By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Berliner Senate and Union Ultras outline compromises on fan return

The Berliner Senate has accepted a compromise proposal that will allow Union Berlin to host 16,509 live fans for the Saturday match against Bayern München at the Stadion an der alten Försterei on Saturday. 

One of the club's ultra groups has met this compromise with a compromise of its own.
When it comes to the topic of fan-return to Bundesliga stadiums, the great debate raging across the Bundesrepublik continues to heavily influence how each club handles capacity. Most venues are permitted to operate at full capacity provided that they allow in only spectators who can demonstrate proof of either vaccination or recovery.

The vaccinated or recovered are allowed in via a concept known as "2G". A separate concept, "3G", allows a small number of fans in who are neither vaccinated or recovered in provided they submit to a COVID test. We discuss this issue in greater depth every week in our column on attendance here at Bulinews.

In the country's capital, both Union Berlin and Hertha BSC are allowed to operate at full capacity only if they switch to "2G". Union submitted a proposal to allow in 18,000 fans (roughly 81 percent capacity) for their last home game against Wolfsburg. This was ultimately rejected and the Köpenickers had to work with an 11,006 cap.

On Monday, the Berliner Senate reversed course and green-lit a plan for 75-percent-capacity under "3G" on Saturday against Bayern.

When it comes to the topic of ultra return, FCU supporter groups have been among those taking the "all or none" approach. Many of the Bundesliga's diehard fan societies do not wish to contribute to the return of Germany's famous footballing atmosphere until all regulations are dispensed with.

On Tuesday, some of the Union ultras answered the compromise with a compromise of their own. The ultra group "Hammer Hearts" endorsed a return to the Stadion An der alten Försterei on their website Tuesday.

The statement issued by the group notes that "The conditions are now acceptable to us for an organized return to the stadium", yet outlines the precise form which this support can take.

Hammer Hearts says that chants, drums, and songs remain acceptable, but asks that fans refrain from swivels, flags, and choreography.

"We wish to set an example and support the club back on its way to full capacity," the statement reads, "but because we have not yet reached full capacity, we will not yet appear as groups."

"It is also clear that this is only the start," the statement continues, "In the event of a renewed tightening of regulations or failure to take normal steps toward normality, we reserve the right to also take steps back. Equal rights for all are important to us."

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