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Bundesliga relegation: Misjudgments and austerity measures: Cologne crashes into the 2nd league

Bundesliga relegation: Misjudgments and austerity measures: Cologne crashes into the 2nd league

Frustration, depression, fan anger – a lot has built up at 1. FC Köln due to relegation. The focus is on sports director Keller, who faces major challenges.

Faride Alidou would have been happy to forego this confrontation. When leaving the Geißbockheim, the offensive player, who was on loan from Eintracht Frankfurt, was asked by a 1. FC Köln fan to stay in the cathedral city despite the seventh relegation from the Bundesliga. “It would be cool if you stopped making unnecessary comments,” Alidou replied, waved him off and walked away. It is unclear whether the club will use the purchase option for the 22-year-old, which according to media reports should be around four million euros.

“Let’s just do it”

The frustration among players, those in charge and fans is deep, and the list of problems is long. Sports director Christian Keller asked for time immediately after the 4-1 defeat at 1. FC Heidenheim. “Let’s just do it. This just hurts now,” he said. He didn’t want to talk about the future of coach Timo Schultz, nor about that of the professionals or his own. “I’m here,” he said, and when asked whether his whereabouts were certain, he added: “I assume so.” The analysis with all those involved should begin in the coming days with open and constructive discussions.

The 47-year-old is not blameless for his relegation. Keller underestimated the free transfer losses of former captain Jonas Hector and midfield top performer Ellyes Skhiri. The implementation of the specified austerity measures brought him a lot of criticism and ultimately pushed the club into the second division. Although he is not responsible for the fact that three of Cologne’s top offensive players, Luca Waldschmidt, Mark Uth and Davie Selke, were unavailable due to injuries.

Transfer ban weighs heavily

Despite criticism of his work, Keller would like to continue to push ahead with economic consolidation – despite the expected drop in sales. “We will also be in a position in the 2nd league to cover the pending liabilities that were accumulated during the pandemic and the maturities, especially the fan bond from 2016 and the state guarantee, which has to be repaid by another quarter. to use,” said Keller.

However, the transfer ban imposed by FIFA is particularly serious. Because the sanction – only players who have been loaned out can be brought back – also applies in the coming summer. “It’s just an extremely difficult situation when you don’t know what squad you have available,” said Austrian Florian Kainz, who is leaving his future open for now. “I have a contract for the 2nd league, but we’ll have to wait and see what happens when I’m called up for the national team. We’ll see everything else, I haven’t thought about it yet.”

Fans in Heidenheim angry

At least the loaned players Jonas Urbig, Tim Lemperle, who had a good season at Greuther Fürth, as well as Mathias Oelsen, Nikola Soldo and Marvin Obuz from the 2nd and 3rd leagues will return.

First of all, however, the lost credit with the fans must be regained. On Saturday they shouted angrily: “We are Cologne and you are not.” Those responsible are facing major challenges – this time the direct return to the Bundesliga will probably be more difficult than ever before.

Source: Stern

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