TeBe Party Army

E- Block International - A Weblog for "Away Fans" of Tennis Borussia Berlin.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Are TeBe Finished?

A while back in a drunken moment of clarity, I managed to express my fears to Jim in the pub in a slurred but comprehensible manner: "If TeBe dont manage to go up this year, which I dont think they will anymore, then I dont think the club will really exist in the next few years. To be more precise, I think we will be gone in the next two years."

So it took me a few beers and a vodka or three to say it but say it I did. And what can we draw from this? After all nothing I said had any base in personal knowledge or public fact. It was just a feeling I had, a fear that many TeBe fans share at all times despite their optimism and Dr Jeckyll happy go lucky alterego that we have. It is almost as if this fear is part of being a TeBe fan, an essential characteristic that binds us together and despite never personally have experienced the bad old days as an actual fan of TeBe, this fear is within me too - burnt into me by stories of old and chats with other fans.

So knowing that this pessimistic streak exists, how can I then judge the situation and come to any conclusion? Answer: I cant, we cant - unless we hear the facts then it is all speculation and TeBe fans will, at least inside, fear the worst whether they dare admit it or not.

So lets look at the facts (or what has been reported as facts):

At the beginning of the season the club said it was very confident of going up this year.

We havent managed this - we are too far behind Babelsberg who can only be stopped by their own regional council's snail pace dealing with the floodlight issue.

We are third and even if Babelsberg muck up then Rostock could pull out the stops and invest in their second team to go for the promotion place.

It is unlikely that we will even bother applying for a permit for the next league up.

All season there have been rumours that not enough money is coming from sponsors.

Sure enough the club did a membership drive that indicated that they needed cash to cover costs.

We were knocked out of the Berlin cup and the DFB cup gave us a poor draw once again for getting a windfall.

Attendances have been good this season but a lot of free tickets were given away and the absence of many longer term fans is striking.

R.M. is on a kind of strike claiming that he hasnt been paid for 6 months. His brother has been allowed to go.

A few players have already left us and gone to other teams.

"Giga" came onto Lila Kanal and claimed that many players also havent been paid and that he had this information from an internal source. Admittedly one that he would not name.

The club is rumoured to have paid a high price for taking over the Casino catering facilities at the ground.

The Tagesspiegel reported that TeBe have a 6 figure sum that isnt covered as the sponsors only have to pay if TeBe are in the top spot.

The club website released a statement denying that sponsors have not paid and thanked the sponsors for their full support and contributions. All good but this statement disappeared from the club website a few hours later.

Peter A in an interview with the Tagesspiegel in the same article complained that other clubs get government support financially and started to talk about the virtues of plaing in the lower divisions! (not that our division is very high up anyways)

The talks with the club directorate and R.M. was on Monday, talks on the future of the club were on Wednesday night but there is still no statement from the club to be seen in the press or on the website. This means it is still unclear what the finances are or whether R.M. will have to sue the club to get his money back.

Vucko - I saw him on Tuesday night going to his car but unusually he didnt say hello though he may have been on the phone - is reported to be training and taking part in trials for Union. This is confirmed by a report in the Tagesspiegel too and an interview with him suggests that other players, especially those more pro R.M. may be all about to leave the club. He talks of 5 or 6 players.

Senior members of TeBe have been very vocal internally in their criticism of how the club is being run and where exactly TeBe are going.

Tennis Observer adds to the rumour mill today by claiming that Willy Kausch and Sebastian Sch├╝tz are doing everything possible to fill the hole in the finances that are estimated at a third of the outlay. The problem allegedly has been there for a few weeks and could explain the poor morale of the players on the pitch.

Most alarming is that there is still no statement (at least a lasting one) from the club - unusual when the rumour mill is putting them in the spotlight with such negative publicity.

But are there any positive signs?

Well O.Luv was as cool as a cucumber at the fan meeting the other day, giving nothing away but he was seemingly calm about the situation.

No news is good news and the statements from Peter A could be seen as fighting talk.

It is only natural that the club should get rid of some players to save if we arent going up and so perhaps there is no comment until things are sorted out officially with contracts and legal paperwork.

TeBe do have a vocal but loyal support and the membership drive must have brought in some sort of financial stability.

The team is playing its fixtures, has booked some interesting friendlies and has done very well in the indoor tournaments this winter so far.

The club does now run the Casino bar themselves which means the profits go to them for the beers we drink - now that must be a longterm winner for us.

So what to conclude? I really do not know but as a member of the club I do feel a bit anxious. Whether this anxiety is part of the TeBe fan psyche explained above or whether my fears are grounded or not I really cannot tell. Certainly the future looks bleak and everyday I am left waiting for a statement from the club, the more nervous I get.


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