Thursday, September 27, 2007

Premiership ticket prices

Expensive tickets prices are what really puts me off English Premiership football so I have been happily surprised with how cheap football is in Germany.

An English football blog dared to critisise Arsenal's high ticket prices with the amusing part being the comments section. The little fat Gunner fans are seen to be condoning the prices - some even suggesting that they get value for money!

Some bloke calling himself Gazzup is first up "I sit in an average seat, which costs about $75 per game. Given some of the ridiculous incomes of Londoners the price is a fair one, as proven by the 40,000 on the season ticket waiting list"

Just because there are 40,000 other mugs waiting in the wings to be mugged by leeching capitalists doesn't make it a fair price for 90 minutes entertainmentt. No wonder the minicriminlast Alisher Usmanov is attempting to squeeze into the club.

Cliff then chips in with "If there was not a sense of "value-for-money" the stadium would not be full for every game." Hmmm

"Arsenal playing entertaining football whether they win, lose or draw makes me happy to pay top whack for a ticket." Did I read that right?

It gets worse.
"I think paying £38 a time to sit in a beautiful stadium to watch beautiful football is, if I'm honest, verging on what I would call 'a bargain' "

How have we, as fans, allowed such a situation to develop? Could we and should we have stopped it?

The best post was the final post.

I think you Gooners are all missing his point... that it's too expensive for a middle-class family of four to go to the games on a consistent basis, and that's a shame.

It IS an issue of supply and demand, and according to the laws of economics, yes- they could charge even more and continue to fill the stadium. But that doesn't make it right.

Unfortunately, the club has gone the way of our own American pro sports teams- jacking up the price almost as high as the market will bear. That's great for revenues, but results in the exclusion of your most dedicated fans- the working class.

I went to Pro football games a lot as a kid, as it only cost $20 to $30 to get a decent ticket and I'd go with my father. We had a great time...

Now, 20 years later, I'm lucky enough to be making more than my father ever did, but I still can't justify buying season tickets for my family at $80+ per seat, per game.

The net result is a stadium full of distracted, affluent people talking on cell phones throughout the match...

Though I've never been to a Premiership game, I can see the difference in atmosphere on the television...

One last thing... the Gunners suck anyway! You'll come crashing back to 3rd place soon enough.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

More goals in Berlin


After a torrid start to the season, things seem to be stabilising with Rot Weiss Essen currently sitting mid table on an unbeaten run of five games. On Friday they drew 2-2 with Union Berlin after twice leading in the match.

Frustratingly had to listen to it on the radio which is a torturous experience as any football fan knows. We can take heart from twice being in front - thanks to an own goal and one from the substitute Rafael Kazior.

After the match coach Heiko Bonan said in google translate English “For us was here more in it due to the better chances we would have had to decide the play for us,

"After our hit to 2:1 - guidance we did not employ ourselves more clever enough.”

The return of club captain Stefan Lorenz is a boost and should Rot Weiss Essen continue playing in a similar way they should make it to the third Bundesliga this season (need to finish in the top 11).

Still not sorted my tooth out but on a brighter note secured some more work this week.

Have been trawling around some Liverpool blogs this week and found some of the work put into them nothing short of incredible. Have you ever been to Liverpool is a good read while plenty of work has gone into this Liverpool blog named after my favourite position.


Monday, September 17, 2007

Rot Weiss rising


Three things on Saturday at Hafenstraße made me think about Liverpool. Firstly, they once again played You'll Never Walk Alone immediately before the teams came out. Secondly they decided to attack the Kop End (Öst Tribune) in the second half and finally they nearly succumbed to an almighty comeback after being 3-0 up at half-time (Istanbul 2005 in reverse).

Thankfully the game finished 3-2 but there were a few scary moments late on to remind any overconfident fan that they were really watching the strange phenomenom that is Rot Weiss Essen.

This was the best performance of the season with the team looking strong throughout and creating many chances. A penalty half way through the first half got us off to a good start and just before half-time the wonderfully named Rolf-Christel Guié-Mie completed his hat-trick.

The victory gives the season a wonderful symmetry with RWE having won 3 drawn 3 and lost 3. They have scored 10 and conceded 10. They now lie second only to the team we beat on Saturday (Rot Weiss Erfurt) in the mini Rot Wiess Liga. The mini Rot Weiss Liga is my own imaginary league fought out by Essen, Oberhausen, Erfurt and Ahlen.

The new sponsors Evonic blasted a couple of hundred free footballs into the crowd for the kids at the end of the game. Toby, who I see at the match, remarkably caught two balls (not bad for a fat heffer). Instead of giving them to some children he marched around the stadium with the two trophies under his arms. He is 30 and has no kids. He was finally persuaded to give one of them to Ollie who has some kids. Ollie strangely was crying like a baby at 3-2. Obviously an emotional man.

