Page last updated at 03:51 GMT, Sunday, 19 April 2009 04:51 UK

Sorry German team offers refund

Cottbus' Mariusz Kukielka during the match, 17 April
Cottbus faces an uphill battle to avoid relegation in the remaining six games

A German football club will refund the tickets of 600 fans in an unusual apology for a "pitiful performance" that ended in a 4-0 loss at Schalke.

Energie Cottbus supporters travelled some 610km (380 miles) to Gelsenkirchen on Friday only to see their team suffer the sixth loss in seven games.

The club made the offer in a web statement headed "Sorry, Energie Fans!"

Cottbus are second from bottom of the Bundesliga table and in danger of being relegated at the end of the season.

"By refunding the cost of admission for their supporters, the red and whites would like to apologise for the pitiful performance which they displayed at the Veltins Arena," the statement read.

"We lost at Schalke, but we were very timid against our opponents," Cottbus manager Steffen Heidrich was quoted as saying.

Schalke's win put the team back into contention for a place in the Uefa Cup.

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