Football: promotion instead of bankruptcy: the revival of traditional clubs

Traditional clubs have long had a tough time. It seems to be different this season, clubs in crisis have become promotion contenders. What are the reasons ?

Times have been tough for traditional clubs lately: Hamburger SV, the last founding member of the Bundesliga, were relegated in 2018. As former German champions, 1. FC Kaiserslautern filed for league bankruptcy three. And last year, supposedly permanent First Division clubs Schalke and Bremen had to move to the Second Division. The spring of 2022, however, allows the hopes of supporters of many former big clubs to bloom again – throughout the republic.

According to Werder Bremen and the FC Schalke 04, the two Bundesliga teams that were relegated last season, had a relatively good chance of returning to the top tier before the start of the season. After all, long-time premier league heavyweights have the biggest budget in the lower house. But the relationship between fans and their clubs, which has been strained lately, has also improved this season. Things are looking up for Bremen since coach Ole Werner took over from Markus Anfang, who had to leave because of a fake vaccination record.

After the sports clearing works of recent years, an era of rebirth seems to have set in throughout the republic. Our cartoonist Christoph Häringer has dealt with this in his own way.

Photo: Häringer’s Mocking Show

FC Schalke seem to have reconciled with their supporters

At FC Schalke, not only the unloved permanent patron Tönnies, but also the shirt sponsor Gazprom are no longer on board. Eurofighter Michael Büskens took over as coach until the end of the season. In other words, some atmospheric problems no longer exist. Schalke fans recently made sure the stadium was sold out for Schalke’s best ever game against Bremen – and still celebrated their side even after the crushing 1:4 defeat.

Schalke currently have the best chance of promotion as second division leaders, while Bremen are behind them, who have also regained strength SV Darmstadt 98 currently in third place in relegation. Behind having with that HSV and St. Pauli two chances for Hamburg clubs – although HSV seemed to have almost said goodbye to the promotion race.

There is also a club in the region which still has more than 20 years of chance to play again in a professional league after being relegated from the 2nd division to the Baden-Württemberg Association League: Der SSV Ulm currently sit second in the Regionalliga Südwest and have two more games to play before the end of the table, two points behind leaders Elversberg.

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Only the first place gives the right to promotion in league 3, but it still seems possible. Why are the sparrows doing well all of a sudden? One name in particular comes to mind in this context: Thomas Wörle.

Thomas Wörle has been the coach of SSV Ulm since summer 2021.

Photo: dpa

At SSV Ulm, coach Thomas Wörle put the team on the right track

Le Krubacher, who was the last manager of the FC Bayern Munich women’s team, put the team on track. Currently injured top scorer Tobias Rühle raves about the ex-professional and says: “He is technically exceptional and a real exception as a human being.” Wörle formed an inseparable unit of the various characters. Even if it does not work out this year with the promotion: The Spatzen again attract spectators to the Donaustadion. More recently, more than 3,500 visitors came to watch the matches. And the three-year plan only foresees a promotion for the coming season anyway.

Coach Marco Antwerpen is playing with Kaiserslautern for promotion.

Photo: Uwe Anspach, dpa

Things went up in Kaiserslautern after the bankruptcy

it looks different with 1 FC Kaiserslautern de: The best way to get back to the second division is now. The Palatinate paid advances for this and signed striker Terence Boyd from Halle this winter. It’s expensive, but a far cry from the financial hara-kiri of recent years. At the end of 2020, the four-time German champion had to file for bankruptcy and has since been financially supported by Saar-Pfalz-Invest GmbH (SPI) by five regional entrepreneurs from Saarland-Palatinate. SPI acquired 33% of the capital for eleven million euros. A new investor recently joined the group: a group of investors led by the Pacific Media Group (PMI) took a stake of just under ten percent.

Financially, FCK is finally solid, while under coach Marco Antwerpen things have accelerated. The former Würzburg coach guided players like Felix Götze, René Klingenburg and Mike Wunderlich to Palatinate. For a long time direct ascension seemed behind it 1 FC Magdeburg possible but exceeded after a weak phase unity Braunschweig the FCK. Currently, the path seems to lead to relegation, where Dynamo Dresden is already a participant.

A firecracker thrown at Rot-Weiss Essen had serious consequences

Well-known clubs are also leading in the other regional leagues: in Bavaria, however, it is not the reserve of FC Bayern, but the Bayreuth Gaming Association, who set the record straight with a 4-0 win over pursuers FCB. The East German record champions are in the north Berlin Dynamo before relegation games against VfB Oldenburg while in the West Red and white food Failed promotion in the most annoying way possible: the match against Preußen Münster was counted as a 2-0 defeat because of a firecracker throw. This cost Essen the lead in the standings to the Prussians, who are now likely to move up.

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