Borussia Dortmund fans have been spotted throwing fake ‘gold bars’ on to the pitch during their Champions League game against Newcastle.
The supporters are unhappy with planned UEFA reforms to the Champions League next season – and made their feelings known with a protest during the clash with Newcastle.
Alongside the gold bars, fake money was also thrown onto the pitch at Signal Iduna Park – with a banner displayed on the ‘Yellow Wall’ end.
Dortmund fans’ message 💰 pic.twitter.com/JXVOIvIwLo
— B/R Football (@brfootball) November 7, 2023
Dortmund fans at start of second half in the game vs Newcastle…
“You don’t care about the sport – all you care about is money.”
The BVB fans also threw fake gold bars onto the pitch. pic.twitter.com/trKXysPlMR
— EuroFoot (@eurofootcom) November 7, 2023
The banner read: “You don’t care about the sport. All you care about is money.”
And Dortmund fans chanted ‘You are destroying our sport!’ while the protest was ongoing.
The new format, which will be introduced from the beginning of the 2024/25 campaign, will see the traditional group stage changed to a 36-team ‘league phase’, which will see each team play nine games against different opponents.
The top eight teams will go through automatically to the last 16, while teams ranked ninth to 24th must play each other in a two-legged knockout play-off.
Supporters of the German club set up a website, titled ‘Reclaim the Game‘, in which they map out their feelings on the planned UEFA reforms.
A section of the website reads: “Why does an intermediate playoff round have to take place between the ‘preliminary round with a league system’ and the actual knockout games?
“The same applies to the question of the expansion of the field of participants. The answer to both questions is easy to answer: It’s about the fan in front of the screen and an increase in games that can be consumed in front of the screen.
“This results in higher TV income and, at the same time, more money for associations and clubs – at the expense of players, fans and national competitions.”