I know three things about Germans: they make excellent cars, they like beer, and they know how to run a fucking football club. Borussia Mönchengladbach set an amazing precedent by announcing that they will issue refunds to everyone who bought a ticket to the Man City – Mönchengladbach Champions League match that was rescheduled due to a dangerous lightning storm, even people who attended the match.
For context this is why the match was postponed:
— Manchester City (@ManCity) September 13, 2016
And this is how Borussia Mönchengladbach reacted:
Tickets bleiben gültig. Borussia erstattet allen Fans den Kartenpreis, egal, ob sie das Spiel heute Abend sehen können oder nicht. #MCFCBMG
— Borussia (@borussia) September 14, 2016
Loosely translated, it reads,
Tickets remain valid. Borussia refunds the price to all fans, doesn’t matter if they are able to watch the game or not.
Offcial Statement From Borussia Mönchengladbach
Mönchengladbach knew that most of their fans who traveled to England for the game on Tuesday had to go back to work in Germany on Wednesday, so they wouldn’t be able to attend the rescheduled game Wednesday night. So they did the civilized thing and gave everyone refunds, even the people who ended up using their tickets.
You would never see a major American sports team issue refunds for something that was beyond their control unless it was a pious, reactionary decision to mitigate PR damage. Unfortunately, here in the US, professional sports are strictly a money making entity. While that’s party true abroad, German clubs have a well-deserved reputation for being fan centric.
Many were literally founded by fans, for fans. In the hundred years, give or take, since their inception, they’ve become successful commercial enterprises that generate hundreds of millions of dollars a year. But they’ve done so brick by brick, without marginalizing the fans.
That’s part of the reason Red Bull’s experimental Franken-team, RB Leipzing, has drawn the ire of all of Germany. Red Bull used some loopholes to skirt the German Football League’s 50+1 rule, which mandates that teams competing in the Bundesliga must own the majority of their own voting rights, thus protecting clubs from outside investors.
While other Bundesliga teams’ transformations from humble clubs to world superpowers has been a slow, organic process taking place over many decades, RB Leipzing’s rise from Germany’s fifth division to the Bundesliga has been acute and synthetic, fueled by unlimited access to corporate cash.
But I digress. The moral of the story is that German clubs, exemplified by Borussia Mönchengladbach’s decision to refund all fans’ tickets, do a much better job looking out for their fans than any sports league here in the US.
Too bad they lost 4-0 to Man City.