TeBe Party Army

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

Friday, January 05, 2007

Have The Marx Brothers Gone?

According to the newspapers yesterday, the Marx brothers seem to have left TeBe. One isnt going to lift a finger until he gets his pay for the previous 5 months and the other has been put on "holiday". As far as I know there has still been no official statement from the club and with the indoor tournaments on the go, many still on holiday and the like it might still be a few days yet.

The two arrived a few years ago seemingly unannounced and worked firstly with Theo Gries and then under Dejan with the role of assisting the training of the players and helping to build up the team. They had previously made a name for themselves at Hertha BSC and this lead to some rather idiotic conspiracy theories among some sections of the fans that they were trying to turn TeBe into a Hertha academy, that they were responsible for introducing deposits on beer cans and that the had killed off most of the Ramones as hit men.

But even among the TeBe fans who take their regular medication the Marx brothers didnt find it easy. Psuedo-intellectual, somewhat alternative and proudly different football fans were never going to make life easy for 2 down to earth football guys who spoke their mind, liked their beers and seemed to wear tracksuits 24/7 and not see anything strange about that. And this was just the difficulty they had in Block E, the pensioners of course hate everyone and can do anybody's job better.

But for all the unfair criticism they received, it is perhaps fair to say that the time is right for them to go.

Firstly they were presumably taken on because of the experience in Berlin football, but the betting scandals that arose (N.B. NO connection to them) among many players who were seemingly willing to play badly for a weekend or two for some extra cash, lead to the club moving more towards the development of some of their younger talent into the first team as well as branching out further afield to players from abroad looking to make their mark in Germany and start a career. The two probably played a significant role in the selecting and training of players such as Ryan, Vucko and Perez, but a team that is no longer basing its selection and future on Berlin football probably does not need two men who had made their name and based their experience in this field.

Secondly the feelings in the team never seemed to be stable for those watching them play week in and week out. Not only do TeBe still not seem to have a set squad but there were also more blatant signs of dissatisfaction: Ritter coming and then going, Mansour getting into a fight at training and some very poor performances that just were not what was expected. Rumours from some players suggested that the 3 men in charge (Marx brothers and Dejan) was leading to confused signals in training and on the pitch. Even in the last few weeks it hasnt been clear at all what TeBe is trying to do with its players and aims now with rumours of goings and very little comings a constant theme in the press to the disappointment of the majority of fans.

Thirdly and from our perspective most importantly, the public aims of TeBe to continue to play well in the cup and to gain promotion this season was over this year by Christmas. The league was realistically over after about 10 matches (third of the season!) and the defeat in an easy draw in the cup lead to a season that can only be described as a disaster. All the good work in publicity and recruiting new fans and sponsors will really be put on the line now as despite the improvement that the trainers have brought to get out out of the relegation battle of last year and in the cup final, the fact is that this year we have nothing left to play for: We arent going up, we arent going down and we cant win the cup. Meaningless matches in the Oberliga dont sell tickets or gain sponsors and if the winter comes late again we could be competing for viewers with the likes of Bayern, Chelsea and Barcelona on Tuesday and Wednesday night fixtures with the Champion's League on TV. TeBe are in a mini crisis and the buck might not stop at them alone but their jobs seem to be on the line as the aims have not been met.

Many fans also feel that the club is going in the wrong direction again and that it is time more generally for some change. The added tensions within the fan scene have also not helped and the LK has become rather bitchy of late. The hiring of a stripper for the Christmas party and the invitation of the press came as a shock for a lot of fans who wanted publicity for their team, but not that sort and certainly not a few days before the women's team were playing their most important match of the season in the latter stages of the cup. The Marx brothers have become easy scapegoats for a lot of disappointment and frustration, even if their departure would be a reasonable outcome of the club's present crisis in any situation.

To be honest I find most of the feelings against the two of them to be petty and without foundation. Perhaps not the kind of guys that I would spend an evening in a pub with but over a beer they were always down to earth, friendly and enthusiastic for the team and although aware of some of the feelings and suspicions against them because of their BSC background, they didnt seem to mind, in fact even enjoyed, the alternative and tolerant atmosphere and reputation that TeBe holds dear. I wish them both all the best in the future and thank them for their work at the club, especially for the obvious and striking changes that have allowed us to watch a more interesting passing game and some beautiful football at times - changes that they obviously played a large part in.

Apart from the problems mentioned above (nothing left to play for, aims not met, players going etc) two other factors are rather worrying. Firstly the claim that they have not been paid for 5 months will open questions on the financial stability of the club. If, as the press says, they have sought legal advice on the matter the club seems to have a court case on its hands but whether the facts point towards their case or that of TeBe such rumours will not make it easy for TeBe to get new players or a replacement traing team. This is the second problem of course, because as far as I understand, Dejan does not have the suitable training qualifications to go it alone now and his head may be the next to roll as if money is short, the club probably will not be splashing out for two trainers, one without a license, but probaly use this opportunity for an overhaul.

The next 6 months could be a bleak time for all those with a purple white heart.

Picture source from this great website.

The above information is correct to my knowledge. In event of any mistakes or inaccuracies please let me know and i will gladly correct the above post.


  • At 5:46 PM, Anonymous Punker said…

    "that they were responsible for introducing deposits on beer cans and that the had killed off most of the Ramones as hit men."


  • At 5:49 PM, Blogger Milli said…

    For me is greatful that i learn english again because a friend from london is the owner of a englishspeaking/wroting blog


    13.4. donĀ“t forget


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