• Second division Union Berlin surprised with proposals for the reform of professional football to counter the alienation of the fans of the business.
  • Proposals include playoff games, salary caps – and larger leagues.

By Javier Cáceres, Berlin

The second division 1. FC Union Berlin is rehearsing the revolution. In a position paper distributed on Wednesday, preceded by a fire letter on the situation of football, the club from Berlin-Köpenick encourages, among other things, to increase the first and second Bundesliga from the current 18 to 20 teams, as in Spain, France or England Usus is. The additional games would improve the revenue situation of clubs that do not participate in international competitions.

"In comparison to the clubs represented there, they not only lack the bonuses of these competitions, but they also play fewer games, so the additional number of four championship games is both sporty and financially attractive for these clubs and manageable for the top clubs Burden ", write Union President Dirk Zingler and board member Oskar Kosche. Among other things, they demand the retention of the 50 + 1 rule, which places narrow limits on the influence of private investors on clubs.

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The demands of the Union are based on the analysis that German professional football is "at a crossroads". Therefore, the proposed by the German Football League (DFL) structural reform should not be voted on 12.10.2018. It was necessary not only to reorganize German professional football organisationally, but also to redirect it in terms of content. " He is increasingly removing himself from "those who make him out – man." The national competitions would have to be strengthened as they are the most important basis for identifying and retaining people in football.

In the eyes of Berlin, football continues to be an important part of society and reflects "its tendencies and developments in a compressed form". "The strengthening of radical borders as a result of a perceived and experienced threat has long since become apparent – in football as well as in other areas of society – people who are not valued and not taken seriously are resorting to extreme forms of action and communication – shaming songs, discrediting banners and permanent ones verbal attacks on associations and individual officials testify to the escalation of unresolved conflicts. " All these are obvious symptoms of a rampant alienation of the fans of the billion-dollar football.

Playoff games for the rise

Against this background, the Unioner argue that the German professional football in the "limitation of salary levels and the number of players on loan should take a leading role and promotes them to introduce Europe-wide". Thus, "a clear sign" would set, "the steady upward spiral to long untranslatable heights no longer go along". Union also calls for a debate on the distribution of revenues from the marketing of TV money. The current model "increases existing differences between clubs rather than promoting competition".

In its six-page paper, Union also proposes to organize not only the first two, but also the third league under the umbrella of the DFL, which attests to high performance in the organization of paid football. "The third league is a professional league," it says as a reason. The German Football Association (DFB) should be responsible only the organization of the national teams and the amateur sector.

The proposals also include a reorganization of the ascent regulations. The achievement of a championship is an extraordinary sporting success, the "importance should be attached", explain the Berlin. Although there are currently a trophy for the champions of the second division and the third division, "the relevant sporting result, the promotion to the next higher league, but the champion shares with the runner-up". In the four regional leagues is not even every master the promotion to the 3rd league safe.

The permeability between the leagues should be ensured "over playoff games of several teams, in the context of which several participants of the neighboring leagues around a certain number of places in the higher league play". If the current second division season has already ended today, Union would have the long-awaited promotion to the top league for sure: After the 2-1 victory at FC Ingolstadt last Monday occupied the 1st FC Union Berlin second place, three points behind the 1st FC Cologne.

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