The Romance of Football…

… is a newly founded Facebook-page that concentrates on the other side of football, the side that doesn’t concern rich owners, all-seating stadiums and massive rises in ticket price. This other side is about the romance of football, that is the community aspect to it, the underdogs that surprise everyone, the team that never wins but plays anyway because they love it etc. Here is an example of the latter, linked by Ruud van de Graaf, the founder of “The Romance of Football”.

Ruud will also be joining us and hopefully we’ll see a few blog posts from him in the future.

Dynamo Dresden and their FDGB cup campaign

The German Football Association, the DFB has excluded Dynamo Dresden from this season’s DFB Pokal (German’s major cup competition) due to a repeated bad fan behavior in a cup match at Hanover 96 last season.

Dynamo Dresden responded to that exclusion ironically by having kicked off their own cup campaign last weekend.
English newly promoted Premier League side Hull City was the first opponent in the last sixteen round of the FDGB Pokal this Saturday.
The FDGB Pokal (Freier Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund Pokal or Free German Trade Union Federation Cup) was an annual cup competition in the former East Germany, last original version goes back to 1990. Dynamo has won it seven times.

Despite Dynamo lost the match in front of 6,428 fans due to a goal by Hull’s forward Sagbo after just 14 minutes, Dresden will proceed virtually in their competition into the quarter final because this cup is according their rules and not made by the German DFB. Even during the first league match day of the season Dynamo supporter chanting about European cup nights and enjoying themselves.

Besides the protest meaning of this fictive competition, the club wants to reduce the financial losses of not taking part in the DFB Pokal and wants to stay in the weekly match rhythm as well.

The next opponent in their quarter-final is not clear yet, but the match dates are already announced till their cup final: Quarter final (7th September), semi final (16th/17th November) and the final (1st/2nd February 2014).

Official Dynamo match report vs. Hull City

One of Europa League miracles – how the Dutch giants lost in Siberia

The world seem to know a little about Russian football. You may know that Samuel Eto’o plays in Anzhi Machachkala, about Zenit and CSKA and what ridiculously high wages the players and coaches receive there. But what if we will look to the east, behind Ural mountains, where Siberia is laid? Its riches: oil, gas and coal, are in use of benefiting Moscow and SPb FC’s as Siberia itself gets VERY little impulse on football. Still, it is very popular there. And still, there are passion and love for the Game, and passion and love not necessary needs monetary help. And here’s a bright example of how passion and love makes impossible things.

August 19, 2010 was a usual day for all of the world. But for Russian and especially Siberian football fans (at least 12000 of them) this is may be the best matchday in their lives – it’s like meeting Rochdale in FA Cup  🙂


This day, FC Siberia Novosibirsk played in play-offs of EUROPA LEAGUE!!!! This event was for the first time in our region, we got it by reaching Russian Cup final and I impatiently waited for the match. The team outplayed Apollon Limassol 1-0, 1-2 in 3rd round, targeting to get to the group stages (in our debut season!). Moreover, in the last qualifying round we faced… PSV EINDHOVEN, who were current leaders of Dutch Eredivisie and for us they were a top European club (FC Siberia at that moment were on the bottom of Russian PL). The Dutch of course expected an easy win in Siberia 🙂

Since the draw for the play-offs round passed and it was announced that Siberia are to play PSV it was EXTREMELY HARD to get a ticket for the match so my uncle phoned his friends in Novosibirsk and we got our tickets among the first people. The pre-game coverage in Runet was enormous, the ground was full, and it was broadcasted live on federal TV sports channel.

The game was equal but in the very end Siberia scored a goal!!! We won one of best teams in Holland! In 2nd leg Siberia lost 0-5 though, but many others and I will remember that amazing atmosphere in Novosibirsk. Now we are proud of being the easternmost team to ever participate in EL 😉

Here are some videos from that match:


How it was seen from the stands:

The people has done it – Schalke quits contract with Viagogo

Schalke 04 has recalled their contract with Viagogo surprisingly after just eight days. After massive fan protests at the end of June, a voting at today’s annual general meeting has taken place and a vast majority has voted to quit the contract with the ticket marketplace.

The football supporter has reclaimed a piece of their club, read more about the topic:
In German the press
About ViaNOgo (protest movement against Viagogo)

How did we get here

Fanatics-Spectators-Observers or Customers

It is sad that in the UK and probably elsewhere across Europe you have to be a certain age to recall when times were so much simpler-and cheaper, when going to watch a game simply meant turning up on the day with a bit of cash and a lot of passion.

So where and when did things start to change and why.

How did simple fans evolve into the various brackets of sub-species, that I see at Champions League level-you know like at Real Madrid, Barcelona or Bayern Munich where a small group, typically a couple of thousand young passionate flag waving ultra’s, for want of a better term are positioned behind the goal to add a little colour and noise to what is a global event. They are treated like old fashioned performing monkey’s in a 1980’s circus –just something to appease the purists that at least a few genuine local fans are still allowed permission to participate in what has now become little more than a global corporate junket.

This sad and pathetic state of affairs has not happened overnight I rely on other contributors from across Europe or further afield to share their stories of the changing face of football support –what I will try to do here is tell you mine-A Mancunian’s tale. I will try to keep it brief !

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