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Mainz 05 official statement after fans demand Newcastle United friendly to be cancelled

1 month ago
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Mainz 05 are scheduled to meet Newcastle United in a friendly in less than two weeks time.

Eddie Howe and his players set to be in Austria for a training camp.

Whilst there, playing 1860 Munich on Friday 15 July, then Mainz 05 on Monday 18 July.

However, Monday brought calls from fans of Mainz 05 to cancel the Newcastle United friendly because of who owns NUFC.

On Tuesday morning, Mainz 05 have released an official statement (rough translation below) in response, saying the match will go on.

Mainz 05 official statement – 5 July 2022:

‘FSV Mainz 05 will play the friendly against Newcastle United scheduled for Monday 18 July in Kufstein as part of the training camp. This decision was made by the club’s management on Monday. Previously there were also talks between the agency Onside, the club’s training camp partner, those responsible for Newcastle United and FSV.

Some Mainz fans, including the Supporters fan association, are calling for the test match to be canceled due to the ownership structure of the “Magpies” with a Saudi Arabian consortium. The club wants to seek dialogue with the critical fan representatives.

“For us, a friendly against a traditional English club is first and foremost a sporting test of strength. This friendly is also particularly important for the preparation of the team. That’s why, after weighing up the various perspectives and in the absence of an alternative opponent who is at this level of play and too was not available at that time, agreed on this game,” says club chairman Stefan Hofmann. “We didn’t expect the reaction from some fans in this form. We respect this and regret that this has caused irritation because we see it as our responsibility to start the season with all the fans as a cohesive unit.”

Above all, however, the club is also responsible for enabling optimal preparation for the sport. In addition to the encounter against Athletic Bilbao, the game is the only real test opportunity for the national players, who only start preparing in the training camp.

Sport director Christian Heidel says: “From a sporting perspective, we cannot do without this test match. A unilateral cancellation by us, as demanded by some fans, is unthinkable, as this could have serious legal and economic consequences for us and us due to the contractual obligations fundamentally stand by our contractual agreements.”

Those responsible perceived a differentiated opinion within the club on the question of how to deal with the planned test match. They therefore want to take the discussions as an opportunity to meet with fan representatives to discuss the club’s basic stance and also to discuss the common understanding of the mission statement.’

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