FSE is backing the below petition—’Our football – close to the grassroots, sustainable, and fit for the 21st century’—which demands changes to the current model of German football. The petition has been signed by more than 1,000 fans’ groups. 

Read the original version in German with the full list of signatories at www.unserfussball.jetzt

For decades, we have followed many developments in professional football with great concern. And at every juncture, we have repeatedly pointed out the need for change. The coronavirus crisis has revealed further weaknesses in the structures of the modern game. Now, the DFL, DFB, and some clubs have announced their intention to push for reform. But piecemeal measures cannot be the solution this time. The time has come to fundamentally change professional football. We all want a new football:

Our football – a fair competition

Fairness is the basis of any entertaining competition. And yet, the gap between large and small clubs continues to grow. To make the game more balanced, fundamental changes are required, both at the national and European level. Our football is characterised by a more even distribution of TV money, the introduction of a national financial fair play system, and a clear-cut limitation on the influence of investors.

Our football – a social role model

Football has enormous economic and social power; with that, comes great social responsibility—a responsibility which it has all too often failed to meet. Our football is committed to human rights and diversity in sports and the wider community. It will consistently campaign against discrimination and take concrete steps to combat corruption. Our football is socially sustainable, fulfils its ecological obligations, and serves as a role model for the rest of society.

Our football – democratic & economically sustainable

Short-term thinking and careless business practices must become a thing of the past. Football should prepare for the future with registered (membership) clubs as the basis of democratic and transparent decision-making processes. In our football, clubs belong to their members thanks to the 50+1 rule. A management strategy based on long term stability is possible for these clubs at every level. Economic sustainability and the creation of financial reserves must be the cornerstone of the club licensing system.

Our football – lives through its fans

Fans must be recognised as the lifeblood of the game, rather than an addendum to it. Our football is derived from a diverse fan culture, promotes self-organisation and takes the interests of fans into account through binding and consistent dialogue and participation. It is characterised, among other things, by socially responsible ticket prices, an inclusive stadium, and fan-friendly kick-off times.

Continuing as we did before is not an option. We do not want to return to a broken system. We therefore urge clubs and associations to act before the beginning of the 2020/21 season. This will require a credible basic decision and the introduction of tangible reforms.

Football must be fundamentally overhauled—grassroots, sustainable, and fit for the 21st century.

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