The story appears on

Page A15

May 29, 2020

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Sports

Schalke swaps financial woes for field failings

Schalke 04 thought its troubles were over once the Bundesliga restarted.

The Gelsenkirchen-based club was facing insolvency with no soccer being played because of the coronavirus pandemic, and had been pushing hard for the league to resume throughout its two-month suspension.

Schalke is sponsored by Russian energy giant Gazprom for a reported 30 million euros (US$33 million) per season and the club reported a turnover of 275 million euros in 2019. But that was down from 350.4 million euros the year before and led to a net loss of 26.1 million euros.

The club made no secret of its precarious situation as the pandemic put soccer on hold. “The situation is very serious and critical,” Schalke executive board member Alexander Jobst said in a live chat with fans.

Jobst had already written to holders of boxes in the stadium, asking them to waive the partial repayment of fees. “It’s about existence!” he wrote on March 17.

The league’s resumption without fans on May 16 could not have come soon enough for the club. But the team’s performances have not helped much.

Schalke lost to rival Borussia Dortmund 0-4 in its first game back, then 0-3 at home against struggling Augsburg, before Wednesday’s 1-2 setback at relegation-threatened Fortuna Duesseldorf.

“The situation was partly to blame for that,” sporting director Jochen Schneider told Sky after the loss in Duesseldorf, where Schalke took the lead on a goal from American midfielder Weston McKennie.

Schalke finished with only 33 percent of the ball possession against the third-worst team in the league.

Including games before the forced break, Schalke has now gone 10 Bundesliga games without a win. It is the club’s worst run in the league in 23 years.

Schalke has dropped to ninth place in the league, five points behind VfL Wolfsburg in the all-important last place for European qualification.

The club impressed in the first half of the season, but no team has been worse since the second half begun.

“We can’t present ourselves like in the last three games,” said Schneider, who defended coach David Wagner. “It’s not right to blame everything on the coach. Everybody in the club is part of it.”

Schalke is likely to face more losses this season because of the pandemic, and they could increase unless the team can somehow pick itself up for the last six games and overtake in-form Wolfsburg for Europa League qualification.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend