Even in corona-times, Hertha BSC fans consider the current plight of their club worthy of a congregative demonstration.
No fans will be allowed in Berlin's Olympiastadion on Saturday afternoon when the capital city club kicks off the Rück-runde by hosting SV Werder Bremen. The Charlottenburg police department nevertheless confirmed that they had approved a permit for a large demonstration in the adjacent public square.
According to an online petition signed by 3,300 club members, the focus of the protest will be call for the resignation of club sporting director Michael Preetz. Those assembled will also demand that club president Werner Gegenbauer step aside.
Preetz's tumultuous tenure of 11 years at the club's administrative helm has already featured two relegations. Fans now fear a third after the fifth trainer in 18 months has once again failed to bring some stability to the team.
The latest string of bad results lowers current coach Bruno Labbadia's points-per-game average to 1.15 through 26 Bundesliga fixtures. This metric renders his stewardship even less effective than immediate predecessors Pal Dardai Ante Covic, Jürgen Klinsmann, and Alexander Nouri.
Once investor Lars Windhorst got on board with Germany's "alte dame", Preetz was accorded additional oversight in the form of new club CEO Carsten Schmidt. Hertha fans made clear in their online petition that they expected the sporting director's newly installed superior to take action.
For his part, Preetz accepted the criticism stoically and expressed confidence that a team full of talented individuals would surely find a way of gelling as a unit at some point. "We're not losing faith in the lads," Preetz said at a Thursday presser when asked about his €250 million roster.
Charlottenburger police confirmed that the permit issued allowed for a socially-distanced rally of approximately 70 individuals.