After relegation to “Traditional League”
Malocherklub Schalke only plans a guest appearance in the lower house
May 29, 2023 at 6:42 p.m
In the end, coach Thomas Reis cannot prevent Schalke’s relegation. With cohesion and a hardworking mentality, S04 wants to quickly get back to the top. A change in personnel is imminent. But it should be different than 2021. A lot has changed since then.
Sadness yes, despair no: Goal scorer Sebastian Polter and keeper Ralf Fährmann wept with honest and bitter tears after FC Schalke 04 had been relegated for the fifth time from the Bundesliga. After months of hope and trembling, the failed mission to stay up hit the heart of the Royal Blues deeply. As was the case two years ago, the traditional club from the Revier is now facing a change in personnel. Unlike then, the descent S04 does not fall into chaos this time. “Relegation is always a turning point, but this time it’s not as glaring as it was two years ago because our financial situation is different and we have more stability,” said sporting director Peter Knäbel on Monday.
In April 2021 there were still hunting scenes around the arena when fans were chasing Schalke players. This time there was even applause and cheers for the team. The team and supporters have grown together over the course of the second half of the season. The cohesion, which is anything but usual for a relegated club, should become the trump card of the direct resurgence project.
“I’m sorry for our supporters,” said coach Thomas Reis after the 2: 4 at RB Leipzig, which sealed the crash into second division. “But when you know that you have such a fan base behind you, then everything is there to rectify what happened today as quickly as possible and come back.” With his down-to-earth manner and a game philosophy that suits the Revierklub’s hardworking mentality, the 49-year-old is also a hopeful in the second division on the coaching bench.
Mammoth task of new squad
Schalke know what to expect in the lower house of football, said license player manager and ex-national player Gerald Asamoah. “We will work hard and do everything we can to put together a squad that has ambitions to get promoted again.” Knäbel and his team are primarily responsible for squad planning. Busy weeks are waiting for the 56-year-old. Numerous top performers were only on loan – including the central midfielders Alex Král and Tom Krauß as well as defensive stabilizer Moritz Jenz. A powerful team is to be built around identification figures and sporting pillars such as goalkeeper Fährmann, midfielder Dominick Drexler and strikers Polter and Marius Bülter.
Knäbel will probably get help soon. A new sports director is to succeed Rouven Schröder, who left the club last October and is now working for Leipzig. There is about half as much money available for the player budget in the second division as in the Bundesliga. In the past season, Schalke made the biggest mistakes at the beginning and then corrected them. The coach Frank Kramer, who was hired last summer, did not meet the expectations placed in him and had to leave after the tenth matchday. In addition, the squad was not ready for the Bundesliga in many games in the first half of the season. In winter it was significantly strengthened.
“We made mistakes before and during the season, which we were only able to partially correct over the course of the season,” said a letter signed by the Schalke bosses to the club members. In the letter, the decision-makers put the fan base in the mood for the second year in the second division within three years and announced: “What we can already say today: we will tackle the rise again!”