Bundesliga 2012

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Kroos

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Bundesliga 2012

Post by Kroos on Sun Jun 12, 2011 10:01 am

start of the season: 5th august (a very early begin of the season, why! i think because of the euro 2012, the german team will have more time for preparation!!)

some reasons why i am really excited for the new season

- bayern will play a really good season, as always after a disappointing season
- schürrle, holtby, gündogan, petersen, will be interesting to see how they cope with there new clubs
- dortmund, can they hold up there level
- there will be no surprise teams this year, the usual suspects will fight for the first 7 places, ME THINKS
- cant remember when the last time where so many german players in the german top clubs (dortmund, schalke, leverkusen, bayern) and will be interesting to see how they can handle europe
- how will draxler and leitner develop, can they do a götze!
- hertha is back

some predictions:

bayern (will win the league)
bvb (will qualify for the cl again)
leverkusen (new coach, dont know what to expect, should qualify for europe again)
schalke (great talented side, should fight for cl places)
wolfsburg (well magath should start to buy players (will qualify for europe)
hsv (looser club Very Happy what they expect with the chelsea kids, long ball tactics dont work in the league Wink)
bremen (mertesacker, naldo long term injured, should be a problem, should qualify for europe when all fit)
hannover (they played good system football, slomka is a very good coach,expect them to fight for europe again, also kept there squad together)
mainz (lost 3 keyplayers schürrle, holtby, fuchs, i think they cant hold up there level)


many can change, i dont know which players the clubs will buy, but i dont expect too much
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Xavier

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Re: Bundesliga 2012

Post by Xavier on Sun Jun 12, 2011 7:21 pm

HERTHA cheers

My Top Seven:

1. Bayern
2. Dortmund
3. Leverkusen
4. Schalke
5. Nuernburg
6. Bremen
7. Koeln

This list will probably change a bit by the end of the transfer window...
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blutgraetsche

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Re: Bundesliga 2012

Post by blutgraetsche on Sun Jun 12, 2011 11:21 pm

Nürnberg that high up? Why?

I also expect Bayern to have a good season, huge favourites to win the league, especially if they manage to sign all the players as planned. It remains to be seen how Dortmund and Leverkusen will handle the extra burden of CL football. Schalke and us are in a transition, but at least it seems that Allofs is finally waking up and making the right signings. If we manage to sign the players we want, we'll have a very young but talented team, so inconsistency is to be expected. At least they won't have to play in Europe, the first time in almost a decade. That alone should hopefully reduce the number of injuries and inconsistent performances.
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Xavier

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Re: Bundesliga 2012

Post by Xavier on Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:23 am

They had a relatively good season this year, and, despite losing Ekici and Gundogan, can probably build on that result... I think that their new signings Pekhart and Feulner will fit in well.

Alright, I'm being very optimistic for them, but there's always at least a couple surprises in the Bundesliga table, and I'm making my guess for Nuernburg... It's hard to see at this point any other mid- or low-table clubs that could march up there, and I doubt that Mainz and Hannover will retain their positions, especially with Europa League matches... so they're my best guess at a 'surprise party' in the upper ranks.
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Xavier

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Re: Bundesliga 2012

Post by Xavier on Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:26 am

If I'm REALLY optimistic, I'll put Hertha in that fifth position. Smile
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blutgraetsche

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Re: Bundesliga 2012

Post by blutgraetsche on Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:57 am

If you want to make a bold guess, Mönchengladbach would be a much better choice IMHO. Excellent coach, and some good signing (once again...) with Wendt and especially Zimmermann, who seems to have tons of potential. And they managed to keep Reus by the look of things, too.

Nürnberg and Mainz have lost too much quality to remain that high up, although I can see Tuchel surprising everyone again. Excellent young coach. Playing in Europe won't help them though.
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Stiftung Haeschentest

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Re: Bundesliga 2012

Post by Stiftung Haeschentest on Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:54 am

The fixtures of the 2011/12 Bundesliga season have been released. Opening match will be Dortmund v HSV.

1. Spieltag

Borussia Dortmund - Hamburger SV
SV Werder Bremen - 1. FC Kaiserslautern
Hannover 96 - 1899 Hoffenheim
1. FSV Mainz 05 - Bayer Leverkusen
VfB Stuttgart - FC Schalke 04
1. FC Köln - VfL Wolfsburg
FC Augsburg - SC Freiburg
Hertha BSC - 1. FC Nürnberg
FC Bayern München - Borussia Mönchengladbach

Complete schedule here.
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blutgraetsche

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Re: Bundesliga 2012

Post by blutgraetsche on Thu Jun 23, 2011 12:26 am

Hummels and Sahin have been picked for the Zonalmarking European Team of the Season 2010/11

http://www.zonalmarking.net/2011/06/15/ms-european-team-of-the-season-2010-111/

Hummels clearly has the potential, he needs to become more consistent in the national team though. Talent wise, he should be a guaranteed starter.
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Kroos

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Re: Bundesliga 2012

Post by Kroos on Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:11 pm

diego is allowed to leave wolfsburg, hopefully not for free, dont think they are so stupid

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Kroos

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Re: Bundesliga 2012

Post by Kroos on Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:01 am

http://www.bild.de/sport/fussball/lewis-holtby/auf-schalke-hat-er-schon-die-10-18572644.bild.html

holtby got the "10" at schalke, good sign^^

hes surley the number 1 replacement for özil at die MANNSCHAFT
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Allez les rouges

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Re: Bundesliga 2012

Post by Allez les rouges on Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:32 pm

Is he? Ahead of Müller, Götze, and even Bastian?
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Xavier

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Re: Bundesliga 2012

Post by Xavier on Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:55 pm

None of those fit Özil's role like Holtby does.

