Professional Soccer Team shuts down after failure to find Investor to save the Team.
ERFURT, GERMANY- “I died twice this week. This is especially hard. We’ll Need everything to cope with this.” These were the comments from Robin Krüger in an interview with the Thüringen Allgemein Newspaper after learning the fate of the traditional soccer team in the capital of Thuringia on Tuesday. After struggling to find an investor to keep the team running, since filing for bankruptcy in 2018, and failing even with the last-minute attempt to find a solution, the profi-soccer team Rot-Weiss-Erfurt is officially no more. The announcement to de-register the team from the Regionalliga Nord was made by the insolvency administer Volker Reinhardt yesterday afternoon at 3:00pm and was made official shortly afterwards. As a consequence, all games played by the team to date have been annulled and Erfurt is the first team to be demoted down to the Oberliga, the fifth league in the German soccer league food chain. That league features mainly teams from Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia, in comparison to the other league, which features teams from the whole northeastern corner of Germany- which used to be East Germany.
The team’s misfortunes began in March 2018, when the team filed for receivership due to a lack of funding and investors. At that time, Erfurt was in the 3rd National League of the German Football Federation (DFB) and as a consequence, it was relegated to the Regionalliga Nord, effectively ending a 10-year run on the national level. It was hoped that with the new start in the league and with the creation of a limited corporation run by an investor found at that time, the team could return to national prominence. Unfortunately, towards the end of last year, the investor was unable to pay the players and head coach, resulting in them pulling out. Reinhardt attempted to look for help through other investors and even the City of Erfurt, neither of them were successful.
With the folding of the profi-soccer team, the remaining soccer players would have a chance to find another soccer team to play the remaining 2019/20 season. At the same time, the Rot-Weiss Erfurt organization can work on a new concept to eliminate a deficit of over 1 million Euros they are facing at present without being liquidated. The last team that was liquidated was Sachsen Leipzig, which happened in 2012. It also had played in the Regionalliga but never had the taste of national football as Erfurt had, during its 55-year history, which includes two seasons in the second tier of the German soccer league since 1990. Furthermore, Rot-Weiss Erfurt had one stint in the UEFA in 1991. On the state level, it had been on par with FC Carl Zeiss Jena in the Thuringia Cup for over a decade, playing for the cup. Prior to that, it had played in the East German Oberliga, having won two seasonal championships and finishing second in the East German Cup in 1980, losing to its cross-state rival, Carl Zeiss Jena.
The loss of Rot Weiss Erfurt is a bitter one for those who have followed the team through the years and watched the rivalry with Jena, the lone Thuringian team still playing on the national level in the 3rd league as of present. Every Saturday, the city center would be plastered with red and white banners, the main colors of the soccer team, with loyal supporters of the team flocking to Steigerwald Stadium, located on the south end of the city in the Governmental District (Regierungsviertel). This will be missed, along with the games that made the crowd scream and the city heard.
With the folding of the soccer team, there is a glimmer of hope for RWE as it starts at the very bottom. The organization can build a new team to play in the Oberliga come next season, assuming there is enough capital. They can still play in the Steigerwald Stadium, which will be a blessing. The youth club (Nachwuchszentrum) will remain for now, as the youth can learn to play soccer. It will be the same youth that will carry the name Rot Weiss Erfurt if they survive the worst of times as they are doing right now. For the city set to host the German Garden Show (BUGA) in 2021, Erfurt and soccer go together like bread and butter. It’s just not the same without RWE, let alone profi-soccer, something we will not see for a while.
Erfurt has not been the lone city suffering from soccer misfortunes. Another Regionalliga rival, Wacker Nordhausen, filed for insolvency in November after carrying a massive debt the Team could not handle. It received a nine-point penalty and could also face a demotion if there is no plan to save the team. FC Carl Zeiss Jena is on the brink of going down to the Regionalliga after a very poor performance during the soccer season. It currently is in last place.
Information on Rot-Weiss-Erfurt can be found here:
While watching some of the tributes from many players, mentors and coaches who knew Kobe Bryant, one film came to mind which was his devotion to his family. Kobe had four children and one of them, Gianna, wanted to follow in his footsteps and become a basketball great. In fact many children looked up to him as their mentor because of his balance between basketball life and family life. It was no wonder that he has collected especially many younger fans during his stellar career as a basketball profi. While Gianna will not be able to live his dream (she also perished in the crash), there will be many children who will continue the tradition that Kobe and his daughter have left off, which is making basketball a great sport to play and to cheer.
As we pay tribute to the millions who perished on the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz, another story that is making waves is the sudden and tragic death of one of basketballs greats, Kobe Bryant. He and his daughter, Gianna, were two of the nine passengers who were killed in a helicopter crash outside Los Angeles on Sunday, January 26th at around 10:00am local time.He was 41, she was 13. He had just hung up his shoes and was doing great service for his family and the city he loved, LA. She was just starting to get the taste of the hoops in hopes of picking up where her father left off. Kobe was the icon that kids looked up to. Kids like Gianna wanted to be like him. Kobe was the teacher and mentor- an inspiration for others. Gianna was inspired by his greatness both on and off the court. He set the examples, she followed, and with that, kids of her generation. And now with both gone, it’s up to the younger generations to pick up where he left off, and where the daughter left off, even though she had just gotten started.
Like in yesterday’s blog marathon, today’s marathon pays tribute to Kobe Bryant, whose basketball career spanned 20 years as a pro but almost an entire lifetime during his 41 years on Earth. We will start with an acrostic poem I made in his honor, it will follow with some other tributes, including a motivational speech the basketball great made. So without further ado:
Here’s to you, Kobe:
On and off the
Kindness to all,
Kids to be
Originals of the
One of the
Kings of the NBA
You have our Thanks for many years of the best plays in basketball history. Things will never be the same, but we will remember you for turning kids into men and novices into the elite. ❤
Photographer Steven White is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this documentary photography. From the project ‘Auschwitz’. To see Steven’s body of work, click on any image. For centuries, Jews have been wrongfully persecuted for their identity. This persecution reached its height, or depth, when Hitler came to power […]
The story I’m about to relate might seem a tad inappropriate in view of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. But it’s a true story. And if you can’t be honest in the light of everything that the word ‘liberation’ stands for, then what’s the point in having been liberated in the first […]
Photo: Auschwitz 1, the former Polish army barracks which the SS commandeered as a prison for Polish army officers, Poles, Jews, subversives, and others. This is a substantial complex of brick multi-story blocks, unlike Auschwitz 2, which was mostly wooden blocks. I found the place sombre and still, a place of confronting horror. This is the place where the Catholic priest and subversive Maximilian Kolbe exchanged places with a young Jewish man because he was a husband and father and had a future to live. The commandant agreed to the exchange. Kolbe was starved to death, although he was given a mercy injection after three weeks.
“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” Elie Wiesel
Life Became Him
Quietly he ventured an offer to
the commandant lusting for reprisal,
Book Description: ‘She touched the photograph in its gilt frame that was always on her desk, of a young, thin woman with very short hair and a baby in her arms. She had one last story to tell. Theirs. And it began in hell on earth.’ It is 1942 and Eva Adami has boarded a […]