Hammer league & no money: If relegated, FC faces the toughest promotion mission

Cologne –

Two more 90 minutes all or nothing. Then it will be clear whether the FC will stay in the Bundesliga or relegate for the seventh time. Cologne has to deliver in the relegation against Holstein Kiel (first leg on Wednesday, May 26th, 6.30 p.m., DAZN). Because while the absolutely necessary upheaval in the Bundesliga is difficult but solvable, relegation would probably weigh even more heavily than 2012.

  • Bundesliga relegation: 1. FC Cologne against Holstein Kiel
  • Mission resurgence would be harder than ever for FC
  • Friedhelm Funkel: Continuing the positive trend in relegation

Already sporty: If you look at this new 2nd Bundesliga, you can already get scared and anxious …

Strongest 2nd Bundesliga of all time – with 1. FC Köln?

With Schalke 04 and Werder Bremen, two famous relegated teams have been determined who want to get back up as quickly as possible. There are also traditional clubs such as Hamburger SV, Fortuna Düsseldorf, Hannover 96, 1. FC Nürnberg and St. Pauli. Lucky bags like SV Darmstadt, Karlsruher SC and SC Paderborn, strong climbers like Dynamo Dresden or Hansa Rostock with a lot of fan power – and surprises again and again.

It will probably be the strongest second division of all time!

Schalke is planning the company to rise again with a staff budget of 32 million euros, secured top scorer Simon Terodde (33) and has been preparing for relegation for weeks.

Werder have a harder time, financially it looks bleak, the budget should drop to less than 30 million euros. Rival HSV has it even more difficult in the fourth year of the second division, can only spend around 20 million euros. And yet the goal is the same: ascent!

FC would also want to go up again, but financially it would be about existence, the current squad would be around 26 million euros, but some professionals are likely to leave the club with release clauses. A number of loan returnees doesn’t make squad planning any easier. In addition, the FC would have lost another week.

Unlike in 2018, when you were the croesus of the league, the return of the first division for Cologne would be anything but a sure-fire success under these conditions.

Sports director Horst Heldt (51), when asked about the Hammer League, says: “I think more about what it looks like in the Bundesliga. I’m a bit superstitious about that. But of course we have to deal with both scenarios, we have done that intensively. “

Horst Heldt: Relegation to 1. FC Köln is “extremely important” in sporting and financial terms

It should have become clear to him that in the new season it will be much more difficult to get promoted to the Bundesliga than to stay up in the upper house. Especially since FC could hardly invest in the squad due to the Corona crisis and its own bad planning, unlike after relegation in 2018!

FC sports director Horst Heldt in the 1-0 win against Schalke on May 22, 2021

Heldt: “Everyone knows that a decline would result in a loss of sales. The TV distribution alone would have to cut things down a lot. In any case, it is not that easy due to the pandemic. It is extremely important for the club, both financially and athletically, to stay in the league. “

Second division: Schalke 04 seven million euros more TV money than FC

Because of Bremen’s relegation, FC would rise an additional place in the TV table, which alone should add up to around three million euros in additional income. Overall, the FC would be able to hope for around 45 million euros. In the second division, FC would only be third in the TV money table with around 17 million euros and a whopping seven million euros less than FC Schalke!

Friedhelm Funkel: “Then we have great chances of staying in the Bundesliga”

After the last-minute redemption against Schalke, Heldt is consistently optimistic that the rescue will succeed: “Because the team has shown in the last few games that they absolutely want to stay in the league.”

Cologne is the favorite in the relegation, but must not underestimate the recently ailing and exhausted Kielers – nothing has been achieved yet!

Advertisement: Now voucher for the 1. FC Köln fan shop right here in the EXPRESS voucher portal to back up!

Coach Friedhelm Funkel (67), who led FC to 16th place with ten points from six games, says: “We want to take our trend, which is very positive, onto the pitch. With the exception of the first half against Freiburg, the team was also convincing in terms of play. This is our focus. If we bring that onto the pitch, we have great chances of staying in the Bundesliga. I am convinced of that.”

Otherwise (at least) a very, very difficult second division year threatens …

That increases the pressure on the FC professionals, but Heldt knows: “The team has always had this pressure in the past few weeks. In Berlin it was very important to get a point and not get under the wheels. We had to win against Schalke. The team has had to go through this pressure situation many times and delivered really good performances. ”

Now two more steps are missing to finally save the club from second division. Especially since things could be much easier in the Bundesliga: With Arminia Bielefeld and the newly promoted VfL Bochum and Greuther Fürth, three clubs are entering the race with a mini budget. The FC could also drive the upheaval in the House of Lords. Cologne must not block this opportunity!

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Horst Heldt

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