Ups and downs

Hoffenheim stays in the Bundesliga. The Hoppers defeated Kaiserslautern in the rematch 2-1 in K-town to complete a 5-2 aggregate sweep. Hoffenheim deserved the victory, as they were too clever for FCK, who basically ran around like chickens with their head cut off. They generally had the match in their grip, and after taking the lead, were a solid bet to coast home.

Dresden remains in the 2.Liga. Dynamo defeated VfL Osnabrück 2-0 in the rematch in front of a sold-out home crowd. They had lost the first match 0-1, so Cristian Fiel’s “equalizer” after 30 and Idir Ouali’s strike in the 71st minute means that Dynamo takes the series 2-1. Dresden really dominated the match, going out for the win, and Osnabrück basically sucked, so no real unfairness here.

Duisburg may get relegated. MSV Duisburg put in a fine late-season run to move out of the relegation zone of the 2.Liga. However it may been in vain as the DFB Finance Board has denied MSV a 2.Liga operating license because they “failed to show that they have adequate funds” for the upcoming season. The MSV board states that they are “shocked”, but if you run your club like a Cypriot investment bank, you shouldn’t be complaining when you get kicked in the balls. Duisburg gets to appeal to the standing “sports court” of the DFB, and hopefully they can show that they are in fact solvent. It would suck to see them go down after the hard work on the field, but if their finances are too crap, well most German fans would want to see them punished. If their appeal is denied, they will be forcibly relegated to the 3.Liga. That would mean that SV Sandhausen, who were relegated as 17th, would get the option of claiming MSV’s spot.

3.Liga promotion is still open. The various Regionalliga qualifiers are battling it out to see who gets promoted to the 3.Liga. The first round is finished, the return matches are this upcoming Sunday. The the first match, “RasenBallsport” Leipzig defeated SpFr Lotte 2-0. Over 30,000 showed up in Leipzig, desperate for some quality football. Interestingly enough, some fellow eastern fans showed up to cheer Lotte, as they were protesting against moneybags RedBull continuing to buy their way to the top. However I guess that if RB moves on, at least the Leipzigers might get over it, since football has sucked there since…forever. Holstein Kiel dominated against Hessen Kassel and also won 2-0. The Kasselers have their work cut out in the return match. And of course in the least interesting match, SV Elversberg defeated 1860 München II 3-2. I think were all in agreement that it would be best if Elversberg got promoted, but I would guess that the kitty-kats get the return done.

In somewhat of a proof that for most it’s already vacation, the DFB squad defeated Ecuador 4-2 on their American tour. Obviously not at full strength, Germany actually jumped out 4-0 after half and hour, and I was annoyed that they didn’t finish off the job, winning something like 8-0. However, as the match was played in Florida somewhere, perhaps they decided to head to South Beach in the 2nd half. (For some reason, Germans seem to like Florida as a vacation spot, perhaps they like getting mugged.) Anyway, obviously no Bayern or Dortmunders in this first match.

7 thoughts on “Ups and downs

  1. Again this shows the worst thing I find about German football, the play-offs. It annoys me that teams that hace played badly all year get to save themselves and a team that has played well miss out!

    With regards to MSV, I hope they sort themselves out. However, if they are relegated, it should be Osnabruck coming up, not saving Sandhausen. Crap teams should get relegated and stay relegated! In England in the Conference South (my home town club, Basingstoke, play there) Maidenhead Utd finished in the relegation places 3 years in a row and never went down due to other clubs money problems! Is crazy!

    • Agreed. At least in Germany there is a certain logic to it. In England it is just a money spinner – yet another way of fleecing the fans. Why should a team finish 6th and still get promoted – possibly 10-15 points behind the 3rd placed team?
      Anyway roll on 2013-14 – maybe 1860 can get their act together for a change.

      • It’s only a money-spinner in Germany too. They only brought the play-offs back to create more television revenue, the sport sense of it is completely non-existent.
        The mode may not be as elaborate as the English play-offs but it certainly isn’t any better for football…

    • I agree, crap teams deserve to be relegated and they shouldn’t have the option to save themselves after sucking the whole season. German football has waffled back and forth between playoffs (oddly enough, in German the term is “Relegation”) and automatic promotions.
      The forced relegation due to shaky finances is probably necessary, otherwise clubs have too much incentive to be out of control.

    • I’m afraid I disagree with the consensus here. It would only be unfair if they changed relegation rules mid-season – sorry, but first you’ll have to play the third from the bottom in the league above!

