidy of DFB and DFL?

But that it is equal to the long-awaited Bundesliga debut against the perceived class enemy, that the euphoria of the ascent is stifled in 15 minutes of silence, that does not fit all in the club. In the club some even want to recognize a perfidy of DFB and DFL in this game plan. To nominate Leipzig as a party crasher is a certain act of revenge for the fact that Union is not well-known among the associations.

Union and its fans - that's a special mix. The association cultivates the image of otherness - while every Unioner knows of course only too well that is thought in Köpenick just market economy and you, like all other clubs, based on the performance principle. Nevertheless, the tightness that is celebrated at Union between club and supporters, the glue that holds the club together. It is "not really that different from other professional clubs," says President Dirk Zingler. But he does not mean that 100 percent.

The lawn of the Old Forester, taken by the fans after the climb

Andreas Gora DPA

The lawn of the Old Forester, taken by the fans after the climb

In this respect, by no means everyone is enthusiastic about the idea of ​​spending the very first few minutes of Erstligadasein in Köpenick in silence. Goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz, who has a reputation for not holding back on his own, had called on Instagram last week: "We players, along with you fans, must show our opponent that this is our place, our house : Welcome to Hell. " It is therefore "not good for us players", if the support is missing first.

Access Neven Subotic then took the opposite position: "A protest that does not hurt is a luxury protest." This is also the club line, which is given by President Zingler: "We have clear position against Leipzig in the second division, and I think it is very honest to do so in the first." Zingler should know how attentively the fan scene is pursuing such debates with Union. Any violation of the brand core is perceived here as a violation of the club soul.

In the transfer summer paddled

For days, this is the dominant topic in public, which is now annoying many Unioner. Because other disappears behind it: The club has slammed properly in the transfer summer, even if it is not clear whether the Bundesliga slaughterhouse Christian Gentner, Anthony Ujah and Subotic bring the team really sporty. Dusseldorf coach Friedhelm Funkel has at least already wondered what financial options Union apparently, his Fortuna have bid in the summer for a player, but compared to Union can not keep up. Who it was, he did not say.

Choreography of the fans playing the relegation match in Wuhlheide

Hannibal Hanschke REUTERS

Choreography of the fans playing the relegation match in Wuhlheide

The stadium expansion at the Alten Försterei is due for next year, the corresponding talks with the Berlin Senate are running. How dimensioned the expansion will be, also depends on "in which league we play then", as Zingler in the RBB this week still cautiously noted.

A caution that sounds rather pleasantly withdrawn with the hype around Union in the city. Television and radio have been pouring over reports of moods for days, and Reinsburg radio station Radioeins, which sees itself as Union media partner, has launched a "red-and-white" special on the program, in which the commentators made no effort to hide their fan-spirits. Actually, everything could be so nice. If only this opponent were not.

In Leipzig itself one follows the discussions in Berlin with relish, the dissonances are noted benevolently. RB CEO Oliver Mintzlaff says: "The anticipation must be huge, because you should deal with the positive things and not with whether the same parts of the fans like the other club or not." The fact that he described the match on Sunday as a "felt derby" should not have caused much enthusiasm in Köpenick. And not at Hertha BSC either. They are also available in Berlin.


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