The terms are a little confusing. The Premier League, clear, has been the upper house of English football since 1992. Among them in the championship is not really about the championship, but at most about the title in the 2nd league. And the League One also has little first class, but is only the 3rd league. Although “only” does not apply to everyone, because for the Forest Green Rovers, the League One is almost the promised country. And yet only a start.

Never before, the small club from the Gloucestershire county made it into third class, the more violent the climb is celebrated. And you can also listen to all of England, because the rovers follow a very special plan: as the first professional club worldwide you want to be completely climate -neutral. Forest Green soon begins to build Eco Park, a stadium completely made of wood. Even the United Nations and FIFA have already awarded the project.

The party started in the cabin with vegan pizza

Sustainability in football also means: no meat on the menu, no exhaust gases from the team bus. The team in the fully electric bus from Chinese production made the 40 km short away trip last Saturday to the Bristol Rovers, the players were dressed in training suits and jerseys from coffee residues and recycling material. The 0-0 in Bristol was enough to finally make it clear. Then the players started their party with vegan pizza in the cabin. “I have never seen a club in which everyone moves in the same direction as we do,” says central defender Dan Sweeney.

This Saturday the last home game of the season is rising against Harrogate Town, and there are even standing maps on the west stands. Around 6,000 people will be in the stadium, which has been called “The Fully Charged New Lawn” since this season. In keeping with this, the fans can recharge further drinks directly on the lawn after the final whistle.

Forest Green Rovers pitch invasion promotion party at Bristol Rovers

The arena in Nailsworth, a town with 7000 inhabitants, is about 180 kilometers west of London, is called “Fully Chared” after the YouTube channel, which is primarily about electro cars and who bought the right to name. The company’s company cars are also an enforcement engineer, and in the stadium there have been only vegetable food since 2015, just as usual for the team, the lawn of course does not receive a art fertilizer. In the beginning, it was a change for fans like professionals, but now, according to it, even the away fans have got used to the Falafelstand.

The top scorer wants to celebrate on crutches – he just torn the cruciate ligament

All of this is based on the ideas of Dale Vince, 60 years old, whom the “Guardian” described as “richest hippie England”. He once started his business with wind turbines, in 2010 Vince took over the indebted amateur club and turned it up. Twelve years later, the Forest Green Rovers arrived in the world and 3rd league in England.

“Let’s enjoy this moment,” says coach Rob Edwards. The 39-year-old used to play for Wolverhampton and Blackpool and 15 times for Wales and himself looks as if his battery was infinitely filled with energy. A smaller club has never been among the best 68 teams of England, in the future it will be against former Premier League clubs such as Derby County (current coach: Wayne Rooney), Portsmouth or Ipswich Town, UEFA Cup winner in 1981. Edwards for the League One not yet in his squad. Matty Stevens, with 23 goals, the team’s best goal scorer, tore a cruciate ligament in his knee and was operated on Wednesday. At the party on Saturday, the 24-year-old striker wants to be there on crutches.

on the site of the old stadium, affordable apartments are to be created

And then the next projects are already pending. Last week, approval for the construction of the new training center for men and women and the academy came. Then follows the wooden stadium, according to designs by star anxiety Zaha Hadid. An affordable apartments are to be built on the site of the old stadium.

The question remains: How do you get to the away games climate -neutral? The electric bus for the trip to Bristol was only rented, from a company that also promoted members of the royal family for several years. The 48-seater costs around 400,000 euros with a range of around 320 kilometers. “Transport is one of the last pieces of the puzzle for us,” said club boss Vince recently. He also tries to solve this sustainably.