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Dynamo Dresden: A right problem?

Thursday 19th January 2017
Dynamo Dresden is one of Germany's most famous and traditional football clubs, but you have probably never heard of them. Here is why you will wish you had discovered them sooner.

The club was founded in 1953 by the East German police and experienced its most successful years before the fall of the Berlin Wall, winning 8 East German titles. Dresden is one of East Germany's biggest cities, and because of this Dynamo attracted a large fan base. Since the fall of the wall and the reunification of Germany, Dynamo, like so many of East Germany's football teams, have found it hard to compete both financially and on the pitch, fluctuating between the second and fourth tiers. However, in recent years Dresden have been experiencing a mini-revival and currently find themselves performing strongly in the second division.<

The one reason why Dynamo are so famous in Germany, despite only playing in the Bundesliga for three seasons, is the fans. Unfortunately, they have been associated with right-wing politics and hooliganism, a fact which we shall return to later, but in terms of passion and support, they are the true German champions. Last season, when Dynamo was in the third division, the club attracted an average attendance of 25,000, way above the league average.

 

The famous ‘K block' is where the majority of the noise comes from. The club's ultras sit here and create the atmosphere which roars around the ground. Last season in the local derby against Magdeburg, the ultras put on a special choreo. They unveiled a huge banner reading ‘Legends', ‘The best fans in Germany' and ‘Florence on the Elbe' which covered the whole stadium. They went on to win the game 3-2, but the choreo is what lives long in the memory.
However, all is not rosy for the K block. They have been associated with right-wing hooliganism and Nazism for years, and are constantly involved in battles with the police and footballing authorities. The German sports court today ordered the club to pay a fine relating to an issue from the club's cup game against RB Leipzig in August, where a severed bull's head was thrown onto the pitch. Right-wing slogans can also often be heard in the stadium and many away fans are afraid to travel to Dynamo games. Whilst the club are working hard to disassociate themselves from these individuals, the problem does still persist.

The club, however, is definitely a club on the up. In 2016 they finally paid off the debt which had been crippling them since their relegation from the Bundesliga in the early 90s. They are playing some attractive football, winning the third division with ease last season and carrying that form forward into the second division this year. They currently sit seventh in the league and are pushing for promotion. Many believe that Dresden deserve a place in the Bundesliga, as the city is the largest in Germany not to have a top level team.

The emergence of RB Leipzig has not sat well with Dresden Fans, many of whom believe that the drinks company has no place in their region. The first game (and derby) between the two clubs last August ended in a Dynamo win, however, extra police were drafted in and, amid fears of violence, Leipzig fans were told to not travel unless they had a ticket to the game. Whilst the club have a fine tradition, the violence and hooliganism associated with them will simply not go away. This being said, however, the vast majority of fans are not hooligans, and if you fancy a footballing experience unlike anything you have ever seen before, a trip to the Dresden Stadion should definitely be on your football bucket list.
Stephen Parkinson
23 year old Football fan, player and referee. Specialising in the Bundesliga since having lived in Leipzig for 2 years.

Total articles: 14

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