Sheffield gunner

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Re: Bundesliga 2012

Post by Sheffield gunner on Wed Jun 29, 2011 6:10 pm

Do people rate Holtby that highly? I've always thought that he looks like a decent player, but never gained the impression that he could impress at the very highest level, whereas Özil gave that perception of having a bit more about him (at least from his time at Bremen, if not Schalke).
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blutgraetsche

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Re: Bundesliga 2012

Post by blutgraetsche on Wed Jun 29, 2011 6:21 pm

Holtby is very talented. The reason people rate him highly probably is that he has done well both for Mainz (especially in the first half of last season) and the U21 NT, of which he is the captain and usually the standout player.

I think Kroos and Xavier have been misunderstood though. I don't think they argue that Holtby should be prefered to those more established players Allez mentioned, just that he is more suited to be a good backup for Özil due to his style of play. He is more of a 'natural' replacement on that position, as he is a player of a similar mould, a modern playmaker type. Müller, Schweinsteiger and Götze are needed elsewhere, as starters (hopefully Götze soon, too).
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Kroos

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Re: Bundesliga 2012

Post by Kroos on Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:07 pm

Sheffield gunner wrote:Do people rate Holtby that highly? I've always thought that he looks like a decent player, but never gained the impression that he could impress at the very highest level, whereas Özil gave that perception of having a bit more about him (at least from his time at Bremen, if not Schalke).

oh this guy will surprise you, hes a complete package in the attacking midfield and a passing machine, the best passer in germany

the abilities he showed say one word, WORLD CLASS in the making

alone through him schalke will be lifted into another dimension in terms of attacking flow

i am really happy that he plays for germany, and not for england, thank god england is very clueless to attract players for there nation, i bet they didnt even know that he considered to play for england, how can a player from the mighty bundesliga help the three lions Wink Biggrin



Last edited by Kroos on Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Kroos

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Re: Bundesliga 2012

Post by Kroos on Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:10 pm

Allez les rouges wrote:Is he? Ahead of Müller, Götze, and even Bastian?

i think all of them have other key positions for die mannschaft

for right now here my A and B midfield



A:

--schweini--khedira

müller--özil--götze


B:

--kroos---bender

reus--holtby--marin/schürrle/poldi

Sheffield gunner

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Re: Bundesliga 2012

Post by Sheffield gunner on Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:17 pm

A (former) Bundesliga player would be able to help England out just fine if only he didn't have such dodgy knees! All previous joking about Holtby's background aside, I'm glad he picked Germany over England. My preference for international football is that someone like Holtby has no business playing for England. He has had no footballing education within English football and in a footballing sense it clearly fits better for him to represent Germany. I'll keep an eye out for him next season though. It will be interesting to see how he does at Schalke, especially if there is an onus on him to lead the team in an attacking sense and to lift and direct their attacking play.
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blutgraetsche

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Re: Bundesliga 2012

Post by blutgraetsche on Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:49 pm

I totally agree with you gunner, that's why I don't want players like Cacau playing for the national team,, for example, for the same reasons. He's a likeable chap and chose to become German on his own, didn't get any special treatment whatsoever (e.g. help from the football federation, as it happens so often in International football these days unfortunately). But still, he isn't exactly a product of the German football setup, despite coming here at a relatively young age.

For me, a player playing for the national team represents the football federation foremost, which is an institution of the respective country. For that reason, he should have grown up in that country and learned to play the game there, playing in the youth teams of the clubs and national team. Of course it's always a private matter what country a player decides to represent at the end of the day, but in principle, a player like Sahin (born and raised here, chose to play for Turkey) makes a whole lot more sense in the German national team than a player like Cacau does.

That's the reason why I don't get certain federations like the Turkish one, for example, who seem to concentrate on 'convincing' foreign born and educated players of Turkish descent to play for the country of their parents and grand parents, instead of investing in their own youth setup. In the long run, I don't think that this approach is going to be successful, as the cultural differences between the 'natives' and foreign born players definitely exist. There have been numerous reports that those 'foreigners' are treated that way by the rest of their team mates. Not to mention the numerous other benefits of having a proper youth setup yourself.
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blutgraetsche

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Re: Bundesliga 2012

Post by blutgraetsche on Thu Jun 30, 2011 6:37 pm

The land of a thousand derbies

June 28, 2011

By Uli Hesse


About nine years ago, somebody named Andrew sent a mail to ask if I would be interested in writing columns for ESPNsoccernet, dispatches from Germany about, well, whatever happened to catch my fancy.

Or maybe not literally whatever happened to catch my fancy, as Andrew added the pieces should, ideally, meet two conditions. First, they should have at least a fleeting connection to football. Second, they should tell foreign readers a bit about that mysterious country known as Germany, its mores and rites, tribes and regions.

