Borussia Mönchengladbach fans raised €40,000 for charitable causes thanks to a campaign in which they ordered cardboard cut-outs of themselves to help fill Borussia-Park after the Bundesliga returned behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The fifth-biggest stadium in the German top-flight was packed to its 54,014 capacity or close for most of the season as the Foals mounted a sustained push for European qualification, with Marco Rose's side ultimately ending up fourth.
The Bundesliga was the first major European league to make a cautious return to play in light of the global coronavirus outbreak. One pre-requisite of the return was the playing of matches behind closed doors, with no more than 213 people in a stadium, players or staff.
Unable to lend their vociferous support in the usual way, Gladbach fans contributed to the 'Stay at home. Be in the stands' campaign in their droves, with over 20,000 supporters placing an order online at www.seidabei-trotzdem.de. The Foals even allowed for fans of other teams to order a cut-out which was placed in the away end.
“We were overwhelmed by how many people took part,” said Borussia’s fan liaison officer Thomas Weinmann.
For €19.00, the 'cardboard you' was installed in the stands and overall the project raised €40,000, which will go to charitable causes in Mönchengladbach and the surrounding area.
Gladbach players, coaches and board members had previously agreed to forgo their salaries in order to help the club and its employees.