Pros 05.07.2022 — 12:05 Uhr

Friendly against Newcastle to take place

Difference of opinions within the club – Heidel: Not feasible for one club to cancel

FSV's fourth friendly of pre-season will be against the Premier League side.

1. FSV Mainz 05 will play Newcastle United in a pre-season friendly in Kufstein on Monday, 18th July as part of the club’s training camp. The club’s management made this decision on Monday. There had been discussions between the agency Onside, the training camp partner of Mainz, Newcastle’s club management and FSV’s.

Some Mainz fans, including the fan association, wanted the friendly to be cancelled due to Newcastle’s ownership structure – the Magpies are owned by a Saudi Arabian consortium. The club wants to hold talks with fan representatives.

“A friendly against a big English club is first of all a really good test for us. It’s also important for our team’s pre-season preparations. After weighing up our options and not having an appropriate alternative opponent of this standard available, we agreed to play this game,” said chairman Stefan Hofmann. “We didn’t expect the reaction we got from some fans. We respect them and regret that these concerns have arisen because it’s our responsibility to start the new season as one big unit together with our fans.”

It is also the club’s responsibility to ensure the players get the best possible preparation for the new season. Aside from the match against Athletic Bilbao, this game against Newcastle is the only other proper chance for the players who were on international duty and have had an extended summer break to get some minutes under their belts.

Board member for sport and communication Christian Heidel said: “From a footballing perspective we can’t afford to miss out on this friendly. A one-sided cancellation of the fixture, as has been demanded by some fans, is not feasible, because were we to not honour our contractual obligations, this could have serious legal and economic consequences for us, and so we’re going to stand by the contractual agreement.”

Instead, club officials have decided on a different approach in terms of dealing with the planned friendly. They would like to provide fan representatives with a chance to attend a meeting to discuss the club’s position on this matter as well as open a dialogue surrounding a mutual understanding of the club’s principles.