Well, says Bernd Hofmann, thinks for a moment and says: "Boredom is of course a hard expression, but of course it really gets to the heart of the feeling." The feeling that there is no one left in the Bundesliga who can match it FC Bayern Munich can stand up to them.

The record champion is heading straight for the tenth title in a row.

And Hofmann, 71 years old, who has been president of the FC Bayern fan club Nabburg/Oberpfalz for three decades, the world's largest Bayern fan club, keeps thinking about how nice it was when his heart club still had opponents on an equal footing.

"There are people in our fan club," he says, "who don't even know what it's like to lose.

They don't even know any other master anymore."

Michael Wittershagen

Responsible for sports in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sunday newspaper.

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The Bundesliga is currently experiencing a monoculture of success that is unparalleled in Europe.

In England (five different champions in the past nine years), in Spain (three), France (three) and Italy (two) it has recently been much more competitive in everyday league life.

Therefore, one question arises above all: What does that mean?

Everywhere declining interest

If you are looking for an answer, you should first look at the TV figures, they are a reflection of the interest: The "Sportschau" on Saturday evenings on ARD had an average of 4.03 million TV viewers in the first half of the season (4.79 million viewers in the pre-season).

Interest in the live broadcasts of the Bundesliga on Saturday afternoon also declined on the pay-TV channel Sky.

While an average of 1.89 million viewers tuned in in the first half of the 2020/21 season, it was only 1.66 million in the past first half of the season.

What do the broadcasters themselves think about the quality of the product, for which the German-speaking rights holders alone pay the 18 Bundesliga clubs more than 800 million euros each season? Is the Bundesliga really still a premium product? Sky did not respond to a corresponding request from the FAS. ARD sports coordinator Axel Balkausky informed the FAS: “Basically, interest in football has decreased somewhat during the Corona period.” However, he also points out that other programs are doing the same, that generally fewer people are sitting in front of the television again and the market share of the “Sportschau” has even increased slightly.

It is clear, however, that a peak has been passed. That football has lost a bit of its magic. Football, about which it was said at the time of the 2006 World Cup that it had emerged from its dingy proletarian corner as a space for intoxicating community experiences in the mainstream of society, once again has an image problem. Greed, corruption, despots and states that use the game for their own purposes, sheikhs that control clubs, or racism - with the extreme focus on the game, the downsides also come more to the fore.

People feel repelled, and the pandemic has amplified that feeling in this country.

The whining of the industry, which showers its kickers with millions, and the pictures of full stadiums, while at the same time weddings and funerals had to take place under restrictions, has cost sympathy.

It is no longer hip for so many families to pay 150 euros to be there when VfB Stuttgart plays 2-2 against Hertha BSC.