While Union kept the cost structure poor with lower transfer expenses, many loan players or free transfers hit by the pandemic but kept many salaries at a lower Bundesliga level, FC entered a negative spiral that was almost inevitable.
In terms of sports, things have gone downhill, the epidemic has cost every penny saved and punished the arrogant short-term planners in the Cologne boardroom, who suddenly got so many salaries they handed out to every talented footballer halfway that flies about their ears, Assuming Europe really does come back, and the money keeps flowing.
Stephen Baumgart: ‘We can take that as a role model’
The turning point came only with Stephen Baumgart – and suddenly 1. FC Köln and Union Berlin are back at eye level again, at least in terms of sport.
Only in the last two days of last season, Iron pulled out and secured a place in the European League, while FC – like Al Ittihad a year ago – reached the playoffs in the Conference League.
So it’s no wonder Steffen Baumgart tipped his hat to the Köpenickers after the 34th round. “If we can run a season like Al-Ittihad for the second time, we will all be happy,” said the FC coach, expressing what many people think in and around Jaysbokheim. “We can take that as a role model.”
Selling the best performers shouldn’t be a problem
In the 2021/22 season, Union not only managed to overcome the triple burden of the Bundesliga, DFB Cup and Europe. Berliners again improved in the table.
That is despite the fact that they lost a key player to Robert Andrich last summer and also sold striker Max Kroos and chief defense Marvin Friedrich in the winter.
The team of coach Urs Fischer easily absorbed the departed and once again took advantage of the intelligent transfer policy, which not only created surplus income, but also abandoned old habits and opened the doors to the further development of the team.
Changes in the team can be an opportunity
1. FC Köln also wants to focus on this in the future, and this summer already. Because one thing is clear: FC, like Union, must leave the top performers until they can continue financially. Baumgart will not see these changes in the team as a setback, but as an opportunity and will push to find the right players.
They should be able to grow in these gaps. All with the aim of being able to do the same well next season. Not just with the quality of FC this season, but the quality of the Federation.