Schalke 04 have condemned the behaviour of a group of fans who attacked and chased down their own players following the club's relegation from the Bundesliga.
Die Königsblauen lost 1-0 at Arminia Bielefeld on Tuesday to confirm their relegation from the German top flight for the first time in 33 years.
After the match, the team travelled back to the Veltins Arena, where they were greeted by about 500 to 600 angry supporters.
Things apparently escalated after the team bus arrived, as some of the fans threatened and chased some of the players along the perimeter of the stadium.
Thankfully, it does not appear as though any of the Schalke players were physically harmed during the confrontation.
The club said in a statement that whilst they can understand frustration, there can be no excusing the actions of their supporters.
There was a brief exchange between the players and some groups of fans after returning from Bielefeld in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
During the course of the encounter, some currently unidentified individuals overstepped boundaries that are non-negotiable for FC Schalke 04.
Despite the understandable frustration and anger with our relegation to the Bundesliga 2, the club can never accept the physical endangerment of our players and staff. That is exactly what occurred during last night's confrontation.
The club strongly condemns this behaviour and stands behind our staff. An investigation into the incident is already underway.
FC Schalke 04 will give no further comment on this matter until things are cleared up.
It has been an incredible fall from grace for Schalke, who are among the most fiercely supported clubs in Germany and typically draw more than 60,000 fans to home matches.
Winners of six German titles in the pre-war years, and champions again in 1958, Schalke were among 16 founding members of the inaugural Bundesliga in 1963.
They finished runners-up in the Bundesliga just three seasons ago and reached the Champions League knockout stages as recently as 2019.