1. FC Kaiserslautern: With hard work to a higher level – sport


The creators of the football magazine 11friends should have had a lot of fun with 1. FC Kaiserslautern these days. Because of course the players and coach Dirk Schuster after the 2-0 win in the second relegation game Dynamo Dresden once again diligently emphasized how important all this was “for the whole region”, which had “fevered” with the FCK.

The editorial team, which originally emerged from a Bielefeld fanzine, had always used exactly this phrase when they wanted to caricature how the people of the Palatinate were able to avoid financial exitus for decades because they had pointed out their importance for so long that the city, state and patrons once again Getting a cow off the ice. It was all about the “region”.

On the other hand, it’s hard to deny that the Betzenberg, enthroned high above the city, has a charisma that most Bundesliga clubs (and perhaps even Arminia Bielefeld) can only dream of. After all, there hasn’t been an away game in recent years that thousands of FCK supporters haven’t attended. At the end of the season, 48,000 came against Saarbrücken and the U23s from Borussia Dortmund.

And on the sidelines of the promotion celebrations of the past few days, during which the team is said to have disciplinedly implemented defender Kevin Kraus’s announcement that they would celebrate “until the loss of their mother tongue”, red-decorated cars with all 32 Rhineland-Palatinate license plates were closed see. There were also border areas from Hesse, Baden-Württemberg and Saarland to marvel at. “The club doesn’t belong in the third league, nor in the second. We’ve at least taken the first step,” Mike Wunderlich just said. It’s not that wrong, apart from the fact that starting places in the first league are not assigned according to range.

However, it is doubtful that the power that this club is developing even after four years in the third division is reflected in sporting terms. In the past season, FCK impressed with committed, mostly defensively disciplined appearances and were undoubtedly a top team in a league in which structurally and financially weak clubs also play.

However, one that could not keep up with the rather impressive fellow promoted team from Magdeburg. And the relegation games could have gone quite differently. Because as weak as Dynamo acted, it was obvious that the climber from the Palatinate is at least similarly limited overall. Especially in the attacking game, which is tailored to the classic center forward Terence Boyd, there is a lack of variation options.

However, in view of the still tense financial situation, it will not be easy to raise the squad to a higher level. Especially since there are demands from the fan scene to reverse the entry of a US-Chinese investor group, the Pacific Media Group, which has taken over almost ten percent of 1. FC Kaiserslautern GmbH & Co. KGaA, using the now higher TV revenues. 33 percent of the shares already belong to Saar-Pfalz-Invest GmbH, a regional investor group that also has two seats on the advisory board.

Meanwhile, the new coach has not only qualified for the further commitment beyond the end of the season. Schuster was signed after predecessor Marco Antwerpen had slipped from direct promotion with FCK. On Tuesday, Schuster forbade himself any howl of triumph. Instead of patting himself on the back, he thanked his predecessor and showed empathy towards the people from Dresden who were lying on the ground.

Schuster may have been offended with misconduct in the course of his career, but as a credible, rhetorically not clumsy football worker, he is a stroke of luck for the public image of the people from the Palatinate, who have been sorely tried in this regard. By justifying the replacement of the shirt-sleeved Antwerp, Hengen spoke of an “unpopular decision” for which he was solely responsible, he took the pressure off his successor and turned it on himself.

It was a smart move that paid off thanks to promotion. In the coming weeks, Hengen will have to put together a team together with the already anything but unpopular Schuster, whose first eleven at the start of the second division should look different in five or six positions than on Tuesday in Dresden.



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