On Saturday, the Arab Leipzig club won their first trophy in history, beating Freiburg to win the German Cup. It was a thrilling match — Arab Leipzig, with one goal down and one man in the second half, finally returning to the tie before winning the penalty — which doubled as a joint defeat: Arab Leipzig, a club founded just over a decade ago by Red Bull Energy Drink Corporation a. As a marketing ploy, a club widely criticized for violating the rules of national ownership in Germany is designed to destroy the soccer clubs who primarily support it and the deeply rooted ideas of the German football culture community and democratic management. , Won.

The notion that professional sports franchises may and should not extend beyond the financial concerns of team owners is virtually incomprehensible to the average American sports fan. But in Germany, it’s not just about being a German football supporter, it’s also about the structure of the game. In the 1990s, the governing body of German football (Deutsche Welle-band or DFB) introduced the “50-plus-1” rule, which aims to ensure that supporters hold at least 50 percent plus a voting share. Club. The idea is that it ensures that wealthy owners, like other countries, cannot buy clubs and consider them as their own personal plaything. It is a social way of thinking about sports that recognizes where and how the concept of collectivism and collaboration is formed.

Athletics Bundesliga correspondent Rafael Honigstein wrote in a commentary last year that the model, whose version exists at various levels of success at clubs such as Barcelona and Real Madrid, is not perfect. While the model, which allows members to vote on who will run the club and therefore exercise some control over their team’s direction, goes a long way in ensuring that clubs are led locally and held accountable to the fans (as opposed to Premier League clubs and virtually every American sport). Tim, the lack of outside investment could lead to the qualification of a competitive advantage like Bayern Munich. However, Honigstein said, “Most supporters will never under any circumstances trade with pride to gain the ownership of an oligarch or investor.” Above all, he writes, “all other concerns for fear of the detrimental effect of selling to the highest bidder Trump, and ’50 +1 ‘is seen as a useful insurance against uncontrolled excess despite all imperfections.”

RB Leipzig, however, issues shares of the group, buys 49% of them, and then prohibits the price of the remainder, at the same time unilaterally deciding who can and cannot be an investor. The result is a club owned and operated by a small group of corporations who are not structurally accountable to anyone but themselves. And so, since the club was founded, German supporters have protested against the Arab Leipzig and boycotted matches at their stadium. In 2014, Union Berlin staged a silent protest for the first 15 minutes of the match. Several clubs have refused to use the Arabic Leipzig crest (a modified version of the Red Bull logo) in promotional materials or when clubs play in their stadiums. In a memorable 2016 example, Dresden supporters threw a severed bull’s head onto the pitch. To most German football fans, the existence of RB Leipzig is not for the promotion of football and community for democratically organized members. To them, the team’s goal is to sell more Red Bull cans, enrich the team’s owner millionaires, organize fans, build community, and seize any opportunity to be involved in a meaningful organization that breathes life into their support.

Meanwhile, Leipzig defenders point out the reasons for releasing the following: Progressive and intelligent management of the club, based on young talent, creative recruitment, and playing an exciting style of football; It has had a revitalizing effect on soccer in the former East Germany; And the idea of ​​changing from within the club culture (though not) In In). In 2020, the New York Times Wrote about these ideas and highlighted an effort by Leipzig supporters – who, again, have no structural way to influence the club because of the small number of people with vote share from Red Bull – to make their voices heard. The Bar Wrote about a banner framed in a match against Schalke in 2017:

“[Billionaire Red Bull and RB Leipzig founder Dietrich] Matschitz recently criticized the German government’s decision to open its borders to refugees from the war in Syria, and a Red Bull-owned television network has gained a reputation as a platform for popular figures in both Germany and Austria. The banner read, ‘Patron of the most authoritarian club claims to be a pluralist. ‘What a joke.’

“What made the show stand out was the absence of the banner – the decade in which it has risen from the regional fifth tier of German football to the Champions League semifinals, which has made the club even worse – but its position. It was not marked by home supporters. It was, instead, the work of Arabic Leipzig’s own Ultra.

The story leaves room for the possibility of what will happen on the field, the beautiful game itself, and those who really care about it can transcend the ugly capitalist reality that is at the heart of almost every major football club. “Look inside the artificial and find the authentic,” as Bar Wrote. This is an optimistic bend in an ultimately dark position, which takes it as given that resisting the artificial self is certainly a losing cause.

But it’s not just those who really care about football who claim to be in Arabic Leipzig. A public figure, as noted by the international German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, has a definite position on the club’s victory:

Tino Kruppalla, a German Alternative for Germany (AFD) politician, […] Take to Twitter to congratulate Arabic in a special way:

“There is no punishment for handball, no fine,” he said Tweet, Freiburg’s opener and Dani Olmore mentions Roland Sallai’s unintentional use of his hand to claim an extra-time penalty. “But Saxon perseverance and the Austrian entrepreneurial attitude prevailed against political correctness.”

This, then, is where the principles matter. As a corporation, Red Bull is still doing the right thing as a soccer club by Arabic Leipzig. But there is a reason why an ultra-right politician is making the party a champion, and it has nothing to do with “political correctness” and washing away human domination through sports-capital. The Red Bull undermines the very fabric of German football and succeeds; At this point, it would be even more surprising if other corporations did not follow suit.

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