Andrew has long since left the Soccernet building - to explore the world, I gather - while, 240 columns later, I'm still trying to meet his requirements as best I can.

I'm confident I have usually delivered on the first count, despite the odd piece about cyber vandalism, David Hasselhoff, or the origin of family names. I'm not sure, however, about the second stipulation.

Sometimes I wonder if my references to American national pastimes, English writers exiled in Italy or scabrous Dutch rock bands haven't over the years outnumbered attempts at enlightening you about Teutonic traditions. If that's the case, the height of the summer break seems a good time to rectify this wilful neglect. So let me tell you a bit about German geography and cultural differences between various parts of the country.

This subject is not as far-fetched or arbitrary as you may think. Because, after having spent all of my life in the greatest football region in Germany (perhaps the entire world), I'll soon be moving to what must be described as a wasteland. A place so desolate and barren in terms of football that only Bayern Munich supporters seem to eke out a, no doubt miserable, existence there.

But let's start at the beginning. I was born in the Ruhr area in North Rhine-Westphalia, which is the western most federal state in Germany, bordering the Netherlands and Belgium. I have never lived anywhere else, which also means the farthest I've ever lived away from a Bundesliga ground was 20 miles. Mind you, that was more than three decades ago, when Borussia Dortmund were in the second division; I was going to school in Unna at the eastern edge of the Ruhr area, so that Bochum was temporarily the nearest top-flight stadium for me. For the last 20 years, though, the distance has been a mere five miles.

If we confine the description to larger places you may have heard of, then the Ruhr area - Ruhrgebiet - is loosely defined as the heavily populated and once heavily industrialised region between Duisburg to the west, Dortmund to the east, Recklinghausen to the north and Witten to the south. As regards size and population, think Greater London - only with a lot more motorways cutting through the area, vertically and horizontally.

This latter aspect is important because it means that, despite its sprawling dimensions, you can traverse the Ruhr area easily and quickly, provided you avoid the rush hours. And that means you have no less than seven clubs almost literally on your doorstep that have, at some point, played Bundesliga football. There were many Saturdays in the 1980s, with my own team playing away from home, when I decided to go and watch a top-flight game at 2.45pm and was standing on, say, the Bochum terraces in time for the 3.30 kick-off. (Despite modern claims to the contrary, the same went for Dortmund or Schalke, where getting tickets was no problem whatsoever in those years, in the pre-football boom era.)

Apart from the well-known clubs, there are also countless smaller teams in the Ruhr area, teams whose names still carry a certain mystique because they have some ancient claim to fame. And so there were also many lazy Sundays in my youth spent watching clubs such as Schwarz-Weiss Essen, Westfalia Herne or DSC Wanne-Eickel.

This concentration of clubs makes for intense rivalries, which is why a book on football in this part of Germany carries the title: "In the Land of a Thousand Derbies". And from this it follows that football is important here. Very important.

When I talked to Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp a while back, he said this was actually one of the reasons he had signed with Dortmund. "I was attracted by the fact football takes centre stage here," he stated. "This is the most emotional football region in Germany, vastly different from any other in the country."

He paused ever so briefly, then he tossed in the following aside: "The biggest difference, I guess, is to Schleswig-Holstein." Klopp laughed at that and Borussia's press officer, who was sitting in on the interview, grinned broadly.

I'm not sure if they noticed, but my smile was at best perfunctory, probably sour, while I wondered if Klopp might be psychic. How the heck did he know? Was it written on my forehead? Or was he really just making a joke, not knowing he'd just uttered my cue?

Schleswig-Holstein is the northernmost state in Germany, bordering on Denmark and the Baltic Sea. It's the second smallest of our states and one of the least-populated. (Berlin alone has more inhabitants than the whole of Schleswig-Holstein.) It is also the only of the so-called "old federal states" - meaning parts of the former West Germany - that has never had a single team in the Bundesliga.

The two most famous clubs in Schleswig-Holstein are probably THW Kiel and SG Flensburg-Handewitt. If you've never heard of them, it's because they are giants and eternal rivals in team handball.

As regards to football, two clubs you may know are Holstein Kiel, nicknamed the Storks, and VfB Lubeck. Both have had seasons in the 2nd Bundesliga, but are currently playing in the 4th division. Kiel were champions of Germany in 1912 and losing finalists in 1910 and 1930; Lubeck's biggest-ever success was qualifying for the promotion rounds to the Bundesliga in 1969. (Lubeck played Oberhausen, Freiburg FC, the original village club Alsenborn, and Hertha Zehlendorf from Berlin. They drew one and lost seven.)

This place, Schleswig-Holstein, is going to be my new home. It means in the future I will be living 80 miles away from the nearest Bundesliga ground. (Before you ask, I'm moving there on my own free will and looking forward to it very much. Though it has to be said that health considerations are playing an important role.)

In an old column - "The Cologne Paradox", August 14, 2008 - I related how Cologne always used to strike me as totally alien back in the 1980s, because there were no football bumper stickers on the cars and no club pennants in the windows. The second part of said column -published on August 26, 2008 - then explained how much Cologne has changed since those days and that it has become a true football city.

Schleswig-Holstein, by comparison, feels like one large Cologne-in-the-80s to me. You can literally drive around all afternoon without seeing a car that has any kind of club insignia - unless it's summer and you encounter tourists from the Ruhr area flocking to the sea - and I spotted only one single flag in a garden: a Hamburg flag.

Hamburg, HSV, qualify as a local club for the people here, as the team plays, well, only 90 minutes down the road. But that doesn't mean there are many Hamburg fans around. Firstly, I suspect there aren't too many football fans to begin with. Upon learning what I do for a living, my new neighbour told me: "I must say I know nothing about football and don't care for it at all." In the Ruhr area, you have to search long and hard to find somebody who not only feels like this but then also has the guts to admit it.

Secondly, most of the people in Schleswig-Holstein who have a little bit of interest in the game appear to be supporting Bayern. Yes, I know that this is a tired, old cliche. And I'm your first witness when you need someone to testify that both of the two famous sayings - "Bayern don't have fans, they have customers" and "Bayern fans don't come from Bavaria" - are rubbish. I mean, I have shared stands with true and devoted Bayerns fans and couldn't understand a single word they said, so thick were their Bavarian accents.

But it's still true that in all the houses we inspected, looking for one to buy, the boys' rooms had Bayern posters on the walls, not Hamburg or Werder pennants, let alone Kiel, Lubeck or Rostock stuff. These are all clubs within driving distance, but I doubt the teenagers here have ever seen a professional game. Instead, they support a team that is more than 400 miles away yet always on television. You can find this deplorable, but siding with a glamourous club is common behaviour the world over in regions where football does not, as Klopp put it, take centre stage.

It'll be interesting to see how strong the culture shock is going to be. The few times we've been in Schleswig-Holstein in the past couple of months were more like brief holidays, when everything that is different is nice rather than irritating. The jolts, I don't doubt, will come in everyday life.

In the Ruhr area, it's the easiest thing in the world to strike up a conversation with strangers. All you have to do is remark on yesterday's football game. But how do you do that up north? I might have to read up on team handball. Or sailing. In any case, I'll keep you updated, if you don't mind.

http://soccernet.espn.go.com/columns/story/_/id/930458/the-land-of-a-thousand-derbies?cc=5739
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Xavier

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Re: Bundesliga 2012

Post by Xavier on Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:32 pm

http://werkselfstryder.wordpress.com/2011/07/06/spotlight-robin-dutt-a-man-with-a-vision/#more-48

A good, positive review of the new Leverkusen manager Robin Dutt... I like this coach a LOT on first impressions.
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Kroos

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Re: Bundesliga 2012

Post by Kroos on Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:36 am

friendly match

20:00 live on sport 1

st. gallen vs. dortmund
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Kroos

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Re: Bundesliga 2012

Post by Kroos on Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:01 pm

good game to watch

6:1 dortmund

best player on the pitch GÖTZE

he really shits on everything ive seen at this age
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blutgraetsche

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Re: Bundesliga 2012

Post by blutgraetsche on Wed Jul 20, 2011 4:29 pm

The Bundesliga is Europe's most profitable league. The only other big league that earns more than it spends is the EPL. All the others are running on a deficit, some increasingly so (German article):

http://www.spiegel.de/sport/fussball/a-771918.html
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Allez les rouges

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Re: Bundesliga 2012

Post by Allez les rouges on Wed Jul 20, 2011 8:43 pm

Zizou with the second for Dortmund in the Ligapokal finale against Hamburg (first a header from Santana). See ya later HSV.
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Stiftung Haeschentest

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Re: Bundesliga 2012

Post by Stiftung Haeschentest on Sat Jul 23, 2011 3:44 pm

Ligapokalsieger! cheers Wink

---

Stumbled over the 11 Freunde Sonderheft today. Cover's quite brilliant.



Laughing
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blutgraetsche

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Re: Bundesliga 2012

Post by blutgraetsche on Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:48 pm

Fifty plus one of a Kind - Part I

July 12, 2011

By Uli Hesse


Last week, something extraordinary and, frankly, puzzling happened in German football. However, the coverage was meagre, with even kicker magazine devoting less than a half a page to the event. One reason may be that the matter is quite complicated; another that it is still far from resolved; a third is that the incident took place behind closed doors.

What happened was that, on Monday of last week, Hannover 96's managing director Martin Kind addressed German football's Permanent Court of Arbitration to expound the suit he'd filed in January of 2010 against what is known as the '50+1' rule.

This non-public hearing was supposed to be the second step in Kind's endeavour to topple said regulation. The first step had been a general meeting of Germany's 36 professional teams in November 2009, during which Kind put forward a motion to change the rule. He was soundly defeated - only Hannover 96 voted yes - and thus took the next step, to take his case before the Court of Arbitration.

Since most people, probably including Kind himself, assumed that this court would be hesitant to rule in favour of one club against the expressed wish of all others, the hearing seemed but a formality before step three: calling in the European Commissioner for Competition or bringing the matter before the European Court of Justice. But that's not what happened.

Before we come to this, however, I have to explain what the quarrel is all about, as there seems to be some confusion in foreign countries about the German club structure and the 50+1 rule.

