HSV vs. Hertha BSC – it seemed like a duel on equal footing like never before. But this time, too, the Bundesliga club clearly had the means to force success. The relegation has become meaningless from a sporting point of view.
This time everything really seemed ready for the second division: Hamburger SV had the famous momentum after a winning streak in the league on their side. Coach Tim Walter’s team looked better and more stable than Hertha BSC. And there was no question that two well-known figures in German football history met. In addition, the 1-0 victory of HSV in the first leg including total dejection of the Hertha stars. But things turned out differently: In the end, the first division team triumphed again – as in eleven of 14 relegations since the reintroduction of the 2008/2009 season.
The question is more urgent than ever: what sense does a relegation still make if even in such a duel between clubs at eye level the club from the 1st league can obviously force victory. “We just have to show that we’re the top flight.” Trainer fox Felix Magath not only set the route for his own team, which is in many ways rather ailing, on Monday, but basically for all Bundesliga clubs in the relegation. What’s more, it’s not just a route, it’s a recipe for success.
Relegation: First division teams can force success if necessary
Hertha’s victory at HSV made it clear: There is no “equality of arms” between the 16th table. the 1st and the table-3. the 2nd league. If push comes to shove, the first division team has completely different means of enforcing success. In a specific example: an experienced coach like Magath can be hired, and then there’s a legend like Kevin-Prince Boateng, who, with his outstanding experience, will lead the squad for the very last time, and then there’s the tougher competition -Experience of the first division team, which then knows how to turn the game in their favor with two set pieces if necessary (Hertha didn’t create too many chances on Monday). Ergo: If the first division team pulls itself together and – like Hertha – fights, then it will usually prevail.
As is often and often lamented, a fundamental principle of today’s professional football is preservation. The good and the best always get more—money, opportunities, even competitive advantages. With the reform of the Champions League, Uefa is showing this particularly unabashed. The financial and sporting gap between the 1st and 2nd Bundesliga is also increasing. The relegation therefore seems more and more like a concession to the weaker people disguised as an opportunity.
Event with guaranteed disappointment
Instead, a clear regulation would be fair: three relegations and three promotions. That would actually be an additional chance for up-and-coming clubs, because in fact there are almost always only two relegated and promoted teams, not least thanks to the elimination games. However, the relegation has developed into an event that is ultimately only at the expense of the second division teams – with a guarantee of frustration and disappointment. As a sporting competition, these games make no sense.