Bayern boss Rummenigge criticizes ultras for demands

Berlin (dpa) – Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has criticized ultra fan groups in Germany for making demands and called for more open discussion.

“We have now unfortunately come to a point when I only ever read from the ultras: we demand this, we demand that,” Rummenigge told Wednesday’s edition of Sport Bild magazine.

“Now they want to be involved in the debate about the division of the television money. But if I only demand while never being prepared to also take on obligations and responsibility, it ends in a one-way street.”

Fan groups objected to the Bundesliga being concluded behind closed doors during the coronavirus outbreak and have recently called for changes in how the game is run.

Many fan clubs are now organized in the “Our Football” grouping, a name Rummenigge also voiced reservations about by naming it “presumptuous”.

“Who owns football? At best those who play it – regardless at what level. The fans are part of football but they don’t own it,” Rummenigge said.

However, Our Football spokesman Jan-Henrik Gruszecki told dpa the statements show that “Karl-Heinz Rummenigge doesn’t get it”.

“The fan clubs that signed say we would define our football in this way. We are not saying ‘we own football.’ If someone says ‘we must save our planet’ it doesn’t imply either that those people own the planet,” Gruszecki said.

He added in general terms: “Football fans give a lot, especially time and passion, everything that makes football more than just a sport. And those who do that also have the right to draw attention to issues.”

Gruszecki said that many fans had shown social responsibility over the past weeks, with many fans, including ultras, helping other people during the coronavirus crisis.

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