Milestones in the Development of Football Fandom in Germany: Global Impacts on Local Contests

Udo Merkel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper provides a systematic and chronological account of the development of football fandom in Germany focussing upon the social and cultural changes both the sport and the spectators have gone through. After a short analysis of the working class origins of German fan culture, the paper deals with several significant post-World War II developments, in particular the impact and significance of winning the first World Cup title 1954 and the changing and increasingly complex relationship between clubs, players and supporters in the aftermath of the late professionalisation and commercialisation. Particular attention will be paid to the colourful and conspicuous, activities and sub-cultural styles of contemporary young fans. Overall, football in Germany has been largely inclusive rather than exclusive since clubs have successfully avoided alienating fans through pay-TV, absurdly inflated ticket prices and kick-off times tailored to suit media interests.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-239
Number of pages19
JournalSoccer and Society
Issue number2/3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007


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