team affiliation across leagues/farm systems?
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10-13-2009, 01:46 AM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Mannheim, Germany
To the promotion system:
They abolished the promotion system between DEL and Bundesliga 4 years ago in order to provide the DEL teams with a secure planning horizon. Despite this, the champion of the Bundesliga had the chance to move up to the DEL, as Wolfsburg (in 2007) and Kassel (in 2008) did. The 2009 champion, Bietigheim-Bissingen, decided to stay in the Bundesliga for financial reasons.
The main problem with this system was, that some teams which fell behind early in the season were lacking a goal, since they didn't have to fear to be sent down to the Bundesliga. As soon as they were way behind the competition, they started selling their best players and the attendance in the arenas went down.
The promotion system between the other leagues is still in place.
To the aspect of farm teams:
There are no farm team system like in North America. Every DEL team (which formally is a company) has to have a cooperation club. Since most DEL teams have been clubs before the corporations were formed, these cooperation clubs are these clubs. Look at Mannheim, for example: the original club, the "Mannheimer Eis- und Rollsportclub e.V." (MERC) was formed in 1938. In 1994 they formed the "Die Adler Mannheim Eishockey Spielbetriebs GmbH + Co. KG" (which is a corporation) to organize the DEL team "Adler Mannheim". The club "MERC" still exists and mainly organizes junior teams. But it works as the cooperation club for the DEL team, too.
This cooperation system is in place to secure the DEL teams interests in junior hockey. But the teams of these cooperation clubs mostly play below third-tier level. So the DEL teams are looking for cooperation partners in the Bundesliga and Oberliga. Most of these partners are corporations as well and work the same way as the DEL clubs, just on a lower level. Usually the teams try to set up a close cooperation, like Mannheim and Heilbronn, but they are usually not connected on a formal or financial level. To get back to your specific example, Ehrhoff played for Krefeld in the DEL and had a "Förderlizenz" for Duisburg who played in the Oberliga at that time and were Krefeld's cooperation partner. But beeing a cooperation partner can't be compared to being a farm team, because it's still a different team which acts autarchically. Duisburg for example made its way up to the DEL itself (before going down to the Regionalliga again this summer).
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