VfB want to do what they hadn’t been able to do in 34 match days: staying in the league. For Stuttgart, but also for relegation opponents Hamburger SV, there is a lot at stake.
The Stuttgart sports director Fabian Wohlgemuth does not even want to get involved in a discussion about the relegation mode.
After all, VfB could “correct what we didn’t want to do in 34 games before” with a win in the two playoffs against Hamburger SV, who are third in the second division,” Wohlgemuth told the German Press Agency ahead of the first leg in Stuttgart on Thursday ( 8.45 p.m./Sat.1 and Sky). “The relegation is our Bundesliga lifeboat.”
descent would be “broadside”
From a financial point of view, relegation from the Bundesliga is a “broad side”, said Wohlgemuth in view of the calculation that the CEO Alexander Wehrle had already drawn up last December.
The sales of the already ailing traditional club would collapse by around 40 million euros. That’s why relegation this season is not comparable to going to the 2nd Bundesliga four years ago. At that time, VfB lost out in the relegation against 1. FC Union Berlin.
According to media reports, VfB would receive almost 44 million euros from TV money if they stayed on the bel étage. The HSV for another year in the 2nd division only 17.503 million euros.
HSV wants to go to the Beletage after the exit drama
The people of Hamburg want to go back, and not just because of the economic prospects. The team that feels like it’s still in the first division ended its fifth season in the second division as third in the table. The team had to cope with the drama on Sunday in Sandhausen.
After the 1-0 relegated team, players and fans were already celebrating their return to the Bundesliga. But 1. FC Heidenheim intercepted HSV with the last-minute win in Regensburg.
Coach Tim Walter didn’t want to deal with the low blow for long and created a “now more than ever” mood in himself and his team. For the 47-year-old, there is a lot at stake against his ex-club. No club was so offensive with the goal of promotion – especially Walter.
“We scored 66 points, we scored 70 goals – the best record that we had as HSV at the time,” he pointed to the statistics as proof of a successful work. “Stuttgart are in 16th place. They had the chance to ultimately avoid relegation on their own. They didn’t make it. And now it’s back in our hands to do what’s possible on our own.”
Wohlgemuth: “Feel a positive tension”
Wohlgemuth is outwardly calm as usual. “I feel a positive tension, but no particular strain from games like this. As long as I’m sure that we didn’t owe anything in preparation,” says the 44-year-old. “And I have confidence in the work of Sebastian Hoeneß.”
When the coach took over from the hapless Bruno Labbadia, the Swabians were in last place. The relegation place was then two points away. Since then, Hoeneß has only lost one game in the league and has won three.
Nevertheless, VfB has to shake off a disappointment. Because the direct rescue didn’t work because VfL Bochum overtook Stuttgart. “I am sure that the gloomy thoughts will have disappeared after the regeneration training and a day off,” said Wohlgemuth. “I think that’s how I know the team, the players are back in attacking mode and ready to attack and everyone is working with the knowledge that they are giving their all.”
Walter: “Going to Stuttgart to win”
As a first division club, VfB “have a kind of favorite role,” said Walter. “We definitely have enough to offer that we can make these games our own. And we’re going to Stuttgart to win.”
Unlike in Stuttgart, those responsible for HSV initiate the mode discussion. After all, the club is very familiar with relegation, because the Hamburg team has already played a relegation three times. As a first division team, they won the duels, in the pre-season it was not enough against Hertha BSC.
“Get the boys off to the best possible start”
The first division have as table-16. gain more, Walter said. The Bundesliga club would have the opportunity to hold the league for two games. “The fact that the third party, who has won almost everything or a lot throughout the year in the 2nd division, does not automatically make it to the top”, you have to think about that.
Wohlgemuth has not yet had any experience with relegation. “We’re definitely not going to start a mode discussion now. We knew before the start of the season what plans the German Football League had with the 16th in the Bundesliga,” he said. “We’re directing our energies to getting the boys out there in the best possible way. Everything else is secondary right now.”