Estimates range up to 35,000 fans who will be on site to support their club on Thursday. This number is probably a bit high. But as a horror scenario, of course, it makes itself perfect. As a nightmare scenario for all Berliners who stick with Hertha BSC.
On Thursday evening (8.30 p.m.) their club welcomes Hamburger SV in the Olympic Stadium for the first leg in the relegation – and the home game, they fear, threatens to become an away game because 35,000 HSV fans will be in the Olympic Stadium.
“Everyone to Berlin!” demands the “Nordtribüne Hamburg”, the association of organized HSV fans. “Blue-white-black invasion for relegation! Get tickets any way you like!” Analogies to Eintracht Frankfurt’s Europa League game at FC Barcelona a few weeks ago are already being made on social media.
And the Hertha fans are foaming.
“Away game in our own stadium. Awesome,” someone wrote on Twitter. Followers’ reactions ranged from astonishment, sarcasm and annoyance. “Hamburg will take over our stadium like that. I’m looking forward to it! Thank you, Hertha!” – “That cannot be surpassed in terms of unprofessionalism. The home game becomes the away game.” And: “We may have half of HSV in the stadium. I just can’t believe it.”
Being a Hertha fan is anything but easy again this season: In addition to disappointment about the sporting misery and concern about the impending relegation, many fans are now also angry about their own club and the ticket management for the relegation game against the Hamburger SV. The free sale, according to the lawsuit, was started much too early, so that the blue, white and black carpet was laid out for the people of Hamburg in the Olympic Stadium.
Officially, the visiting fans were entitled to 7,500 tickets for the first leg in the Berlin Olympic Stadium, the usual ten percent of the total capacity. They sold out within minutes. Shortly thereafter, however, the “HSV Supporters Club” announced smugly via its Twitter account: “There are still tickets left in the shop.” Tickets that should actually have been for the fans of the home team.
Hertha also annoyed many supporters with the misleading communication about ticket allocation. Since it was clear that the team had to be relegated, there was a lively exchange of emails between the club on the one hand and the season ticket holders and members on the other. A rather one-sided mail traffic.
Just a little over an hour after the final whistle of the last regular season game in Dortmund, the members and season ticket holders received the first letter from Hertha in their digital mailbox on Saturday. “From now on, all club members and all fans with a season ticket (2019/20 2021/22 five-game package) can buy tickets for the first of the two decisive duels!” It said.
A number of season ticket holders did the same – but not without expressing their astonishment on social media that as season ticket holders they had to pay again. The next email from Hertha came just three hours later: “So that our boys on the pitch can feel your support , as a fan with a season ticket you can book a ticket free of charge. If you have already bought one, you can pass it on to someone from Hertha.” In the same letter there was a code with which “you can secure your free ticket for our home game in our online shop”.
But the confusion got bigger rather than smaller – because members and season ticket holders recently had the opportunity to buy an additional, free ticket with such a code for the two home games against Stuttgart and Mainz.
But this time they would have had to use the code to activate their own ticket. That’s why a third email came from Hertha on Monday, but only after the right of first refusal for season ticket holders and members had expired and free sale had started: “IMPORTANT”, it said, in capital letters: “WITH YOUR SEASON TICKET 21/22 YOU HAVE NOT AUTOMATICALLY ACCESS TO THE OLYMPIC STADIUM!”
The fans fumed on social media: “Another ‘poor performance by Hertha BSC’. It’s unique how incredibly disappointing this club is this year.” Or: “One embarrassment after the other.” And: “A club is dismantling itself. It’s gradually becoming difficult not to believe in sabotage at all levels.”
The topic – so much is already clear – will have an aftermath at the general meeting at the end of next week. Ingo Schiller, Hertha’s financial manager, announced this. When the fan soul boiled, he spoke up on Twitter: “We didn’t solve that well,” he wrote, “and I apologize to everyone affected.”