Relegation finals: When Heldt launched the FC rescue, black wall and other dramas

Cologne –

1. FC Köln are worried about staying up. Again! The game against FC Schalke 04 on Saturday (May 22nd, 3:30 p.m.) is of course not the first relegation final of the billy goats, which are one of the elevator clubs par excellence. EXPRESS takes a look at FC history – this is how the rescues and relegations went in the past.

  • 1. FC Köln before the relegation final against Schalke 04
  • Rescue or Crash? This is how the crucial games have been in the past
  • In 1993, FC sports boss Horst Heldt played a leading role as a player

Drama, tears, relief: the relegation finals of 1. FC Cologne

June 7, 1969 against Nuremberg: The first champion in league history is in need of relegation for the first time and meets the reigning title holder Nuremberg – someone has to go to the 2nd division! Cologne must not lose. After the goalless first half, Wolfgang Overath turns up in front of 53,000 fans in Müngersdorf, scores to make it 1-0. With goals from Carl-Heinz Rühl and Heinz Hornig, it was even 3-0 in the end. Cologne’s salvation. Afterwards, the FC no longer have to fear relegation for decades.

1. FC Köln celebrated their relegation against 1. FC Nürnberg on June 7, 1969.

April 26, 1986 against Bochum: After 33 match days, Cologne is just above the line, but the relegation is still threatened. But not with Pierre Littbarski! The dribble king leads the FC with a double to a 3-0 win against VfL Bochum, so nothing burns at the end of the season.

May 29, 1993 against Schalke: After fourth place last year, FC is in danger of relegation and will face Schalke on the penultimate match day. The redemption: the 2-1 winner by Frank Greiner, prepared by today’s sports director Horst Heldt. Without the points against Schalke, the FC would have ended up in the final account.

Horst Heldt at 1. FC Köln in the 1992/93 season

The current sports director Horst Heldt in the 1992/93 season as an FC professional

May 18, 1996 in Rostock: The legendary tears final between Leverkusen and Kaiserslautern (1: 1) brings the Red Devils relegation. But FC also plays a role and is in 15th place between Bayer and FCK before the last matchday in Rostock. The hero from FC’s point of view: Holger Gaißmayer, who shoots the billy goats for a 1-0 win at Hansa. As a result, Cologne does not have to look at the results of the competition.

May 9, 1998 against Leverkusen: The first descent in club history! FC are initially 2-0 up against Bayer with goals from Dorinel Munteanu and Uwe Scherr, in the end it is 2-2. With the results of the competition, even a narrow victory would not have been enough.

Toni Polster is relegated with 1. FC Köln.

Striker Toni Polster after 1. FC Köln’s first relegation on May 9, 1998

Among other things, due to the drama that had happened a week and a half earlier: FC lost 1-0 in the catch-up game in Gelsenkirchen. When the score was 0-0, Schalke’s Oliver Held had steered a left-hand shot from René Tretschok over the bar in the 81st minute and protested his innocence at the request of the referee. Radoslav Latal scored for the Royal Blues to win and FC striker Toni Polster expressed the legendary wish that Held should “have no more luck in his whole life” while still in the stadium.

April 27, 2002 against Freiburg: Cologne beat Freiburg 2-0 with goals from Carsten Cullmann and Matthias Scherz, but cannot be saved after the 33rd match day, as Nuremberg wins against league leaders Leverkusen at the same time. FC coach at the time: Friedhelm Funkel.

Friedhelm Funkel is relegated with 1. FC Köln.

On April 27, 2002 Friedhelm Funkel (left) rose with 1. FC Köln despite a win against Volker Finkes SC Freiburg.

May 1, 2004 against Bayern: The new crash is already clear after 31 matchdays, Cologne loses 2-1 against Bayern despite Lukas Podolski taking the lead in the meantime.

May 2, 2006 against Hamburg: Again no happy ending. The FC of coach Hanspeter Latour defeated the Hamburger SV in an English week with 0: 1 – despite the superiority, through an own goal by national player Lukas Sinkiewicz. Cologne gets down on the couch the next day.

May 7, 2011 in Frankfurt: After nine match days, Zvonimir Soldo had to leave, after 31 rounds (and most recently three bankruptcies in a row) Frank Schaefer resigned. Sports director Volker Finke takes over and secures the class with three victories at the end. The decisive factor is the 2-0 win on matchday 33 in Frankfurt against Christoph Daums Eintracht. The goal scorers: Adil Chihi and Lukas Podolski.

May 5, 2012 against Bayern: One of the blackest days in FC history in the truest sense of the word. After a catastrophic second half of the season, Cologne conceded a 4-1 swat against runner-up Bayern Munich, thereby missing out on relegation. The fifth descent. In the south curve hangs a huge poster with the inscription: “We mourn for 1. FC Köln”. Then the entire grandstand is immersed in dark smoke, firecrackers fly, players flee, and there is a storm. The “black wall” puts a dark veil around the FC.

1. FC Köln will be relegated to FC Bayern in 2012.

After the descent on May 5, 2012, the south curve in Müngersdorf became a black wall.

May 10, 2015 against Schalke: Cologne’s relegation worries are no longer really big after Peter Stöger’s return to the Bundesliga, but Marcel Risse and Yannick Gerhardt remove any doubts two games before the end of the season. Cologne wins 2-0 against Schalke.

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1. FC Köln is relegated to SC Freiburg.

For FC keeper Timo Horn and his teammates, tears flowed on April 28, 2018 after a defeat in Freiburg, which meant relegation.

April 28, 2018 in Freiburg: It felt like the FC was relegated with only six points after their horror first half of the season. However, certainty only prevails after 32 match days due to a 2: 3 last-minute bankruptcy at SC Freiburg. The 22 points at the end of the season mean the worst Cologne yield ever. Descent number six.

Will the seventh follow on Saturday or will the FC pull its head out of the second division?

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