Today in FC – Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Good morning (PDT), Planet Effzeh!

There’s a bit going on, so we might as well get right to it!

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  • Express has built a story around a Toni Schumacher appearance in the Sky television studios, during which he apparently let slip that the FC had “extended the contracts of (business manager) Alexander Wehrle, (sporting director) Jörg Schmadtke, and (you had better not need me to tell you his job) Peter Stöger.”
    author Alexander Haubrichs, his report does not take the words of the club vice-president as full evidence of the deals being done. They follow their opening with quotes of denial from both Schmadtke (“the report . . . is not correct”) and Wehrle (“My (current) contract is good until 2021.”).Unable to get confirmation, Haubrichs (and I do not doubt that he has them) cites “sources” that tell him that the deals have been long discussed and involve significant salary increases. He finishes by saying that “even if some wish to pretend otherwise” in order to preserve the official announcement to be delivered by President Werner Spinner at the season-end celebration, the FC fans can celebrate what can be seen only as a positive development.

    Marc L. Merten at Geissblog, on the same story, reports that the deals are in place, but have yet to be signed.

    I could draw up a contract in my living room right now, making me the next starting keeper for Manchester United at a price of a bazillion dollars per hour, but without signatures . . . you get me?

  • The club’s English-language site has a three-question interview with Frederik Sörensen available for your reading pleasure.  It’s only three questions. I see no reason to summarize it. Read it yourself!
  • The club also wants you to know, auf Englisch, that Stöger will have pretty much everyone available to him for Saturday’s battle in Leverkusen, at least as long as nobody is injured in training between now and then.  I do not remember the last time he had a fully healthy squad, but it has been far too long.
  • Back over to Marc Merten at Geissblog, where Merten reports that 21-year-old offensive-midfield talent Marcel Hartel is preparing to follow the steady stream of young players unable to find time in Stöger’s team to Union Berlin. Unlike Daniel Mesenhöler, Philipp Hosiner, and Maxi Thiel, however, Hartel’s transfer deal may include a buy-back clause that would allow Köln to recover their young talent after getting some second-division playing time.  Union had been a threat to win promotion up until last weekend’s loss to Eintracht Braunschweig.Hartel is well-regarded, but injuries and a traffic jam in the FC midfield have prevented him from gaining significant playing time as a professional.  Should he be able to shine in Berlin, he may still be a part of Stöger’s longer-term plans.

    Say hello to former FC social-media marketing guru Maurice Sonneveld over at Hertha while you’re in town for us, would you Marcel?

  • Prince Poldi wants everyone to remember . . .

  • Anthony Modeste has notched a Match Day 32 double. Yesterday, it was “player of the match day.” Today, he secured the “goal of the match day.”
  • Finally, Werner Spinner’s interview with KSTA.de is being frequently referenced and quoted. I have not yet found the original, but two quotes from it are being tossed about for discussion:

    “The Kurve (fan section of the stadium) still belongs to the club; ultimately, we sell the tickets.”

    “If we increase average attendance to more than 60,000 spectators after a renovation to 75,000 seats, it would mean 10 to 15 million more in sales.”

    I will barely touch the first one, as the relationship between the club and the organized fan scene is a delicate and multi-faceted issue. Essentially, I enjoy all the “atmosphere” they bring to the stadium, but could do without some of the headaches and fines.  It’s not a black/white thing.

    The stadium thing, though, is important to me, even though I’ve not yet made my pilgrimage to Müngersdorf, nor do I live close enough for the actual location of a new stadium to be of much difference to me. That said, any discussion of a new location for a new stadium needs to be shut down as soon as it approaches the city limits.  The appeal of a stadium central to the city and its people is a big component of the FC. You need see only a few images of Mainz’s stadium standing alone out in a field to see what is missing from match days there.  Where I grew up, two of the big four professional sports teams were located in the city and two were in the suburbs.  There is no contest as to which was preferable, and that was in Detroit!

    Do what you need to do, FC, but please stay in the city.

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That’s the “quick” round-up for today. Enjoy the sunshine, wherever you are.

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