The Bayer Leverkusen Facebook Debacle

If your social media channels are packed with official FC Köln-related channels and fans of the team, you likely heard via both the club and wayward favorite son Lukas Podolski that, somehow, the Bayer Leverkusen Facebook page has managed to surpass the 1. FC Köln Facebook page in number of “likes.”

I’d leave it to others to argue the true value of the number of fans who’ve clicked the thumbs-up radio button on a Facebook page, particularly in relation to that of another club’s page, saying only that my opinion would be that it doesn’t mean too much.

Even so, it’s a wee bit grating to lag behind the pill pimps, you know? Especially when they can’t fill seats for Champions League matches, while the Effzeh travels well for second-league matches.

If you asked poodle-hair Rudi Völler, however, he’d tell you the fact that the two clubs are playing in such vastly different worlds would be justification for an overall declaration of victory of the club for which he works over the one in the neighboring city populated with people who’d rather follow the trials and errors of a club struggling to simply return to the top league, rather than playing consistently in the highest reaches of that league and consistently in Europe.

Make no mistake, I’m certain Völler is annoyed to no end at how his club’s success on the pitch doesn’t translate to bigger local love, but he probably is enjoying the slight margin on Facebook as another indication of success.

Or, could it be that someone in the club was spurred by a lag in public fan support to do something about it?

Oh, look at all the lovely…empty seats?

Using a tool found at, the folks over at Kölsche Ziegefound that the vast marjority of the likers of Leverkusen are found outside Germany.

As of my writing this, I found that Die Werkself had 443,791 fans on Facebook. Assuming the Stern tool is legitimate, just 22% of those likes are coming from Germany.

Compare that to the 68% of a total of 431,689 for 1. FC Köln and you can at least get an appreciation for why Hair Völler seems so easily agitated by his neighbors.

The article at Kölsche Ziege went so far as to intimate that maybe there were a purchase of fans for the Facebook page.

As someone firmly (and regretfully) anchored somewhere other than along the Rhine, I know that fans of German clubs DO exist and flourish outside Deutschland, so I don’t wish to accuse anyone of using one of those relatively inexpensive peddlers of social media stat boosts, especially when that club does hold the higher international profile of playing consistently in UEFA Champions League, whereas our beloved Billy Goats haven’t played in that competition since Facebook pages have existed.

Not to mention, it’s a stated goal of mine via this site to continually boost the international fan count for the club. I consider it a public service.

In straight numbers, 268,062 German Facebook accounts have liked the Effzeh page, where only 80,595 have done so for Bayer.

I also found it interesting that among nations where English is the de facto official language, it’s the Effzeh that holds the edge again, with 6,313 fans in the US, 3,139 in the UK, and 1,058 in Australia. Bayer has 5,920 here in the US and 2762 in the UK.

Considering all those numbers and the fact that a good many more people from around the world likely understand English…well…I want more readership. Those are my people!

Or, at least, I feel they should be. Shouldn’t get too big-headed about my place in the world. Even so…come on!

According, again, to the Kölsche Ziege piece, the posting of encouragement by Lukas Podolski for more people to “like” the 1. FC Köln Facebook page has already closed the gap somewhat since the club posted they were trailing earlier in the day.

I’m not really obsessive enough to keep an eye on those numbers, as I’ve already noted my degree of disregard as to their importance, but I do find myself hoping that enough of Poldi’s 2.7 million-plus followers will just click the thumbs-up button, even if just because he says so.

Because it may not be that vital, especially when you see the empty seats in one stadium and raucous sell-outs in the other, but it’s fun to give something over which for Völler and his ilk can continue to stew.

However you count it, this is what you really want, isn’t it? Love your club!

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4 Comments on "The Bayer Leverkusen Facebook Debacle"

  1. Hey there! I just accidentally browsed to your blog via and read some of your posts. It’s still overwhelmig for me how spread our community is worldwide. I’m sure i will visit your page regularly from now to read how the ‘news’ around our club will be valued in the states. Wish you and your family good times! Come on #Effzeh!

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