At the end of the football season, the relegation games once again offer games with high levels of excitement, in which promotion, relegation or whereabouts in the respective leagues are at stake. Second division teams have often lost out in games in the past.

Since the 2008/09 season there have been relegation games* in German professional football again. For second division clubs, the reintroduction of this mode has proved to be a heavy burden. And in both directions, as a look at the Statista graphic shows. In the promotion rounds to the 1st Bundesliga, the higher-ranked team prevailed in ten of 13 games. In the relegation matches between the 2nd Bundesliga and the 3rd Bundesliga, on the other hand, the lower-class clubs prevailed nine times.

The quality difference is too big

Why is that? One aspect could be that the financial gap between the 1st and 2nd divisions is significantly larger than that between the 2nd and 3rd divisions. This can be seen in the market value, for example. The gap was particularly small on two of the three times that second division teams managed to climb up. In the 2008/09 season, FC Nürnberg even had the more valuable squad as a challenger. Dynamo Dresden and Kaiserslautern meet in the relegation to the lower house of football this season. Hertha BSC Berlin will have to defend themselves against Hamburger SV from the upper house.

* “Between the third from bottom in the Bundesliga and the third placed in the 2nd Bundesliga and between the third from bottom in the 2nd Bundesliga and third in the 3rd league there are two relegation games against relegation from the Bundesliga or 2nd Bundesliga or for promotion to the Bundesliga or Bundesliga 2.” Source: