You have your ordinary opponents, friendships between supporters of different clubs, but above all, you have your rivalries between clubs and fans. The German football site Ligalive.com has recently published an interesting article listing long-living fan rivalries between fans of various football clubs from the First and Second German Bundesliga. They have titled the article “These Fans Hate Each Other. The Very Special Enmities of the Bundesliga”. The list might prove helpful if you plan to make friends at your next visit to a dark local Eck-Kneipe (corner-pub) in Germany.
The reasons for the numerous rivalries are mostly only partially known, but are nevertheless being maintained and cultivated with care. In most cases they are motivated by natural derby rivalry, sometimes caused by events that happened a long time ago, and which hardly anyone can remember, but are being passed from one generation of fans to the next.
One of the most interesting and deepest of the explained hatreds is the one between the FC Bayern Munich and TSV 1860 Munich. On one side you have one of the poshest, richest, biggest and most successful clubs of the world, on the other, the poor nearly bankrupt neighbour, saved from having to play Third Bundesliga in two relegation matches this summer, but the first club to bring a Bundesliga title to Munich.
We won’t go into detail of all of the many reasons, legends and stories (politics, events at matches, Nazi-time, social standing, etc.) of why the fans of the two clubs (divided only by a few hundred meters bee-line, but worlds apart) made the list. We’ve only picked the most current one.
In the spring of 2011 the Lions (die Löwen), as the 1860’ers are often referred to, almost had to file for bankruptcy, they were saved by an 8 million Euros loan from their arch rivals from the Säbener Strasse. But behind the loan was the vicious (in the eyes of Lions fans) plan to tie 1860 to the huge and expensive Allianz Arena stadium until 2025, which will probably cost them over 50 million during that period of time. The cost of using the stadium drove them near bankruptcy again, but they were saved by a sponsor.
Many of the hard-core TSV 1860 Munich supporters could have lived much better with the idea of the club going bankrupt, and starting anew from the lowest tier in Bavaria, than having to continue to make payments to the hated rich neighbour. They still don’t feel “at home” at the home matches of their team. Can you blame them?