Things have not always ran particularly smoothly at FC Sachsen Leipzig. They were formed in 1990 as a successor to two-time GDR champions BSG Chemie Leipzig and spent much of post-Wende time in the third and fourth tiers. They have suffered, like so many other former GDR clubs, from lack of investment and financial mismanagement. Indeed, the club has been bankrupt once before, in 2000/2001 and was forcibly relegated into the fourth-tier Oberliga. Another bankruptcy followed in 2009 after enjoying a season back in the Regionalliga. By this time, FC Sachsen had moved to the newly-rebuilt Zentralstadion and were playing in front of crowds of around 3,000. The second bankruptcy process once again meant that they were relegated, this time into the fifth tier. Since this forced relegation, money has been getting tighter and crowds and success scarcer. Now it seems like this really is the end of FC Sachsen.
Or is it? The administrators have put together a “plan B” which, they hope, will mean that football in the Leutzsch district of Leipzig will not be lost forever. RB Leipzig, owned by Austrian drinks manufacturer Red Bull, have been in talks with FC Sachsen to take over the latter’s Oberliga licence (at a cost, of course). RB Leipzig play in the Regionalliga (a league above), so the FC Sachsen league registration will be given to RB’s reserve team which are currently heading for promotion into the seventh-tier Bezirksliga. RB Leipzig II will effectively “skip” two leagues and play in the Oberliga from next season.
It seems like a sad end for the club if it were to be left in the clutches of RB Leipzig, but all hope is not lost. In 2008, a group of FC Sachsen fans including the main FCS ultra group, the “Diablos“, founded their own club out of desperation at the way FC Sachsen had been run over the years. This club took FC Sachsen’s original GDR name of BSG Chemie Leipzig, thus preserving the history and tradition of the former club (still following?). They started in the 14th-tier 3. Kreisklasse Staffel 1 and have recently sealed their third promotion in a row. Despite the low level of football, BSG Chemie Leipzig regularly play in front of a few hundred at the Willi-Kuhn Sportpark in Leipzig. Their long-term goal has always been to return to the Alfred-Kunze Sportpark. Another part of Kratz’s “plan B” is for FC Sachsen Leipzig II (currently playing in the 6th tier), as well as all other FC Sachsen youth teams, to be transferred to BSG Chemie Leipzig. Whether that means that BSG Chemie Leipzig take over FC Sachsen Leipzig II’s registration and move directly into the 7th-tier Bezirksliga remains to be seen. This would mean that BSG Chemie Leipzig (the “true” successor of the GDR club) would be able to move back into their rightful home of the Alfred Kunze Sportpark. Talks are ongoing between the parties concerned, with the main focus being the saving of the stadium and the youth structure.
It also remains to be seen what will happen to the fans of FC Sachsen Leipzig. There are many who felt disillusioned by the split of the two clubs in 2008 and are not sure whether they belong amongst the BSG Chemie fans. As one forum poster put it, “I look out for BSG Chemie Leipzig but FC Sachsen Leipzig is the club in my heart, not BSG”. It is not yet decided how the team will be divided up, but it looks like the following is likely:
FC Sachsen Leipzig —> RB Leipzig II (Oberliga Nordost Süd, 5th tier)
FC Sachsen Leipzig II —> BSG Chemie Leipzig (Sachsenliga, provided FCS II do not get relegated this season or are forcibly relegated, 6th tier).
In the meantime, FC Sachsen Leipzig face Budissa Bautzen on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. in what is sure to be the Sachsen Leipzig’s last ever home game. They finish the season with a trip to newly-crowned champions Germania Halberstadt.