News : Relegation from Schalke 04: inevitable end in Bielefeld – sport
0: 1 in Bielefeld – if you didn’t know better, you might think that the footballers of FC Schalke 04 had at least done a clever deed on the date of the downgrading. The said 0: 1 is not only the reason to say goodbye to a big traditional club from the first Bundesliga and to express sympathy for relatives who are quietly grieving in officially decreed privacy – it also contains a historical punch line.
With the same result 50 years (and two days ago) Schalke 04 and Arminia Bielefeld wrote the first chapter in the big “Bundesliga scandal” together at the Glückauf-Kampfbahn in Gelsenkirchen. The Arminen won both points with a stumbling goal in the 83rd minute, the helpful Schalke players received 2300 D-Marks per nose, which was a ridiculously low amount even then. Because the professionals later denied this in court, but were convicted anyway, the Schalke fans later had to allow themselves to be criminalized as supporters of “FC perjury” for decades.
In Schalke’s past, even more gruesome things may have happened than in the present. But the suffering that the club has now brought to its people through extensive failures and innumerable awkwardnesses was and is particularly terrible. With the kick-off for the first game of the season – a 0: 8 at FC Bayern – the team had already started to play like a veritable bottom of the table, and has not stopped since then – up to the desolate 0: 1 in Bielefeld, befittingly desolate .
Those responsible have gone, the good souls Mike Büskens and Gerald Asamoah have stayed
In the meantime, Schalke’s nervous professionals seemed to be more of a case for clinical research than for the football press. But even after the psychological stress of the relegation battle had subsided, because the prospect of rescue was only in theory, their efforts in top division football remained an unreasonable imposition.
Yes, Schalke also had bad luck with injured players, even a lot of bad luck, and the Corona crisis hit the debt-ridden club particularly hard. But the humiliations of this descent are of course also deserved at this level. Especially since the club has done the wrong thing with astonishing purposefulness every time during the season when it might have been able to turn the lot. The sporting management hired the wrong coaches one after the other (Manuel Baum, Christian Gross), the wrong people were thrown out, and when the penultimate hour struck in January, the wrong winter transfers were promptly made. The returnees Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Sead Kolasinac increased the folklore factor, but not the team’s performance.
The fact that another returnees got the right coach (Bo Svensson), the right sports director (Martin Schmidt) and the right reinforcements for the team (Glatzel, Kohr, da Costa) at 1. FSV Mainz 05 must seem like a mockery to the Schalke fans . Because that gentleman is the same Christian Heidel who, as the Gelsenkirchen sports boss from 2016 to March 2019, actively contributed to the downfall and decline through thoughtless violence and expensive mistakes. His honorable successor, Jochen Schneider, who was overwhelmed to the point of desperation, completed the work.
Settlements with guilty responsible persons are superfluous – they have all long left the club’s premises. As in a mafia play, one by one, including the godfather Clemens Tönnies, has disappeared from the scene. The good souls Mike Büskens and Gerald Asamoah have stayed, the latter shed a few tears in Bielefeld on behalf of the absent audience. The big emotions have no place in the ghost game mode, but Bielefeld was no longer the place to stage one of the traditional dramas in royal blue. Only a disease found its inevitable end here.
What remains is a feeling of amazement: It wasn’t that long ago that the club was a reliable European Cup address. The rapid fall warns not to misunderstand the descent as an episode. One look at the chilling example of Hamburger SV and the even more scary fate of 1. FC Kaiserslautern is enough. Money for the organization of the promotion is still available in Gelsenkirchen, but the restructuring of the radically gutted team is as demanding as it is risky. Peter Knäbel, promoted to the sporting board more out of circumstances than planned, claims to have already taken the coach of choice for the second division into service. But Dimitrios Grammozis has long since entered the chronicle as a habitual loser. The poison of this disastrous year may already have an impact on the restart in the form of the next coaching debate.