TC Freisenbruch is the most democratic football club in Germany

At the TC Freisenbruch, all crucial decisions are made by the fans.

Which football fan doesn't know the feeling? A manager who never lines up the favourite player sporting director who always signs the wrong players or only too expensive beer in the stadium. No matter whether it's the national team’s side at a World Cup or the Sundays league side in a small village. Rarely are there more experts than around the football pitches of this world.

Yet quite a few fans believe that the clubs are increasingly turning away from their supporters. On the one hand, they pay astronomical transfer fees and salaries in the football world, which ordinary citizens can no longer identify. On the other hand, the prices for jerseys, tickets or stadium beer are rising astronomically. These decisions are often made by investors, who usually only have their profit in mind. The relationship with the fans, which often exists for years, is increasingly falling behind. The passionate fans are often ignored, and more often, they are seen as customers of the club.

The total opposit to this is the TC Freisenbruch. At the District League club from the Essen district of Freisenbruch, the fans have full control over their club. Within the framework of the project "DEIN Club - DU Entscheidest", all important decisions are made by an online community. For five euros a month, any football fan can register and take on the role of manager, sporting- or marketing director of a real German football club.

Because in Freisenbruch, it is not coach Marcel Gehrig who decides who will be allowed to play on Sunday. A community out of more than 500 online managers makes these decisions. Before every game, the managers can democratically vote on the team's system and send them on the pitch. Marcel Gehring then must send the 11 players with the most votes to the pitch. He is not allowed to intervene until the second half of the game. If a player is injured in the first half of the game, the player with the second most votes will automatically be replaced.

To make it easier for the managers to decide on the best team for Sunday, they are provided with extensive information during the week. In addition to a training report in the form of a highlight video, the coach's grades to the training participants are essential for the team managers about the players' performance. After the last training before every game, the trainer team also provides the managers with a Live-up recommendation for the next round. In addition to the favoured selection of the 11 starting candidates, the team managers are also informed about the team's performance during the week by coach Marcel Gehring. This ensures that the online community is supported in the best possible way to send the best eleven onto the field on Sunday.

But the power of the fans does not end at the pitch. The online managers are also allowed to vote democratically on other vital decisions in club life. Whether it's the ticket price, the beer price, player transfers, or the tickets' design, all decisions are made democratically by vote. In Freisenbruch, the fans have full control over their club. And they have this not only once a year at a general meeting, but every day. They can even sack the coach at any time. Every manager can express his or her trust in the coach via a slider. If the average falls below 15%, the managers can decide to dismiss the coach.

With the project "DEIN Club - DU Entscheidest", the Essen district league club is setting an active signal at a time when football clubs are moving further and further away from the basis of the sport. A fan of a Premier League team is annoyed at not being able to intervene in the club's fate actively. The fans in Freisenbruch have full control over their club thanks to the interactive concept. They can actively support the club every day to be successful.