It is an exciting weekend for fan-owned football, as HFC Falke will celebrate its 5-year anniversary by hosting a friendly match with fellow fan-owned side YB SK Beveren in Hamburg!
The two sides will utilise their preseason plans to highlight the growth of fan-owned football throughout Europe.
HFC Falke will be hosting the Beveren first team, as well as supporters for a day of football, celebration, and aspiration. The clubs have always had a special relationship and the opportunity for the supporters to enjoy each other’s cultures is quite special.
YB SK Beveren was the first club in Belgium to be 100% owned by its supporters. Founded in 2011 following the merger of struggling KSK Beveren and KV Red Star Waasland, and controlled by Eskabee 1935, the non-profit organisation behind the club. Alongside the key aim of keeping the history and traditions of two-time Belgian champions KSK Beveren alive and cherished, the club operates on a ‘one member one vote’ principle with a distinct social and community focus to its off-pitch efforts.
Beveren Sporting Director, Robin Beck, emphasized the similar stories behind the relationships fruition:
“We are very honored to take part in the 5 year celebrations of HFC Falke. Especially since we, Beveren have a very similar story as Falke. We were both fed up with modern football injustices towards fans, and we both decided that our favorite club should be ran by the fans. We share the same values and that should be celebrated. Because only united can we battle the common difficulties that we face as clubs.”
HFC Falke, founded in 2014 as part of a fans reaction to the decision of their club, HSV, selling part of the club’s shares to external investors, changing forever the 100% fan-owned status to a ‘modern football’ friendly club. Fans decided to follow the steps of ‘rebel clubs’ like FC United of Manchester and set up a new club, starting a new exciting story.
HFC Falke, will also be launching their “Football For ALL!” crowdfunding campaign. The 7th division club are attempting to develop their facilities, youth academy, and club infrastructure to further their local reach. Falke have shown that football is not just a business, but also a community.
5 Jahre! Happy Birthday, du geiler Verein 💙#Falkenfieber #HFCFalke pic.twitter.com/W8NXJlV0NM — HFC Falke e.V. (@hfc_falke) 19 giugno 2019
Commenting on the Football For ALL! campaign and friendly, Philip Markhardt, the press relations officer at HFC Falke said:
“We are very happy that, with Beveren, we may welcome another fan-owned club for our anniversary match. We have already had the pleasure of their great hospitality, when they played Enfield Town. I am sure that SK Beveren and their supporters will do their bit to make the event both: a remarkable anniversary match and a worthy kick-off for our crowdFANding campaign.”
It is important for fan-owned clubs to take advantage of the SD Europe network, by creating opportunities to celebrate the movement and everything it stands for. From Hamburg to Beveren to Warsaw to Jerusalem, the ownership, governance, and inclusion of supporters is an integral value to keeping football pure.
Antonia Hagemann, CEO of SD Europe expressed her excitement about the game: “This game is a celebration of two communities, which have put their heart into setting up their clubs the way they think they should be. It is testament to why football should be democratic and why supporters need to be involved in the running of it. “
But what does pure football mean? Pure football is about allowing Beveren supporters to decide the future of their club, community, and culture. Pure football is the Falke supporters who should vote on the CEO that will oversee the club of their local community that they fought hard to protect. It is about waking up on a Saturday and going to see your club. Not a wealthy billionaires club, but your club.
This weekend, is really not about the football match. Rather, it is about that father and son traveling from Beveren to Hamburg to taste a local delicacy, or make a new German friend. This is football. Those memories and common bonds that capture our beliefs and values. To identify with a certain team, is a projection of who we are. Falke and Beveren are not only representing their local cultures, rather they are demonstrating the true power of passion, belief, and community all across Europe.
Want to learn more about the match? Read up on it here!