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German football fans protest against ticket prices

10 October 2010 16:09

BERLIN (AFP) - Around 4,000 supporters from football clubs across Germany united on Sunday to demonstrate peacefully against rising ticket prices and the commercialisation of the nation's favourite sport.

The event was attended by supporters' groups from more than fifty clubs in the first, second and third divisions of Germany's Bundesliga with a rally held in front of the Rotes Rathaus in Berlin's city centre.

The fans gripes are against rising ticket prices, fan unfriendly kick-off times and heavy-handed action by the police.

"People must understand that this comes back on the fans and it kills the atmosphere in the stadiums," said spokesman Wilko Zicht.

Speakers denounced the commercialisation policies of both the German Football Federation (DFB) and the German league (DFL).

There was a heavy police presence throughout, but the demonstration passed off without incident.

The Bundesliga remains the cheapest league in Europe: an average price for a ticket last season was 20.79 euros compared to 43 euros in England's Premier League and 40 euros for a Spanish league match.

The league is booming: the Bundesliga turned a profit of around 1.7 billion euros in 2009 compromising mainly of match-day revenue (424m euros), sponsorship receipts (573m) and broadcast income (594m).

But fans are concerned ticket prices are slowly creeping up and the introduction of a Saturday evening game for television in the German league - where matches traditionally start at 3.30pm on a Saturday - have proved unpopular here.

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Wednesday 20 September

Tuesday 19 September

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Monday 18 September

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Bundesliga table

# Team MP D P
1 5 +9 12
2 4 +10 10
3 5 +4 10
4 4 +4 10
5 5 +1 9
6 4 +3 8
7 5 +2 8
8 5 +2 7
9 4 -1 6
10 5 -4 6
11 4 +0 5
12 5 -3 5
13 4 +0 4
14 4 -1 4
15 4 -4 3
16 5 -4 2
17 4 -7 2
18 4 -11 0

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