Soccer / union berlin
Who has the best Fans in the World? - Union Berlin!
Creative Common photo Seppalot13 If you asked around in the football world, which club has the best fans in the world, you would surely get countless different answers, which finally will all contradict each other. So this question can only be answered in a subjective way, and that's exactly how I'm going to hold it in this article. For me the matter is quite clear and obvious, the best fans belong to the 1. FC Union Berlin. Even though my favourite club has been playing in the second German Bundesliga without interruption since 2009, they still have a very turbulent history behind them. Union Berlin has never belonged to the circle of the really big teams and somehow the club and us fans have made our peace the status of being the Underdog and now see as a very special sign for our uniqueness. Already in the times when Union played in the football league of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR), the club was rather tolerated than loved by the authorities, and in those days it had the reputation of an yo-yo team that went back and forth between the then East German Oberliga and Liga. The greatest success came in 1968, when Union won the GDR Cup, which was a huge sensation for the workers' club from a suburb of East Berlin. After the fall of the Berlin wall the hard times began in which we fans in particular had learned what it was like to suffer and together with our beloved club we went down into the depths of the 4th league. Several times Union was on the verge of collapse, financial problems almost led to bankruptcy and they even had to cope with a license withdrawal. But out of all this the 1. FC Union has only risen stronger and these hard years have shaped club and fans. With various appeals for donations, fans and members have contributed their share to the fact that this wonderful club is still alive and exists today. Creative Common photo Textilvergehen The fans build and buy their own stadium The own fans and club members were the ones who played a decisive part in the fact that Union can still play in their own stadium today, the "Alte Försterei". About 10 years ago, when it was finally clear that the stadium could no longer be maintained in its original condition, the club could not afford to carry out the necessary reconstruction work on its own and there was only half-hearted support from the city of Berlin who where favoring the more established West-Berlin team of Hertha BSC. Creative Common photo Christian Liebscher During the 13-month rebuilding period, it were the fans who had played a large part in the successful modernizations, with around 140,000 unpaid hours of work. Over 2,000 volunteers spent their free time at the "Alte Försterei" construction site and helped building "their" stadium. During the second part of the construction phase, members acquired 44% of the shares of the stadium operating company by signing shares of the " Alte-Försterei-Aktie ". So the Union fans own their pitch and will never allow the stadium name to be commercialised and to carry the name of the highest bidder. 2.Bundesliga In 2009 they finally made it back into the second league, where they have been playing ever since. Even though they often had to fight against relegation, way more often than the club and the fans wanted, in recent years Union has been knocking on the door of the German Bundesliga. This season, FC Union is going into the winter break on a strong fourth place and until the end of the first half of the season, they were the only German professional team undefeated in the league. The first loss came only yesterday in Aue, but after all they team can be proud of how they are playing this year. Of course, expectations are raised and the team and fans seem willing to take on the adventure of being promoted to the Bundesliga. The fans of the 1. FC Union are already more than ready for the first league, as they have proved on several occasions. Every home game becomes a celebration of German football fan culture and the atmosphere in the "Alte Försterei" is first class. The colours red and white are also proudly worn throughout the whole country. In all the away games and all they stadiums visited in Germany, Union fans have left a lasting impression. A great example was the performance of the team and fans at the DFB Cup when they played in Dortmund's Westfalenstadion, Union lost that game only in extra time after a hard and exiting battle. However, the 6,000 Berlin fans who travelled with them demonstrated on the stands that they already belong in the Bundesliga when they sang through the entire half-time break. This is some performance even spectators in Dortmund don't see very often. A few weeks ago Union Berlin had their very first appearance against the Hamburg Sportverein in the Volksparkstadion, where the fans of the 1.FC Union again made a name for themselves. Unioners sing and jump the best and are truly the most enduring. Simply The Best And let's not forget the annual Christmas singing of the Union fans, which traditionally is held on December 23rd, the last day before Christmas Eve. On this occasion thousands of fans flock to the "Alte Försterei" to get into the right mood for the merry time of the next days and join with other Unioners to sing Christmas carols together. Creative Common photo Der Robert This year saw the 16th time of this very special year-end. The 28,500 tickets were sold out in advance after only 8 hours. Another proof that the fans of the 1. FC Union are the best fans in the world. The atmosphere in the stadium, the genuine passion and deep loyalty. The time spent together in the stadium connects fans from different milieus and ages. All of them know for sure that they are part of a wonderful family that won't run away even in bad times and that their great love, the 1. FC Union Berlin, will never put them down. That's why there is one fan chant known throughout the country will still be heard from countless throats even in a hundred years' time. All it takes is a single fan to shout the one inciting phrase and the entire stadium will respond immediately with full devotion: Und niemals vergessen (and never forget): EISERN UNION !