I have seen some reports, for instance, in which Kind was referred to as the "owner" of Hannover 96, another one in which he was called the "president", a third that called him the "CEO". He isn't and has never been the first; he used to be but no longer is the second; while the third is not entirely correct either though it comes close enough for comfort.

On the other hand, I also sometimes see articles that state German clubs have no private owners, which is why neither Kind nor the more famous Dietmar Hopp of Hoffenheim should be called thus, because they are owned by their members or fans. The first part of that statement is correct, the second not entirely so. Our clubs are owned by nobody, not even by their members, in much the same way in which nobody owns the Red Cross, the Labour Party or the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.

This may seem like a hair-splitting distinction, but it is not. A club which has owners, no matter who they are, can be sold or moved from, say, Brooklyn to Los Angeles. A club that has no owners may be dissolved, but it can't be sold or transferred. (Which could explain why The Championships are still contested in Wimbledon and not in, to use an entirely arbitrary place name, Milton Keynes.)

Traditionally, all our sports clubs are such owner-less organisations. Like the Red Cross, they are non-profit associations that exist for the common good. (Which, incidentally, gives them considerable tax benefits.) Like the Labour Party, anyone can join them for a modest annual fee. And like the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, they have been set up so that the members can enjoy athletic activities, from football to swimming to cycling to whatever catches their fancy, and have access to the necessary facilities.

Every club member of legal age has the right to elect club representatives such as the president and vote on club matters during the general annual assembly. Members may add items to the agenda and can, provided their number is large enough, even call in an extraordinary meeting.

This is, of course, a crucial difference to the various membership schemes in England, which have nothing whatsoever to do with proper membership of a real club as understood in Germany. It also explains why there are some clubs in Germany that are not actively trying to win new members: the more you have, the harder it is to control them.

(You may want to search YouTube for "Hauptversammlung Eintracht 1988". You'll find footage from a legendary Eintracht Frankfurt assembly in 1988, during which a total of 2,000 beer bottles were emptied and one speaker flattened a steward who was trying to remove him from the lectern. The steward who never saw the right hook coming happened to be the coach of Eintracht's women's boxing team.)

This - public, non-profit, multi-sports, for the common good, binges and fisticuffs and warts and all - was how German football worked well into the 1990s, quite simply because the game's governing body, the German FA (DFB), did not allow any other type of club to field teams in its leagues.

The big clubs, however, were unhappy with the situation, because it severely limited their means of revenue. While many foreign clubs were bankrolled by powerful investors or rich private owners, the German model only knew benevolent patrons who sank money into their hometown club because of local pride or vanity. In 1997, then-Dortmund president Gerd Niebaum said: "The PLC will soon come to the Bundesliga, it's a question of competing in Europe. If we stick to the old club structures, there will be an economic imbalance to our disadvantage."

While the pressure on the DFB was mounting, a tradition-laden club by the name of Hannover 96 was facing severe problems. They had been relegated to the third division for the first time in their history, most players had left, the fans were staying away in droves, debts were crippling and the board were in habitual turmoil. (Soon there would be death threats against the president, who was forced to attend games flanked by bodyguards.)

In this situation, the club began looking for successful and respectable businessmen from the region who could help, for instance by attracting new sponsors or by running the club in a less ruinous manner, and who would be unencumbered by years of in-fighting. In other words: the club needed an outsider.

The man they found had no particular interest in football - he was neither the athletic nor the emotional type - and he had never intended to run a club. But he was appalled at the state proud Hannover 96 was in and agreed to help. In September 1997, the club members elected Martin Kind their new president.

Kind was born in 1944 in Walsrode, a town some 40 miles north of Hanover. (Which, as you may know, is spelled with a double "n" in German.) When he was eight years old, his parents (stumbling over a niche market if there ever was one) opened a store for the sale and distribution of hearing aids. In 1970, Kind became this small company's CEO and expanded dramatically. He opened stores all over Germany and various European countries, added a production line and even branched out into the apparel industry and the hotel trade.

Thirteen months after Kind had been elected 96's president, in October 1998, the DFB's Supreme Committee convened in Wiesbaden near Frankfurt for a historic meeting. Generally speaking, the 256 delegates decided to allow the DFB's member clubs to turn their professional football teams into corporate enterprises. Put differently, the DFB at last allowed companies to compete in the upper divisions of its league pyramid - provided they met certain conditions.

This is where the 50+1 rule comes in, because it defined the central condition: the DFB only accepted companies owned by the parent club. Meaning that, if such a company decided to issue shares, 50% of the voting shares plus one voting share had to remain in the possession of the club that had originally formed the company.

And so Bayern Munich, the club, created Bayern Munich Ltd, the football PLC, sold about 10% of this company to Adidas, another 10%, give or take, to Audi and, as we speak, owns the remaining 80%. And so Hasan Ismaik, a businessman from Jordan, recently saved 1860 Munich Ltd. from collapse by investing €18 million - but could buy only 49% of the voting shares for this sum.

