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Coronavirus: Lower-league clubs getting creative to raise money

30.03.2020

Coronavirus: Lower-league clubs getting creative to raise money
'Fill the place up, people!'

Fourth-division Lokomotive Leipzig have called on fans to "fill the place up, people!" and break an attendance record by purchasing tickets for a match against "the invisible opponent" for just one euro each. "Lok" are aiming to break their unofficial record attendance of 120,000 for a European Cup Winners’ Cup semifinal against Bordeaux in 1987. They’ve already sold over 90,000 tickets ...

Coronavirus: Lower-league clubs getting creative to raise money
'That won't rattle a Leutzscher!'

Across town in the Leipzig suburb of Leutzsch, Chemie Leipzig, also of division four, are raising much-needed cash by selling various different fundraising packages, from certificates and scarves to stadium tours and advertising. The club have already sold almost 2,000 packages and raised over €115,000 as they aim to show that the coronavirus "won't rattle a Leutzscher!"

Coronavirus: Lower-league clubs getting creative to raise money
Rot-Weiss Essen vs. 'FC Corona'

Rot-Weiss Essen were German champions in 1955 and made it to the DFB Pokal final as recently as 1994, but they now play their football in division four. In order to raise money during the current crisis, RWE having been selling tickets and other bits and bobs for a match against "FC Corona." They've already sold 3,200 tickets, 6,500 beers and almost 2,700 hotdogs, raising over €100,000.

Coronavirus: Lower-league clubs getting creative to raise money
Golden Tickets

Another fallen German giant of days gone buy, Alemannia Aachen are selling "Golden Tickets" to help see them through a difficult period. Priced at €10, the tickets will entitle fans to a free drink or snack at a home game once the football gets back underway. So far, the fourth-division side have sold 2,470 Golden Tickets, raising almost €25,000.

Coronavirus: Lower-league clubs getting creative to raise money
'Hamstering for Hansa!'

While government ministers have been reassuring people that there is no need to panic buy ("hamstering" as it's known in German) during the current crisis, supporters of third-division Hansa Rostock have taken the opposite approach. The hardcore "Suptras" have called on fellow fans to "Hamster for Hansa!" and buy as much as they can from the club shop. We doubt they sell toilet roll, though ...

Coronavirus: Lower-league clubs getting creative to raise money
'Antibodies' for sale!

Fourth-division Energie Cottbus are aiming to "strengthen their immune system" by selling "antibodies" to combat the coronavirus. The virus-fighting proteins cost €19.66 each, a nod to the year of the club's foundation, and will provide "desire, identification, support and solidarity" - the medicines the club says it needs. So far, 550 antibodies have been sold, raising almost €11,000.

Coronavirus: Lower-league clubs getting creative to raise money
'Virtual pyro'

After their game against Rot-Weiss Essen, "FC Corona" will head to Berlin to face perennial former East German champions BFC Dynamo, now also of division four. In addition to tickets, and in typically no-nonsense Dynamo style, BFC are also selling virtual peppermint schnapps and, for the ultras, "virtual pyro." Should be some party ...

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Money is tight at the best of times for lower-league clubs, but coronavirus poses an existential threat. From attendance records to matches against "FC Corona" to virtual pyrotechnics, German clubs are getting creative.

Matt Ford