Bundesliga side Borussia Monchengladbach have introduced the 'Stay at home. Be in the stands' campaign, where their fans can pay €19 to have a cardboard cutout of themselves printed and put in the club's BORUSSIA-PARK stadium.
The campaign was introduced in order to allow fans to show their support for the team from the stands when football resumes, with games probably being played behind closed doors in order to curb the spread of COVID-19. Football in Germany has been on hold since March 13, with the original date of return set for April 30, it is likely that the postponement will be extended.
'Stay at home. Be in the stands' is a non-profit initiative, it was devised by the club in order to aid supporter's group Fanprojekt Monchengladbach (FPMG) and their charitable projects, as well as the club's Borussia Foundation. Furthermore, the campaign will also go to two printing firms in Monchengladbach who were forced to cease production due to COVID-19
Stay at home. Be in the stands 🐎💚
Foals fans are showing their support by paying to have their cut-out installed at BORUSSIA-PARK for games expected to be played behind closed doors 👉 https://t.co/uduAx4Wx7y#DieFohlen pic.twitter.com/5T7rcBSVrZ
— Gladbach (@borussia_en) April 17, 2020
Gladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer believes that the campaign will give the players a much-needed boost once football returns.
It’s a great idea. I’ve already seen a few of them go up in the stands and I’m really excited to see how many more go up alongside them. It gives us players the feeling that the fans are still there for us and that it’s important to them to keep supporting us, which really helps in times like these.
The cutouts will be of fans' upper bodies and heads, with the cutout placed in their usual vantage point in BORUSSIA-PARK.
It remains to be seen if other teams follow in their footsteps, although it reminds us of when Arsenal printed the faces of fans on the North Bank of Highbury whilst it was undergoing renovations.
Will Gladbach pipe crowd noise out of their cardboard supporters? Who knows...