The 50+1 rule was a clever move by the DFB, a way to have the cake and eat it. And it was, and is, highly popular with the vast majority of German football fans because it prevents hostile takeover scenarios and billionaires doing whatever they want to with teams traditionally rooted in a community. However, there was one annoying problem: Bayer Leverkusen.

http://soccernet.espn.go.com/columns/story/_/id/933719/fifty-plus-one-of-a-kind---part-i?cc=5739

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blutgraetsche

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Re: Bundesliga 2012

Post by blutgraetsche on Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:49 pm

Fifty plus one of a Kind - Part II

July 13, 2011

By Uli Hesse


As its name indicates, today's club called Bayer Leverkusen goes back to a gymnastics club formed by, and for the workers of, the Bayer factory in what is now Leverkusen.

It seemed pretty strange to bar the Bayer company from having a controlling interest in an enterprise formed by a club that had enjoyed its support for almost a whole century. Heck, the city of Leverkusen itself was named after the man who had built the factory which became Bayer's headquarters!

So the DFB put a loophole into the 50+1 rule, known as "Lex Bayer": if a "commercial enterprise had been uninterruptedly and considerably supporting the sport of football at the parent club for 20 years prior to January 1, 1999", this enterprise could formally apply for the acquisition of a controlling interest in the football PLC. The exemption was tailor-made for Bayer Leverkusen, but it also applied to the Volkswagen company and VfL Wolfsburg. (Another case where even the city itself owes its existence to the company!)

Looking back on that October weekend now, almost 13 years later, you have to say that the revolution didn't lead to what the revolutionaries had hoped for. The "economic imbalance" Niebaum spoke of is bigger than ever, despite PLCs in the Bundesliga, and German clubs are no longer competitive on the European stage. Some people, men like Martin Kind, blame the 50+1 rule.

In roughly ten years, Kind, by now managing director of Hannover 96 Ltd. and chairman of the parent club, had pulled off a minor miracle - he'd turned Hannover 96 into a respectable and financially healthy Bundesliga team. Some fans disliked his gruff hire-and-fire methods, but there was no arguing with the results. However, a man used to expanding was about to hit a ceiling, and that must've annoyed him.

Kind looked at the Ltd. as a business. (Which, in a way, it was.) And in any other business, you could only get to the very top if you were smart enough and invested wisely. After all, he had proven that already with a hearing-aid company! But in football, it was different. After all, where could you find investors who would invest in a company they could never have a say in?

"If you don't go forwards, you go backwards," Kind said two years ago. "In football, that means we would someday be back in the second division. We have to create conditions that will allow Hannover 96 to prosper. Under the current situation, it's obviously unrealistic that we can take the next step and qualify for Europe. I want to take Hannover 96 to the top spots and this isn't possible without investors."

And, if we are to believe his words, there was another thing. Kind had, like quite a few other people, severe doubts that the 50+1 rule was legal under European law. It only took one investor frustrated enough to ask a court why he couldn't buy a company that wanted to be bought and there would be another Bosman moment - a ruling that sends the whole system crashing.

And so, in December 2007, Kind began his long and lonely crusade against the 50+1 rule. It was long because the DFB and the German Football League (DFL) were in no hurry to deal with Kind's motion to abolish the regulation. It was lonely because not even Bayern Munich or 1899 Hoffenheim, clubs some observers had considered potential allies for Kind, were willing to follow him and voted against his motion in 2009.

After that vote, Bayern's Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said: "I hope that Mr. Kind will not do what he's threatened to do and take the legal path now. I hope he shows solidarity with the league and accepts this majority decision." Which tells you Rummenigge didn't know Kind very well.

Even when more than twenty of his shops were besmirched by angry football fans in fifteen different cities, Kind marched on, undeterred. He lodged an action against the rule with the game's Permanent Court of Arbitration and was invited to a hearing last week where he was supposed to explain why the 50+1 rule was untenable.

But that's not what he did. During the hearing, Kind announced his main objective was no longer trying to topple the 50+1 rule. Suddenly he was mainly interested in the exemption granted to Leverkusen and Wolfsburg. What he was now asking for was the simple deletion of some two dozen characters, namely: "prior to January 1, 1999".

"This is a surprising turn in this case," said Udo Steiner, the judge who presides over the Court of Arbitration. But that's putting it mildly. Kind's new motion is bewildering, because it's not in line with the arguments he's put forth in the past.

If the Court of Arbitration rules in his favour, the former Lex Bayer would apply to any company that has been supporting a club for twenty years. It's hard to see how this would entice the investors Kind has been talking about for all those years, unless he's got someone at hand who doesn't mind spending millions and then waiting for two decades.

This led kicker magazine to speculate that Kind himself, involved in the club since 1997, is interested in owning the football PLC, saying Kind "could take over the majority of shares in 2017". This is a possibility, but it looks shaky to me.

First, Kind will have to wait six years to do something he's never said he wants to do. Second, the exemption explicitly mentions "commercial enterprises" (when Kind first got involved, in 1997, it was as a private person) and "uninterruptedly" (Kind stepped down as head of the parent club in August 2005 before returning to the post in July 2006), so I'm not sure he'll even qualify for a takeover in 2017.

Finally, Kind's new idea doesn't change the 50+1 rule as such and thus won't prevent the scenario he said he wants to prevent, namely a legal attack on the rule from someone like 1860's investor Ismaik.

