Members of several Bayern Munich fans' groups have given up their season tickets in a continuing dispute with the treble-winners, claiming they are "no longer wanted" and that the club is alienating its traditional, vocal supporters.
It is the latest development in a dispute between some supporters' organisations and the club, which first surfaced around six years ago.
Then, some fans bemoaned a lack of atmosphere at the Allianz Arena, prompting Uli Hoeness, then the general manager, to accuse them of "populist bull****" and say: "You, and you alone, are responsible for the bad atmosphere, not us. The €7 we charge you for tickets. What do you believe we do to make that possible? You are financed by the people in the VIP boxes."
And the conflict has continued to smoulder. In May, when Bayern fans lit flares during the Champions League final at Wembley and the club were fined, officials abolished away season tickets for European and German cup games.
"FC Bayern was fined €150,000 for the use of fireworks and flares in the fan blocks," media director Markus Horwick told Suddeutsche Zeitung. "It has been shown that those fireworks came from the people with away season tickets."
However, fans and an anonymous Bayern employee refuted that claim and argued that "bandwagon jumpers", not away season ticket holders, had been responsible.
Bayern have also changed their system of entry at the Allianz Arena, deciding that only fans with specific tickets to the two main home standing areas in the south corner will be able to enter them.
Previously, around 300 fans with tickets to other areas had been allowed to enter the area. Tickets for those 300 places will now be sold to individual matchday visitors and not allocated to supporters’ groups.
Some fan organisations have announced that they will stay away from home games. "Boycott? It is no longer possible to support anyway," Stefan Viehauser, a member of Bayern supporters' group Club Nr.12 told SZ. “I don't attend home games any more."
He said he believed the club was alienating its hardcore supporters, adding: "The fan scene is now only a murmur in the background.
"The club is fully aware that the atmosphere in our Sudkurve [south corner] has got worse. But FC Barcelona have not had active fans in their stadium for a few years now, and I think that this could be a role model along the lines of 'nobody misses them there'."