1. FC Union Berlin kicked off the first-ever Bundesliga season in the club’s history with a sense of anticipation and excitement. After half-a-season, there are positive conclusions on the park. It’s also time to form a conclusion after the Hinrunde with regards to off-field issues.
The matchday survey is carried out by FuMA — The Fan & Members Department of 1. FC Union Berlin. This has continued into the Bundesliga and it is evaluated on a voluntary basis. Across various categories, there was a large amount of feedback, which has been discussed and communicated to the relevant bodies in and around the football club. Step by step, the potential issues and misunderstandings are to be resolved so we can ensure a smooth matchday experience for every supporter.
Here is the evaluation of the first half of the Bundesliga season, according to each category:
In the area of travel to-and-from matches, there were no significant changes to last season. Most comments related to inadequate parking and a congested local transport network. Occasionally, the extra S-Bahn trains were a note of praise. Almost 40% come to the stadium by public transport, one in five by bike or foot, and then around 30% by car. This increased to 50% for the midweek home game against Hoffenheim.
Parking spaces at away matches also remains a concern for some fans. In Munich and Wolfsburg, there was a lack of adequate signposting to the away end, so in some cases, a long detour was required.
Average score home games: 1.76
Average score away games: 2.42
Best: 1.50 v Köln, 1.58 in Halberstadt
Worst: 3.2 in Paderborn, 3.19 in Schalke
Compared to the second half of last season, the score for entry to the Stadion An der Alten Försterei has improved by half a mark, but has gone down slightly away from home. At home, the admission controls are perceived as pleasant and appropriate — only a number of female stewards is judged to be too low and sometimes the long waiting times and queues are criticised. Following the Hertha Berlin match, there were several requests for a different structural solution for entry to the stadium given the events beforehand. This was criticised at almost every game away, especially in Leverkusen and Wolfsburg. In addition, more than half away games were criticised for being too meticulous, especially in Wolfsburg, and sometimes too intimidating in some cases.
Average score home games: 1.79
Average score away games: 2.13
Best: 1.33 in Düsseldorf, 1.50 against Köln, 1.53 in Halberstadt
Worst: 2.78 in Freiburg, 3.0 in Paderborn
As with admissions, there was also a marked improvement in the rating of stewards at home matches, most of whom were evaluated generally as good and friendly. This is countered by several reports of unfriendly stewards, particularly at the beginning of the season. Meanwhile, there was more demand for faster and more direct interventions in problematic situations. Tip: If you aren’t able to make progress with a steward, then asking a supervisor can solve the issue.
Average score home games: 2.19
Average score away games: 2.15
Best: 1.78 against Frankfurt, 1.40 in Paderborn
Worst: 5.04 in Freiburg (Pokal)
The excessive presence of police was criticised for the home games against Leipzig and Dortmund, as well as, away in Leverkusen. Also, the police coordination team consistently encountered problems and a lack of understanding in travel to-and-from away matches. The cup game in Freiburg stood out as there was a lot of negative feedback due to the high police presence and police interventions in the away end.
Average score home games: 1.54
Average score away games: 3.60
Best: 1.30 against Gladbach, 1.34 against Freiburg
Worst: 4.19 in Wolfsburg, 4.0 in Paderborn
The assessment of atmosphere in stadiums differs even more markedly between home and away matches in the Bundesliga than in previous 2.Bundesliga campaigns. The matches in Leverkusen, Munich and especially Wolfsburg were viewed critically due to the stadium announcers, high , the event character and above-average volume of sound. The league game in Augsburg and at Halberstadt in the German Cup were the only two rated above 3 on average. Missing match programmes were mentioned repeatedly when away from home. At home, there were reports on the acoustics of the loud speaker almost every matchday.
Average score home games: 1.82
Average score away games: 1.65
Best: 1.23 against Dortmund, 1.43 in Mainz
Worst: 2.37 against Frankfurt, 3.74 in Freiburg
The atmosphere at home and away games was very good throughout. More criticism was present around the 15-minute boycott against Leipzig and the megaphone system in the home section. After some initial mistakes with adjustments, the system was readjusted several times and this was reflected in the matchday survey.
Average score home games: 1.73
Average score away games: 1.59
Best: 1.32 against Freiburg, 1.37 in Wolfsburg
Worst: 2.69 against Hertha
While there were very few problems highlighted from away matches, the home game against Hertha presented a lot of feedback around the various issues in the ground. This feedback was processed at an internal level and within the fan groups after the match.
The only issues with fan materials in the first half were caused by a ban on flags at Leverkusen.
- Problems with opposition supporters:
During the away game in Leverkusen, there were attacks on Union supporters on their way to shuttle buses or their own vehicles, either individually or in small groups. During the match at home to Hertha, the fireworks were visible to all supporters in the stadium, especially in the sections adjacent to the away end.
The FuMA would like to thank all supporters and visitors who took part in the matchday survey, which unfortunately decreased in activity towards the end of 2019. The Fan Interests Working Group wants to remind fans of the matchday survey after every match in order to use this platform in the future to bring about improvements and eliminate any ambiguities. For this reason, the results of away games are slowly communicated to the home games. More information can be found on the club's official website and each matchday survey can be filled out until 10 days after the game.