It'll be interesting to see if Kind has simply tired of being everyone's bogeyman or if his own players have changed his mind. After all, Hannover 96 have just done what Kind said was "obviously unrealistic", by finishing fourth and qualifying for Europe.

Perhaps he's got an ace up his sleeve that is well hidden indeed, although the earliest we'll find out is in about two months, when the Court of Arbitration will decide whether Kind's new motion will sink or swim.

http://soccernet.espn.go.com/columns/story/_/id/933737/fifty-plus-one-of-a-kind---part-ii?cc=5739
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blutgraetsche

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Re: Bundesliga 2012

Post by blutgraetsche on Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:51 pm

German name-calling

July 26, 2011

By Uli Hesse


Four weeks ago, my column about relocating to a football diaspora mentioned the North German club Holstein Kiel and noted in passing that their fans and players are known as the 'Storks'. The resourceful Soccernet editors thereupon illustrated the piece with a picture of the club's mascot, a stork called Stolle, which prompted a reader to remark: "I would have guessed Holstein Kiel's mascot to be a cow."

He meant no disrespect, I hasten to explain. Kiel, as noted, is in Schleswig-Holstein, hence the club's official name, and that region is famous for a breed of cattle - the Holstein or Holstein-Friesian cow, if you must know.

While one can indeed spot quite a few storks in this part of the country, it is unlikely that Holstein Kiel's nickname directly stems from the region's indigenous fauna. The origin of the moniker is shrouded in the mists of time, but there are two theories. The first traces the nickname to a local pub; the second says it stems from the red socks and white shorts traditionally worn by the players, as the most common stork in Northern Germany is marked by its red legs and white plumage.

In most walks of life, it wouldn't be particularly flattering to refer to someone as a long-necked wading bird, but in football it's different. Because football, like many other sports, just loves nicknames. In England, the home of the game, we have the 'Owls' (Sheffield Wednesday) and the 'Magpies' (Newcastle and Notts County), the 'Canaries' (Norwich) and the 'Robins' (Bristol City and Swindon Town), the 'Gulls' (Torquay) and the 'Seagulls' (Brighton & Hove Albion). Oh, and the 'Bees' (Barnet FC).

Barnet's nickname leads me to the inspiration for this column: the other day I was sub-editing a piece about Borussia Dortmund and noticed that an esteemed colleague of mine from England was referring to the team as the 'Bees'.

Perhaps it's a mistake that was easy to make, considering the abominable mascot that has been stalking the club's fans and players for the past six years is a bee. Still, Dortmund are not the Bees. In fact, the club doesn't have a real nickname.

Well, you can get away with 'die Schwarz-Gelben'. But that's merely descriptive, as it means the black-and-yellows. And it's by no means used exclusively: you'll often hear the term used for other clubs playing in these colours, for instance Dynamo Dresden or Alemannia Aachen. Both clubs regularly refer to themselves as 'die Schwarz-Gelben'.

In Germany, it's not rare to find a club without a real, proper nickname. Dortmund's neighbours Bochum don't carry a traditional one. The same goes for Essen, another Ruhr area team. In the top flight, we also have Bremen, Freiburg, Hoffenheim, Mainz or Augsburg who don't really have a nickname in the narrower sense of the word.

Of course those teams are known by other expressions, not least because writers - and particularly bad writers - are obsessed with synonyms. Some terms coined by the media have become quite common, such as 'Breisgau-Brasilianer' for Freiburg and 'Kiez-Kicker' for St. Pauli. Breisgau is the region around Freiburg - the term was originally used for the team from the early 1990s that dazzled the country with technically good, offensive football. Kiez, on the other hand, is a colloquial word for a neighbourhood, and in Hamburg it has come to denote the red-light district of St Pauli.

However, such expressions are rarely, if ever, used by the clubs themselves, because they haven't evolved organically (and are often just daft). A strange exception is 'Werkself', literally meaning plant or factory XI. For a long time, this synonym for Bayer Leverkusen was both meant and understood to be derogatory. But at one point Bayer made the very smart move of actually embracing all those pejorative names.

Five years ago, they registered 'Pillendreher' ('pill makers') as a brand name, last year they copyrighted 'Vizekusen' and they have tried the same with 'Werkself'. That didn't work for legal reasons, but the name was put onto the players' shirts and is now used with something approaching pride by the team's fans.

Which is only fitting, as the world of labour and local industries is a common source for nicknames in England, where you'll find 'Potters' (Stoke) and 'Glovers' (Yeovil), 'Mariners' (Grimsby) and 'Saddlers' (Walsall), 'Tractor Boys' (Ipswich) and 'Cobblers' (Northampton). Oh, and the 'Blades' (Sheffield United).

The latter team carries this nickname because Sheffield is famous for its steel and thus cutlery and knives. The German equivalent would be Solingen, often called the Klingenstadt - city of blades. But is the most famous local club, Union Solingen, known as the Blades or at least the Scissors? No. It's another club that doesn't have a nickname at all: they are just 'Union'.

