Comment on the Hopp documentary on ZDF: Hoeneß and Schickhardt in realms far from reality

The ZDFDocumentation about the conflict between the Ultras and Hoffenheim’s majority shareholder Dietmar Hopp was a very good journalistic approach to the topic. Both sides had their say and were able to express their point of view. But especially the Hopp advocate Uli Hoeneß and lawyer Christoph Schickhardt showed that they are moving in so unrealistic realms that a solution is almost impossible. A comment.

There were moments on Saturday evening in the course of the 45-minute documentary “The Trial: How Dietmar Hopp became the hateful figure of the Ultras” where one would have wished that attorney Professor Christoph Schickhardt and Bayern Munich’s honorary president Uli Hoeneß laughed after their statements to splurge. True to the motto: Okay, that wasn’t really meant seriously.

For example, when Schickhardt called his client Hopp “the last real football fan”. Or when Hoeneß, as an argument that his good friend Hopp was an inviolable man of honor, told an anecdote about a complete package consisting of a water and a green apple on the golf course, for which the 80-year-old likes to pay “20 to 50 euros” .

Or as Hoeneß actually one of the authors of the documentation, ZDF-Moderator Jochen Breyer, criticized for trying to listen to and understand the other side. “You make it too easy for yourself. You always try to understand both sides. But there is nothing to understand here,” said Hoeness.

There is only one victim and one group that is guilty. Point. Out. End. Unfortunately, there was no laugh, because such statements could well be understood as a joke. Even as unrealistic and the reason why the conflict seems insoluble.

Hoeneß criticism zshows the insolubility of the Hopp conflict

First of all, it is Hoeneß ‘opinion that only Hopp is the victim and the Ultras in this conflict are the perpetrators, although you can counter it quite easily with a look at the history of the conflict, one remembers the sound attack on BVB fans in the Hoffenheim stadium in 2011.

But what was even more disconcerting: Hoeneß criticized Breyer for the exemplary execution of his journalistic craft, which left something to be desired both with Breyer himself and with other media at the height of the conflict last spring.

For example, a few major daily newspapers mixed in last year, including the FAZ, the Ultras-Hopp conflict with the biotech company Curevac, which is financed by the SAP founder, and the search for a corona vaccine.

In doing so, they even followed the myth spread by Hopp himself that he had prevented the then US president from snatching the company, which in the end turned out to be simply wrong. The tenor at the time: The evil ultras insult the corona savior.

Breyer did it differently in his Saturday film. He, who himself was massively criticized for his uncritical handling of a video message sent by Hopp in a sports studio edition in April 2020, followed one of the most important journalistic principles: “Audiatur et altera pars” – “The other side will also be heard.” Whether you like it or not.

Wasn’t it the case that the Ultras, who by now inquisitorially and with downright ridiculous effort of police work pursued by Hopp and his lawyer, only chose insults and verbal transgressions because they were then heard?

More provocative and more disoriented than Hoeneß’s criticism of the media, who try to understand the other side, is only Schickhardt’s statement about Hopp as the “last real football fan”. A statement that is about as unrealistic for most as a tip of 20 to 50 euros for an apple and a piece of water.

Leave a Reply