The situation with the Ultras just got more complicated. Let us review what we have at this point. We have a clear statement from Lahm that I mentioned in the previous post. In addition, we have another statement in which he emphasizes the following:
Manuel is part of the team, and when the team goes to the Südkurve to celebrate, he will come with us. We will do everything together: when we win, and sit in the locker room and be sad, if we lost. That shows that we are a team, and that we’ll do everything together. (my translation) (the original)
That is one heck of a statement, wouldn’t you agree? It is as clear as it can get. Nevertheless, yesterday Spiegel published an article stating that Neuer had accepted the Ultras’ terms. (The author does not, however, cite Neuer.) He and the board met with them, which was already the second time that happened. The meeting resulted in the signed code. It also appears that Neuer, himself, was a member of the Schalke 04 Ultras back in the day. He understands their rules of conduct and, perhaps, has a certain respect for those. Thus, let’s consider this for a moment, shall we?
Thomas (Müller), Bastian, not to mention Lahm, all have expressed their support for Manuel. Yet, Manuel signed the code. Hence, possible scenarios. After a win, the team goes to the Südkurve to celebrate, and… Manuel might applaud and cheer the fans with the team, which will demonstrate the unity and go with what Lahm has said earlier. By doing so, though, he will break the code and, consequently, his promise given to the Ultras. That would start the disputes all over again and wouldn’t do any good. I think we can agree on that one. Or, which is a second scenario, Manuel might just stand aside while the team applauds and cheers the fans. In that case, I am sure there will be plenty of bashing directed at Lahm for the obvious dissonance between his statement and Manuel’s actions. That would put Lahm in a rather silly position, and pointing out that “Manuel has made a decision” would not help. The reader can imagine how it would make Lahm look. (Whether or not Lahm cares about it is another question. As far as I am concerned, he did everything right.)
I beg you not to get me wrong because in no way do I imply that it is Manuel’s fault. I do believe, though, that this is a very delicate situation. The lack of consistency among the participants is, indeed, troubling. A possible solution (the only one?) is to follow the code as one, i.e. not celebrate with the Südkurve at all.