Trip to Seville: Eintracht fights for beds and planes

ffree time? None these days with most employees of Frankfurt Eintracht. At least until after the final in the Europa League against Glasgow Rangers, which will rise next Wednesday (9 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the Europa League and on RTL) in Seville with temperatures predicted to be around 30 degrees. The countdown is running.

That’s why 19 to 20 working hours a day are currently the norm for the hard-working Hessians. They have to plan, organize and, if necessary, improvise under high pressure. Hard work for everyone and everyone. But no one complains, rather it is made and done with pleasure.

“We’d rather prepare for a final like this than for the Bundesliga relegation,” says Eintracht legal counsel Philipp Reschke with a grin. Of course, we will also work through this weekend, announced board spokesman Axel Hellmann.

In total, around 60 people are employed with the ticketing department, merchandising and the immediate processing of the final, Reschke reports. In the capital of Andalusia, where there will be a Frankfurt fan festival on the Prado de San Sebastian – a place for 50,000 people right next to the Plaza de Espana – 40 employees will then be on site at work.

Away from the pitch, there is also a day of big battles for Eintracht in a foreign country, so that everything goes as planned in front of the eyes of the big football world. And from Frankfurt’s point of view, it ends as desired with the title win.

“Glasgow is a myth for us”

For Hellmann it is a “unique finale, a unique encounter”. For him, the special attraction of the season highlight on the international stage is also the opponent.

“Glasgow is a myth for us, playing against Rangers was a dream at our club,” said Scotland fan Hellmann. In 1960, Eintracht had beaten Glasgow 6-1 and 6-3 in two memorable European games. In the final, the game of the century against Real Madrid was then lost 3:7. Venue was: Glasgow.

Respect for the Rangers

Seville has almost 700,000 inhabitants. Hellmann now expects a “rush” of football fans “that this city has never seen before”. Up to 50,000 are said to come from Frankfurt, and as many as 80,000 could come from Glasgow – “a conservative estimate,” added the lawyer. For the first time, Frankfurt’s supporters would be outnumbered in the city.

Hellmann has respect, “that impresses me, the Scots pull out all the stops. They hijacked all the ferries from North Africa,” he says and laughs. The board spokesman recalled the final in 2008 when Glasgow lost 2-0 to Zenit St. Petersburg. “There were 200,000 Scots in Manchester at the time. They slept under bridges and on park benches.” In other words, there was no room to be found. For nobody.

“Rangers fans not known as rioters”

The Eintracht and Glasgow fan camps have something in common: a great desire to travel through Europe. And the unconditional affection for their clubs. Overall, Hellmann describes their fan scenes as “the largest and most vocal in Europe”. Now they come together with a powerful voice for the grand finale.

He can’t imagine clashes between supporters in Seville because both clubs would feel friendly in terms of shared experiences and respect for one another. “In addition, the Rangers fans are not known as rioters,” says Hellmann.

Public Viewing in Seville

For those supporters who are not allowed inside the stadium, there are said to be places in Seville where they can watch the final outdoors. “UEFA is working on a public viewing, I also think that will work, because that’s the smartest way,” says Hellmann. At the Eintracht fan festival, the Frankfurt cult metal band Tankard will sing the anthem “Schwarz Weiß wie Schnee”. To get in the mood for the evening’s high point.

The Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan in Seville only has room for 40,000 spectators. “Double interest, half the capacity” – that’s Reschke’s assessment compared to the DFB Cup final won by Eintracht in Berlin in 2018, based on the number of spectators.

“Fight for every seat and slot”

Eintracht and Glasgow each received 10,000 tickets for the Europa League final. But it would not be a surprise if the Frankfurt sympathizers were in the majority in the stadium. Eintracht wants to send 20 “organized” planes to Spain, and due to the high volume, alternative airports in Malaga and Jerez will also be used.

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From there you can take the shuttle to Seville. “Compared to Frankfurt’s airport, Seville’s is tiny. We fight for every place and slot,” emphasizes Reschke. In total, Eintracht has “blocked” 750 hotel rooms across the city.

The prices for accommodation are now extremely high. Reschke reports that two beds in an eight-bed room in the youth hostel would have to cost 600 euros per night.

Cabrio parade planned

Should Eintracht also win the final on their triumphal march through Europe, they are expected back in Frankfurt on Thursday between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. After that, the proud winners will set out on their triumphal procession in 30 to 40 convertibles from the airport to the Romans.

In this case, more than the 200,000 people who lined the streets with great enthusiasm when the cup was won are expected. In the event of a final defeat, however, there will be no reception in the town hall. “The balcony on the Römer is just a place for triumphs,” says Reschke.

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