      As it is, everybody knows what’s up, which is why teams are generally not “happy” to be in that 3rd spot. It doesn’t guarantee anything: it’s basically a 50/50 chance (absent historical trends).

      Think of it this way: why should there be three relegation/promotion spots, why not just two? Leagues with 20 teams (all other major European leagues that is) also have three spots – should they have four? I always thought of the relegation games as a type of .5 relegation/promotion spot: merit (and chance) determine whether it’s two or three teams who switch leagues.

      Finally, let’s look at it from the FA’s/League’s perspective.

      (I don’t deny that there might also be a profit/marketing motive involved here, but then you’d have to object to any play-off-type competition: I don’t like that Bayern beat Borussia in the 89th min. of the CL and by one goal in the other two cup matches of the season, but these are the rules and they were known in advance.)

      The number of promotion/relegation berths should also be a function of how many teams can actually “handle” a promotion. Fuerth clearly couldn’t this year, Augsburg saved themselves through grit, but will likely go down next season (third time is a charm). 1.FCK (as well as Cologne) did by no means prove to be worthy of the Bundesliga. They were better than the peloton, but not quite convincing. So the Relegation gives such teams the opportunity to prove themselves.

      If historical data show that promoted teams do well, then maybe it’s time to up the promotion spots from 2.5 to 3. Otherwise, it’s in nobody’s real interest to have elevator teams (or even worse, season-in-the-sun teams such as Fuerth).

      Which raises the question: which promoted teams (aside from those established in the BL) have actually managed to stay in the Bundesliga for meaningful periods, as well as compete there, as opposed to just struggling (this is actually a question, not just rhetorical).

      • Good points. The Bundesliga actually had only 2 teams relegated until around 1974, when they switched to 3. (1991-92 was when the ex-GDR clubs joined, so there were 20 teams and 4 relegations for that season.) There are clubs that have done well after promotion. VfL Bochum went up in 1971 and lasted over 20 seasons, and Fortuna Düsseldorf did exactly the same. Obviously now they are more elevator clubs. Bayer Leverkusen went up in 1979 and except for two seasons, have finished in single digit positions. More recently, Mainz and Freiburg are small clubs that are beginning to establish themselves. And of course Gladbach has been pretty successful, although they have dropped back down a couple of times since coming up in 1965. But of course the best record is from that obscure FC Bavarria of Munich, who were promoted in 1965 and seem to have stabilized…

  2. I find the playoffs a useful part of weaning yourself off the season. After the anxious last few weeks the fact there is still some interest in the outcome of the season help calm the nerves!!

    The statements about reward and what teams deserve is somewhat ambiguous. This year both 1. and 2. Liga teams were able to save their spots. Last season it was the other way round. Interestingly some teams that have been able to earn direct promotion have not been able to stay up. Conversely, some teams that have been promoted through playoffs have been able to stay in the division. That’s football!

    12/13 Hoffenheim defeats 1 FC Kaiserslautern and stays up
    11/12 Hertha loses to Duesseldorf and is relegated. They win the 2. Liga the following year and are promoted. Dusseldorf is relegated.
    10/11 Moenchengladbach defeats Bochum, stays up and goes on to qualify for CL
    09/10 1 FC Nuernberg defeats Augsburg and stays up. Augsburg earns direct promotion the following year.
    08/09 Cottbus loses to Nurnberg and is relegated. They stabilise in the 2. Liga for the next 4 years.

    Add to this the yoyo’s and the argument is further diminished.

    08/09 4th (1. Liga) – plays Europa League in 09/10
    09/10 18th (1.) – relegated to 2. Liga
    10/11 1st (2.) – promoted to 1. Liga
    11/12 16th (1.) – loses playoff against Duesseldorf – relegated to 2. Liga
    12/13 1st (2.) – promoted again

    St Pauli
    09/10 2nd (2.) – promoted to 1. Liga
    10/11 18th (1.) – relegared to 2. Liga

    1. FC Kaiserslautern
    09/10 1st (2.) – promoted to 1. Liga
    10/11 7th (1.)
    11/12 18th (1.) – relegated to 2. Liga
    12/13 3rd (2.) – Loses playoff against Hoffenheim

    There’s too many situations to counter any argument to suggest that playoff’s are a good or a bad thing. I think it’s very subjective. If a team deserves to stay then it probably will (including Hoppenheim). If a team deserves to drop then it probably will. Including my beloved Lillien.

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