Then again, maybe we can explain the lack of nicknames in Germany by the fact that so many of our clubs already have long official names and carry sometimes flowery epithets such as Union - think of Werder, Eintracht, Hertha, or even Latin ones like Borussia, Fortuna, Alemannia, Victoria. Werder is an archaic German word for a small piece of land in or close to a river. Eintracht means unity. Hertha is a woman's name and in this case refers to a steamship that used to cruise the river Havel in Berlin. Borussia stands for Prussia.

A side benefit of long club names is that they lend themselves to abbreviations. In England, I can only think of QPR. But in Germany, we have BVB and RWE, HSV and FCB, SGE and FCA, S04 and FSV, MSV and KSC and so on. And in contrast to, say, MUFC these abbreviations are not just put on banners - they are commonly used in everyday conversation and thus constitute some kind of nickname.

Then, as noted, we also use a team's colours to generate an alternate name, though the custom isn't quite as widespread as it is in Italy. In fact, there are some traditional nicknames relating to a team's kit which are rarely heard outside inner circles and, when used elsewhere, almost mark you out as an anorak.

For instance, in Munich, Bayern are 'die Roten', the Reds, and 1860 are 'die Blauen', the Blues, but reporters will almost never use those terms. Hamburg have been known as 'die Rothosen', red shorts, for ages, but only supporters use this term, while journalists now tend to use the annoyingly stupid 'Liga-Dino', dinosaur of the league - the idea being that Hamburg are the only club that has never played outside the Bundesliga since it was formed. However, dinosaurs are clearly extinct.

Hamburg's case is peculiar because red is not one of the club's official colours of blue, white and black. Bizarrely, another club to use the abbreviation HSV also use red in their semi-official nickname even though it's not a club colour: Hannover are known as 'die Roten' within the city, though black, white and green are the colours.

For reasons unknown, Hannover's players have been wearing red shirts for almost as long as the Hamburg players have been wearing red shorts. Maybe this explains why the media stick to HSV and 96, respectively, and are reluctant to use 'die Rothosen' and 'die Roten'.

I guess the shortage of real, classic nicknames in Germany shouldn't come as a surprise, considering even our national team isn't known by a nickname. Die Mannschaft, which is often used by foreign media, doesn't qualify, because it merely means 'the team' and, when you use it in a conversation, will probably yield the reply: "Which one?"

As I mentioned during the World Cup, there was a campaign last year to create a moniker for our national team, but it didn't produce anything of lasting value. The name that won the poll was 'die Adler' - the 'Eagles', from the German coat of arms - but nobody uses it.

It seems nicknames just aren't very important to us. Annual English guides such as Rothmans Football Yearbook or the Opta Football Yearbook always listed a team's nickname among the vital club information, but Kicker doesn't do this, neither in its season guide nor in its yearbook.

By the same token, when you look up a football club on the English-language Wikipedia, the box on the right-hand side that presents the basic data always lists 'Nickname' between 'Full Name' and 'Founded'. The German version, however, doesn't have that line at all.

But, thankfully, we do have some pure nicknames - 'Billygoats' (Cologne), 'Lions' (1860) and 'Wolves' (Wolfsburg), 'Foals' (Gladbach, from the young team that won promotion to the Bundesliga in the 1960s) and 'Zebras' (Duisburg, from the striped shirts). Then there are 'die Roten Teufel', the 'Red Devils', of Kaiserslautern and die Kleeblätter, 'Clover Leafs', from Furth.

Personally, I've always liked 'die Knappen' as a term for Schalke, because it's one of the few German nicknames to stem from the world of work - a Knappe is not a squire, as your dictionary probably claims, but rather a young miner.

Sadly, the term seems to have gone out of fashion, as I rarely hear it now from commentators. The same goes for 'die Schlosserjungs' ('Young Metal Workers'), a nickname for Union Berlin. These days, 'die Eisernen', the 'Iron Ones', is more popular.

And of course we have a club with one of the most intriguing nicknames of all, namely Nuremberg, known with elegant simplicity as 'der Club'. The team was so overpowering at the beginning of the 20th century that people in Bavaria began to refer to Nuremberg FC as 'the club', a reverential contraction that later spread across the whole of the country.

That was, incidentally, also the golden era of Holstein Kiel, who haven't won a national trophy since 1912. But who knows? Now that I'm moving up north, maybe the 'Storks' will at last spread their wings and fly again.

http://soccernet.espn.go.com/columns/story/_/id/937265/german-name-calling?cc=5739
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blutgraetsche

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Re: Bundesliga 2012

Post by blutgraetsche on Fri Jul 29, 2011 12:47 am

Interesting interview with Prof. Jürgen Götze, Mario Götze's father (German):

http://www.11freunde.de/bundesligen/141860/er_hat_sich_nichts_gravierendes_verbaut
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Re: Bundesliga 2012

Post by blutgraetsche on Sat Jul 30, 2011 1:53 pm

Nuri Sahin has left for Real Madrid, but Borussia Dortmund’s midfield is even better now than last year

They have lost their midfield talisman, but strength in depth has made the German champions a better side in the centre of the park as they begin their title defence

http://www.goal.com/en/news/1717/editorial/2011/07/30/2595192/nuri-sahin-has-left-for-real-madrid-but-borussia-dortmunds


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Re: Bundesliga 2012

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