Wow. I last posted in October. A number of things happened at 1. FC Magdeburg, but few of them were positive.
After a decent start to the season with 10 points from the first four matches, the team went into a slump that saw the relegation spots creep closer and closer.
In November, a good thing happened – the board stepped down, but unfortunately they are still in charge…interim, until April 15th. Very strange all that. In addition, the chairman of the supervisory board stepped down as well, but unfortunately only after a new president had been selected (albeit not announced officially), so that there is still a lingering mark of the incompetent leadership of the past few years at the club.
Today, however, Magdeburg played RB Leipzig, the team against which the slump had begun with an unlucky 1-2 loss. Although Leipzig are by far the superior team, Magdeburg ran out 2-1 winners today, a small silver lining amid the overall bad situation at the club.
The first team is not at all clear of relegation, the U23 team are second-to-last in tier 5, the Under 19 are 5 points behind a safe spot in the Under 19 Bundesliga and the Under 17 side are not safe yet either.
One can only hope that relegation can be avoided for the first two sides, everything else is a bonus. Oh, did I mention, there is 200k€ hole in the budget? Same amount as had been there at the end of the last season, despite the club cutting costs radically. Kinda tells you all you need to know about the leadership in the past few years.
Well, so much for a quick update on the situation.
As I indicated yesterday, the Football Association of Saxony-Anhalt (FSA) does not agree with my opinion that culpability should play a role in determining which youth teams participate in the DFB-Pokal and NOFV-Pokal.
For reasons I cannot find in any of the statutes governing youth football or football in the FSA territory, officials have decided to register Hallescher FC’s Under-19 team for the DFB-Pokal and 1. FC Magdeburg’s Under-17 team for the much less prestigious NOFV-Pokal.
1. FC Magdeburg have reacted with a press release that is mild in my opinion, but nevertheless manages to call the decision „unsportsmanlike“. It further adds that the decision reflects exactly a statement from Halle’s youth coordinator made last week and reported as „the only fair solution“ in Halle-based newspaper Mitteldeutsche Zeitung. The press release closes with words of regret with regard to the notion of fair play that is always propagated by the FSA, but seems to not have any influence on the association itself.
Magdeburg’s cooperation was not rewarded – the club had readily agreed to switch the final locations to Halle instead of Magdeburg in order to get the matches to be played. In essence, the decision rewards Halle’s boycotting the final at the close of last season with a spot in the DFB-Pokal. And while FSA president Werner Georg has apparently assumed full responsibility for the mess and also promised an internal investigation, I am not holding my breath for anything constructive.
All I can hope for is a resounding defeat for Halle in the DFB-Pokal – and in the Under-19 Bundesliga match against Magdeburg that is scheduled for 22 August.