Productions

Towards the abyss – consequences of the Schalke crash

in Produktion ZDF

No sporting decline in the history of the Bundesliga has been more spectacular: Schalke’s sporting decline began as a Champions League quarter-finalist in February 2019 and continued for a good two years. With the worst record in the club’s entire history – including 30 games in a row without a win – the traditional club from the Ruhrpott has been lurching toward relegation No. 4 ever since. The consequences, however, threaten to be much more serious than those of the three relegations of the 1980s. Schalke’s poor financial management, amateurish public image and indisputable performance on the pitch have led to a massive loss of acceptance in urban society and politics. The club is losing the hearts of young people in particular. On Gelsenkirchen’s soccer fields, where more boys have become German internationals than in any other city, fewer and fewer kids are wearing the royal blue jersey. Schalke, which is already in debt to the tune of about a quarter of a billion euros, would lose 40 to 50 million euros in TV money if it were to be relegated. Only a clear change of course toward commercial respectability and sporting competence and continuity will enable the club to have any future at all in modern soccer. This also includes clarifying the issue of a spin-off, which is highly controversial among members, and a possible move away from the model of a registered club. In every respect, Schalke 04 is facing an ominous acid test. In the film, protagonists who have accompanied Schalke for decades speak out: in club functions or as members, from politicians to bloggers to journalists.

Klaus Fiedler Frank Bochtler Frank Poser Ron Glavas Stefan Bomhof ZDF Dr. Yorck Polus
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