The demise of FC Sachen Leipzig

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.

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9 comments

  1. Bastian (Chemieblogger)

    Great conclusion! One point one must correct: Currently FC Sachsen Leipzig II is still playing in the 6th tier.

    Thank you for including the fan’s view. In addition, one should take into consideration the homemade problems that have forced the decline of FC Sachsen Leipzig as well. The BSG Chemie Leipzig has been resurrected by critical fans because of a long period of great mistakes in the last two decades. For them the current developments is a gratification.

    • David

      Thank you Bastian. I’ve changed the original article.

      I have been to both FCS and BSG Chemie, and I found BSG a much more friendly place to go and watch football. FCS was pretty horrible, I love the stadium though. What did you think of the “Homofrei” T-shirts?

      • Bastian (Chemieblogger)

        Indeed, the Alfred-Kunze-Sportpark is a great stadium and a great place to be. For the fans of the BSG Chemie it has always been a main aim to get back into the AKS. Since the Diablos and other dedicated fans have left the FC Sachsen the fan culture has been facing its decline step by step.

        That’s the reason why it is possible to sell homophobic shirts – and obviously nobody (or only a few people) treats this as a problem. The comeback of the BSG Chemie could be a first step to fundamentally change this setting.

  2. simpkins83

    A great shame for FCS. What is the set up at BSG? Is it completely fan owned? (ie fcum afcw)

    Hope RB keep their greedy corporate franchise mitts off!

    • David

      As far as I’m aware, BSG Chemie Leipzig is completely fan owned. The ultra group (Diablos) have a big presence, but there are also a large group of non-ultra fans of the club. It would be great to see them at a proper stadium, especially if you look at the choreos they used to do when they supported FCS (there are pictures on the Diablos website).

      RB are between a rock and a hard place really. I mean, here’s an opportunity to salvage part of FC Sachsen and in turn improve the standing of their second team. They can’t exactly do nothing when such an opportunity arises. But fans immediately call them vultures and stuff… I dunno, I’m pretty apathetic to the whole thing. They can do what they want. I realise that Lok and FCS fans are frustrated that a potential Bundesliga team would ruin their club, but people who go to RB were never ever going to go to Lok or FCS anyway, so what’s the problem?

      A Unioner friend of mine said this on the way to Oberhausen, and I fully agree with him: RB fans can go to their arena, drink their overpriced non-alcoholic beer and enjoy the promotions. I don’t care. That’s not a choice I would ever make, I have my own team to support. You know what I mean? The situation with the board at Port Vale is something to get worked up and angry about, because it affects me directly, but in general I feel that there is too much anger in football.

      I realise I’ve just gone off on a tangent. I was trying to avoid writing about RB and not acknowledging their existence, but maybe it’s time for a blog post.

      • Simpkins83

        The lack of direct action and the “I’m alright jack” mentality is the sole reason behind the existance of RB, MK Dons, RB Salzburg etc etc. As a Vale supporter you will remember the threat of being bought by the Icelandic owners of Stoke City Football Club at a time of dire financial plight. Although the rules of the FA dictate that this was not possible, I see no difference between what was propeosed then and what exists today with RB etc.

        The impact of their existances damage the game as a whole and clearly have a knock on effect to us all; growing commercialisation, destruction of fan culture, the demise of traditionalism, the list goes on.

        Vale, as you are aware are attempting to go cap in hand, yet again to someone who lets face it has a very iffy track record of business dealings and whose motives are STILL unclear. I have always said that it is the fans responsibility to fight and protect their club AND the game as a whole. In 5-10 years time when Mo Chaudry gets bored and/or the plan does not work, what then? Sack the board? Again? (By the way I am not pro Bratt either, I just get wound up when people say PVFC is fan owned when it clearly isn’t)

        FCUM have had a defining impact on my footballing experience, as have FCU. Both examples of the extent football fans will go to in ensuring sustainable futures with themselves at the heart of everything (PVFC fans take note, a half built stand for 10+yrs… how lomg did it take FCU fans to help build a stadium?).

        No club has the right to take another clubs place because of insolvency. FCUM, AFCW, Chester, Halifax etc all have to start again from the basement so why not everyone else?

        Leipzig and fans of FCS should throw their weight behind BSG and fight for their cause. In the long term, they will be thankful, especially when Red Bull finally get bored.

        Settle for nothing now and settle for nothing later

  3. Pingback: RIP Sachsen Leipzig « Ostklassiker

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