“Schmackes”, the South Stand and self-image

As the world struggles to cope, the South Stand is holding strong. The most loyal of BVB supporters are organised within the South Stand Alliance of fan clubs, ultras and regular away-day goers. There are thousands of them in Dortmund.
After unimaginable things happened within the space of a week due to corona – games were played behind closed doors, the derby was cancelled and the league was suspended – the Alliance showed what it is made of: solidarity, commitment and humaneness is how they see their role. For Dortmund and BVB. Because “risk groups” have names here and are familiar faces or live next door. They need help now.
How to help? By going shopping or running errands for those who are advised to stay at home. The process works like this: set up a WhatsApp group with volunteers, round up 80-90 fit shoppers in no time at all – mostly school pupils, students or short-time workers. Share phone numbers tens of thousands of times – online, in the press and via networks. Set up shift plans and be reachable from 11:00 to 17:00 on a daily basis, even at the weekends. Settle payment for the delivered goods in a contactless way, via Paypal or transfer. The first meetings are still taking place in “Schmackes”, where there is free food and drink for helpers, it’s matter of honour, but it won’t last forever – keep calm and carry on!
A piece of cake? At least that's how Oliver Ricken, one of those responsible within the Alliance, makes it sound. Organisation is part of everyday life: what used to be choreos, atmosphere and an exchange of interests is now practical help in Dortmund. Every day the phone rings about 10 times, and the number is rising. "We have it under control. If it doesn't get much more, we'll manage comfortably. Question: "How long can you keep this up?" "How long? As long as it takes. The Southern Alliance has good staying power!"