The Premier League v The Bundesliga: The Shocking Facts
From some time in 2013…….
Warning: the following article may contain many, many lies
As Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund swept all before them in the Champions League, there has been much debate about the merits of the Bundesliga, especially compared to the money-obsessed English Premier League. Having compared the two leagues, the differences make for astonishing reading. Here is how the two leagues compare:
Most Bundesliga season tickets cost under £100, and include free transport, as many bratwursts as you can eat (currywurst available on request), and a half-time massage. Free entry on the day can be secured with a cheeky wink and a winning smile at the turnstile (subject to availability, terms and conditions may apply).
In England, fans have to pay just to get the chance to buy tickets. Tickets prices average a month’s wages, and a hot dog costs more than a flat screen TV. Children get a 10% discount.
Soon German fans will experience this for themselves. Apparently a burger meal at Wembley will cost Dortmund fans more than a 30% stake in their own club.
Bundesliga actually comes from the Bavarian word “bundleschnak” which loosely means “a league for families who go through life together as one, united in spirit, the soul of its fans carrying the spirit to its glorious ends, and all for five euros”.
The English Premier League was named for commercial profit. It is always sponsored by the highest bidder, usually a nasty bank.
Under German law, a policeman is not allowed to touch a football fan at any time, nor use threatening or insulting language. The law came about after the infamous trouble at a Schalke v Hamburg game in 1986, when a policeman was alleged to have raised his voice to Schalke fan Ernest Schmidt after Schmidt complained to bar staff that his 10 cent Pils did not have a sufficient head on it. Schmidt explained that “I was shocked by the tone in his voice and was emotionally scarred for years. I still struggle to sleep, and have violent flashbacks”.
The policeman in question was fired, as were many of his superiors, in a scandal that rocked Germany. Schmidt’s Law was brought in soon after.
In England, the blood of football fans often lines the streets, usually due to little more than relieving a bladder in someone’s geraniums.
German football abhors foreign ownership. Clubs are on average 94% owned by the fans, who meet regularly to thrash out policies, transfer deals and to plot the way forward. There are rarely disagreements. Board members must have been born within 5km of the ground (as the crow, or “luftlinie” flies), must pass a test on German history, and also look brilliant in lederhosen.
Most English clubs are run by charlatans and shadowy foreign cabals out for personal gain, or on the run from the law. Any potential owner would have to have committed either well-documented war crimes or brought down a whole country’s economy in order to fail the “fit-and-proper” test.
German football is a breeding ground for young talent. The race is on to emulate England’s production line that has churned out the likes of Danny Welbeck, Tom Cleverley and Phil Jones, and there is a real optimism in Germany that they too can produce the “neu Duncan Edwards”.
Yes, there are fences around the pitch at many German grounds, but this was at the insistence of fans, so they could hang up their coats should they underestimate the in- ground temperature, and because it helps prevent stray litter blowing onto the bowling-green pitches.
English fans often carry out pitch invasions whilst under the influence of drugs and alcohol, and many players are often left fearing for their lives, especially if they’re playing Leeds.
On average, German grounds are filled to 102% capacity. Fans usually arrive 4 hours before kick-off to practice their choreographed swaying, which can often be seen from space. The songs speak of harmony and desire, plus biting social satire.
English fans sing “where were you when you were s**t?” and question Arsene Wenger’s sexual practices. Such chants would carry a mandatory life imprisonment sentence in Germany (see also the Benelux countries and Albania).
Most English grounds are rarely full, and last season’s Premier League champions Manchester City often play in front of 20,000 empty seats. Fans also often leave early as they are all alcoholics.
German fans are often reimbursed if their team does not perform to the desired level. Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness often reimburses fans from his “secret” account. Players drive many of the poorer supporters to matches.
After a bad performance, English clubs bring out a commemorative shirt and bombard fans with emails urging them to purchase it.
German teams are always set up to play attractive, attacking football. There is no German phrase for “parking the bus”, but there are phrases for “beautiful counter attack” (versplickenschnidt), “flowing football” (dasistsprecjenlievenschautt) and “entertaining score draw” (michendiestenbittestock). It is illegal to play more than four defenders at any time, and the average Bundesliga game in the 11/12 season had 12.4 goals.
The Premier League contains Stoke City.
And the Bundesliga is clearly more competitive than the Premier League. Yes, at time of writing Bayern had built up a 20-point lead at the top of the table, but this was due to a nasty bug that crippled the players of many other teams for two months, an isolated incident that allowed Bayern to capture their 23rd title.
English football is a closed shop for competition, where money talks, except for Manchester United who have grown organically like their German counterparts.
Despite all this, Uli Hoeness recently expressed his fears that the Bundesliga was becoming less competitive. To help level the playing field, Bayern purchased Dortmund’s best two players.
And finally, sponsorship. English clubs will have anything sponsored in a desperate attempt to make money. Even a minute’s silence was once sponsored by a library. German sponsors are just there to lend moral support and business advice, and all free of charge.
So as you can see, the English Premier League has got a long way to go to match the organic, fan-owned, cheap, passionate, organic, competitive, democratic, organic Bundesliga. We have a lot to learn.