Th evictory makes up for a depressing week in the life of Dave Allan having lost a tooth on Monday. "It just fell out of my mouth and nearly landed in me muesli"

Thursday, September 13, 2007

New sponsor for RWE

Rot Weiss have got a new sponsor. Well, not a new sponsor, the company has just re-branded. Fan's shirts had been sold without a logo despite the team still playing under the old sponsor Steag. I used to be amused when the company was name was announced over the PA - in English.. 'Steag -the power company'. Will see what it changes to at the next home game on Saturday. So the new sponsor is...Evonic. Must of taken those marketing boys a long while to come up with that and I imagine they got paid very well for it.

So Saturday's game is an end to the Rot Weiss trilogy and hopefully things won't be as bad as losing 4-1 to Rot Weiss Oberhausen before losing 2-0 to Rot Weiss Ahlen when we play Rot Weiss Erfurt.

New sponsor, new start and maybe a first league victory.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Essen surprisingly win again

Rot Weiss Essen finished "englische Woche" with four points thanks to a 3-1 away victory on Sunday against SV Babelsberg 03. It is called 'English week' because of the midweek fixture (0-0 against Braunschwieg). Losing at half-time, they equalised from a penalty (elfmeter) and within ten minutes they had wrapped the game up.

Listened to the match on local radio who had a reporter at the ground. They cut across regularly to him from the studio but his emotionless voice gave me little indication of the score. I wish my German was better.

Went out last night in Dortmund after watching England beat Israel 3-0. It's not often you get a chance to be anti-semitic but for 90 minutes I was.

So Rot Weiss are in 13th place in the league with 9 points from 8 games played. They need to finish in the top ten to qualify for Bundesliga 3 next season. They are 10 points off automatic promotion.

God knows how they managed to score three goals. Will read about it tomorrow.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

First point at Hafenstrasse


I suppose I should be happy with RWE's first home point of the season but for a game between the two best supported teams in the division the game was a disappointment. It was a game of few chances spoilt by a poor referee and plenty of offside decisions going against the home team. It finished 0-0 at the Hafenstraße.

As usual the team were booed off after the game though this was a little unfair as Eintracht Braunschweig had come to defend and that is what they did very well. There was little to get the fans excited, not even a sending off or a brutal tackle. A most disappointing night for the 10,000 who attended.

The new Rot Weiss Essen striker Markus Kurth looked OK but he lacked service while the rest of the team gave the ball away too often.

On a brighter note, the team have finally seemed to work out that it is better to attack the goal where your fans are standing in the second half (Osttribüne). It is legendary practice at Anfield that if Liverpool win the toss then they elect to attack the Kop in the second half. I think it is a huge advantage but I fear it was luck rather than design which saw it happen last night.

On a more worrying note, I have noticed more and more young fans are sporting mullet haircuts.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Celebrating Szepan's birthday


Rot Weiss Essen were German Champions for the only time in 1955. The man who coached that side Fritz Szepan would have celebrated his 100th birthday yesterday - had he been alive.

Despite being the trainer in charge of RWE in 1955 he has no real affection with the fans because he was basically Schalke through and through and and nobody really knows who he was.

I am supposed to hate Schalke being a Rot Weiss fan but as I have only just arrived in the country I have not developed it yet. Schalke are hated by Dortmund as well and it was interesting going out last season to watch Schalke lose the title on the last day of the season. The Dortmund fans celebrated as though they had won the title.

Fritz Szepan also had a bit of a shady past and benefited financially in the 1930's when allowed to buy a Jewish-run business very cheaply. Many fans are quick to point out that Schalke have only won the German Championship once (1958) outside the Nazi era

Still, the anniversary of Fritz's birthday deserves to be remembered despite his shortcomings and despite being a legend in his birthplace Gelsenkirchen. Szepan is pictured here (nearest) looking fit and healthy - no wonder Schalke won all those titles under Hitler).

Rot Weiss sign new striker

RWE signed a new striker just before the transfer deadline with Markus Kurth joining on a two-year contract from Duisburg. The 34-year-old could start his first game against Eintracht Braunschweig on Wednesday.

A regular in the side last season that won promotion into the Bundesliga, Kurth had fallen down the pecking order at Duisburg after the signings of Manasseh Ishiaku and Ailton.

The experienced Kurth has also played at Köln, Leverkusen and Nürnburg.

"I have had four good years at Duisburg but I want to be playing football and I'm looking forward to playing with a young team at Essen." said Kurth.

Rot Weiss Essen needed a striker following the saga with the Danish forward Karsten Jensen who signed for us during the summer but then decided not to come because his wife didn't fancy moving to Essen. More fool her. He did, however, score a hat-trick for his team last week.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

First league victory for Rot Weiss Essen

Rot Weiss Essen finally managed to win their first league match of the season when beating Wolfsburg reserves 3-0 away from home. Got a text last night saying a couple of the lads were going but had to do some work so gave it a miss.

It was no surprise when I got a another text this morning saying D had been arrested - especially considering he was travelling with the (don't click on the websites) Chaos Boys and the Ultras. Not sure what actually happened though it wouldn't surprise me if he had got arrested last night even before he embarked on the long train journey to Wolfsburg.

I'm never too interested in the statistics about games I don't go to, but being 3-0 up at half-time was quite good. I followed the game on kicker.de with live updates. They said live updates but it was just the goals really...and I should have been working.

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