The impressive renaissance of Werder Bremen

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eIt is a three-quarters hour walk from the train station to the Weserstadion. There are two attractive routes: along the Weser or through the Ostertorviertel, this colorful Bremen mix of shops of all kinds, cafes, snack bars, restaurants. 3000 spectators also arrive by ferry across the river to the home games. For Klaus Filbry the way to the stadium is already a good distance from Werder. No one has to go by bus and train to the anonymous green meadow. He says: “The fans drink their beer in the district or at the stalls in front of the stadium. They talk, talk shop. In the Weserstadion they get a unique football experience in the Bundesliga without a big stadium show. Pure football. “Filbry, 52 years old, is the CEO of the SVW. What he makes Werder Bremen special, he counts down soberly. Sober but confident.

The location of the stadium inspires those responsible daily anew. Although space is limited here in the Pauliner Marsch, the offices, venues and training facilities of the pros and youngsters are close together. That should also remain so, if it goes after Hubertus Hess Grunewald, Filbrys colleagues in the management. “The location in the Pauliner March is our identity,” he says. There are currently discussions about a new performance center. Werder wants to grow in the narrow Pauliner march. The residents do not all agree. It will certainly be a long participatory process. A good part of rooting Werder is that the club is near, visible. At Werder, they are also proud that all the professionals live in the city: those who keep their eyes open, can see a Kruse, Pizarro or Eggestein while drinking coffee.

Anyone who talks to those responsible about the peculiarities of this traditional association will notice how important their closeness to the people is. The 58-year-old Hess-Grunewald says: “We are present in many other places every day. In kindergartens, schools or with our social projects such as 'playroom'. This intricate anchoring is part of our self-image. “And further:” We have a close link between our core business of professional football and our social responsibility. “The full-time CSR director Anne-Kathrin Laufmann is active in all departments in an advisory capacity. For Hess-Grunewald, social responsibility includes meeting up with the fan advisory board every three months and listening to it – even when things get tiring: “I have an accepting approach there. But we are also critical of each other. Behaviors that we can not accept speak clearly. “

Filbry gets as a board member of the DFL, as is looked at from outside Werder. Currently, the green-whites are experiencing their sporting renaissance. Nothing has yet been won, but the respectable football played by coach Florian Kohfeldt reminds of better times. In sympathy and popularity measurements anyway always in the front rank, comes finally at the Werder vintage 2019 positive from the core business. In the league in sixth place, in the Cup under the last four – the courageous course, the sports chief Frank Baumann and coaches Kohfeldt had spent before the season pays off. Filbry says: “Like Gladbach we experience a basic sympathy, because we are successful again despite limited financial resources.” The team spirit that carries Werder through the second half of the season should also this Saturday (15.30 clock in the FAZ live ticker for Bundesliga and at Sky) in Munich and then four days later in the Cup semi-final (20.45 clock in the FAZ live scores for the DFB Cup, in the ARD and Sky), again against Bayern.

For a while, one did not want to hear the attribution of the “Werder family” anymore. Baumann's predecessor Thomas Eichin could not do much with this between 2013 and 2016. In the meantime, they have returned to it. Filbry says, “It's developing a new self-image.” This involves luring players with a kink in their careers. Filbry thinks of Max Kruse, Nuri Sahin, Davy Klaassen, Niklas Moisander. The fact that the courted brothers Maximilian and Johannes Eggestein extended their contracts could have a signal inward: something is growing together here. It is quite possible that Kruse will add the benefits of the site and stay for another two years.

The stadium name remains unsold, there is no search for shareholders, debts are made elsewhere: a lot of Werder looks pleasant old-school. Is there room for all football romantics here? Filbry says, “We too pursue financial interests. But traditional clubs can stick to their values ​​and develop themselves, as Eintracht Frankfurt shows. “Of course the people of Bremen do not live in the football paradise. The recent verdict on participation in the police cost missions has hit her. Not only in terms of finances. SPD member Hess-Grunewald has been annoyed by the thrust of party comrade Ulrich Mäurer (Interior and Sports Senator), who now Werder could fall on his feet: Exit open. Basically, the relationship with Mayor Carsten Sieling in the city hall but again good, after it was shattered at the end of the reign Klaus-Dieter Fischer. “We now have a respectful and trusting relationship,” says Fischer's successor Hess-Grunewald.

To the traditional club SV Werder owns a successful e-games division. Recently “Werder Esports” became German club champion in “Fifa”. Klaus Filbry has a plan: “We see eSport as a communication tool in the direction of a younger target group and would like to offer the youngest generation access to Werder.” Maybe they like the pure football experience in the Weser stadium almost as much as screen football.

(TagToTranslate) Klaus Filbry (t) Hubertus Hess-Grunewald (t) Max Kruse (t) Johannes Eggestein (t) Florian Kohfeldt (t) SVW (t) SV Werder Bremen

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