“Mats Hummels knows how to make his voice heard. Only on Wednesday evening all those who saw the broadcast of the match between BVB and Mainz 05 could convince themselves of this. Because the interior defender was annoyed by the poor performance of his own team in this game, he at one point shouted loudly across the pitch: “Boys, our pressing is alibi.”
But even off the pitch, the 2014 world champion is one of those players in the industry who raises his voice. According to information from the “Kicker”, Hummels has now joined forces with professionals from the three German professional leagues and the women’s Bundesliga to create a new advocacy group.
He, Sven Bender from Bayer Leverkusen, Neven Subotic from Union Berlin and Alexandra Popp from VfL Wolfsburg want to use the alliance to ensure that players are involved in future decisions by the clubs and the DFL.
Corona crisis as a trigger
“I think it’s important for players to get a voice beyond the First Bundesliga,” Hummels said: “We’ve been overlooked a lot recently, the more necessary it is that we actively contribute our voice in the future.” The network plans to go public later this week.
Augsburg’s goalkeeper Andreas Luthe said: “There are three players in the Bundesliga, the DFL as the umbrella organisation, the clubs and the players. However, the measures are decided by only two players. We as players are very, very much at the back of the chain and we have to make sure that football is played.”
The trigger for the foundation now was obviously also the handling of the players in the Corona crisis. Sören Gonther from Erzgebirge Aue said: “If there is a taskforce football, there has to be a player sitting at this table. And when you talk about a hygiene concept, players have to be asked about it. This must not be decided over our heads.”
In early May, Subotic had publicly warned that players were not asked for their opinion in the debate over the restart. “To make you know this, we as players in Germany have been informed after all decisions have been made about the way forward. We don’t have a seat at the table, we weren’t consulted,” the interior defender of aufsteiger Union Berlin told Deutschlandfunk. He did not want to speak out of responsibility, but to make it clear that “we simply did not play a participatory role in the decision-making phase and conception”. According to his knowledge, there was no influence of players or any representative body in the decisions on the resumption of the game.
Subotic referred to the Italian and English leagues, where the players’ association had been consulted. But Germany would be somewhat disappointed, Says Subotic, because that is not the case here.
As far as the future is concerned, that is likely to change – at the initiative of players.