Once again. When looking at Wuppertal, I know you want to say “Is it half-empty or half-full”, well actually it’s almost all empty or zero-full. WSV had a makeup match against Borussia Dortmund II in the old Dortmund Rote Erde stadium and got bitch-slapped 0-3. What a disgrace, even though BVB II is a pretty decent squad. Luckily only 493 fans watched this grim defeat.
Rather than go into any gory details of the latest WSV embarassment, I figure I’ll give a little news on the Regionalliga. As mentioned before, this is a transition year for the 4th division, as next season the DFB is expanding the regional leagues. So for the most part, there is no relegation for clubs this season, but the struggle for promotion is fierce, as it will be harder to make the jump to the 3.Liga next year.
In the Regionalliga Nord, it’s a fierce battle at the top between RB Leipzig, Halle and Holstein Kiel. Leipzig has a point lead, but an extra game. All other clubs are at least 16 points back. Leipzig is of course interesting, since it’s sponsored by Red-Bull, famous for Red-Bull Salzburg and the MLS New York Redbulls. Of course, since the DFB bans using commerical names in clubs (exceptions only for “traditionals” like Bayer Leverkusen, which started as the club for Bayer factory workers), the “RB” officially stands for “RasenBallsport”, but everybody knows the score. A couple of years ago Red-Bull essentially bought the 5th division license of SSV Markranstädt. They’ve dumped money into the club with the idea of becoming Hoffenheim 1899: The Sequel. However this season they’ve met fierce opposition from traditional ex-GDR side Halle FC and from Holstein Kiel, who had a nice DFB-Cup run. The Nord will get split next season into a more traditional Nord league, consisting of Niedersachsen/Hamburg/Bremen/Schleswig Holstein clubs, and the eastern clubs will go back east. Among other known clubs struggling in the current league are VfB Lübeck, SV Meppen and SV Wilhelmshaven. Ex-GDR clubs include VFC Plauen and 1.FC Magdeburg.
In the Regionalliga West, Sportfreunde Lotte (an obscure Westfalen club) and Gladbach II are tied at the top. Dortmund II is lurking in the shadows. Of course, this is where Wuppertaler SV is currently stinking, and next season will continue to smell. Currently a mix of Western and Southwestern clubs, it will be limited to Nordrhein-Westfalen clubs next season. Among known clubs are WSV, Essen, Verl and Fortuna Köln from the West, and SW clubs Eintracht Trier, Elversberg, Koblenz.
The Regionalliga Süd is currently a mix of clubs from the southwest, Baden-Würtemmberg, Hessen and Bayern. This will get split up next season as Bavaria gets it’s own league and the southwestern clubs merge into a SW league. The BW and Hessen clubs will then share a league, so when the DFB is done, the Regionalliga will make some sense. Currently Stuttgarter Kickers rule the league. Some other well known clubs are Wormatia Worms, Pfullendorf, Hessen Kassel and Waldhof Mannheim.