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How is the economic crisis effecting teams in Germany?

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Old
03-18-2009, 05:07 PM
  #1
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How is the economic crisis effecting teams in Germany?

It's well documented that Bad Tolz in the Bundesliga 2 went bankrupt this season and that the players never got paid after December 1st. There are reports of other teams struggling and not paying players. Word is that the Ice Tigers in the DEL have new owners and are stable for next season. I think it would be very helpful to players and agents looking at next season to get factual information on teams that are hurting because of the economy.

Note teams that are hurting financially, don't pay their players on time as per player contracts on the 1st of each month, teams that can't afford to play at the same level next season etc. I know players that are really hurting because they never got paid. Players with families and bills to pay. Teams need to be held to a high standard and to honor contracts and this thread could serve several purposes.

If you are reluctant to post factual information about any team feel free to send me a private message and I will look into it's accuracy and post accordingly. Also, it would be beneficial to name teams that treat their players well, honor their contracts and are in a stable position financially moving forward.

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03-19-2009, 03:25 AM
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It might be interesting to hear from fans or team representatives about attendance figures. Did your team's attendance go up or down this year? Did you gain or lose sponsors or did it stay the same? What is the break even point in attendance for your team? This obviously depends on how much sponsors contribute.

Information has been received that claims the Deggendorf Fire in the Oberliga have failed to meet it's payroll demands since Christmas. Can anyone confirm or deny this information?

Many teams are stable and treat their players well. It would be nice to hear from these teams as well.

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03-19-2009, 02:11 PM
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Where are you getting this info? You say payroll isn't being met by some teams,but what are your sources?

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03-19-2009, 05:26 PM
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Besides Nuremberg, there are no informations about teams not meeting payrolls.
Cologne and some other non-play off teams did only cut their payrolls.

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03-19-2009, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by ALF AmericanLionsFan View Post
Where are you getting this info? You say payroll isn't being met by some teams,but what are your sources?
German to English translation is not always easy to follow but here are a couple of links.

http://translate.google.com/translat...ox%26rlz%3D1I7

GGLJhttp://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=http://www.merkur-online.de/lokales/nachrichten/loewen-insolvenzantrag-86322.html&ei=QsrCSfWWKtyymQeQzvTmCw&sa=X&oi=trans late&resnum=4&ct=result&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dtolzer%2Blowen%2Binsolvenz%26hl%3Den% 26rls%3Dcom.microsoft:*:IE-SearchBox%26rlz%3D1I7GGLJ

There were many articles on the Bad Tolz web site that has been closed down but I have read this information on many hockey fan forums and in the German hockey news. I also know players in Bad Tolz and Deggendorf that confirmed what was stated.

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03-19-2009, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Toni Porkka View Post
Besides Nuremberg, there are no informations about teams not meeting payrolls.
Cologne and some other non-play off teams did only cut their payrolls.
I'm told that the Ice Tigers have new financial supporters. What do you mean by Cologne and other non-play off teams cutting payrolls? I think I'm missing something in the translation.

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03-19-2009, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toni Porkka View Post
Besides Nuremberg, there are no informations about teams not meeting payrolls.
Cologne and some other non-play off teams did only cut their payrolls.
yep, but there are several team losing a lot of money. cologne was reported to lose 2mill this season.
hannover expected a much bigger attendance.
hamburg was a disappointment.

luckily they have all bigger sponsorship otherwise the loss could have been dramatic.

krefeld is always fighting hard to survive and we get rumors about bankruptcy for how many years now?

and this is just the DEL. in 2nd-tier bad tolz was dominating the league until they went bankrupt because the lack of 500k (!!!!). they had to release the best players and are now relegated.

in the oberliga deggendorf wasn't able to pay salary in december. leipzig is also in trouble.

and my guess is that in summer we will see a lot of teams crying. the trouble in german hockey is big. horrible schedules, changing the schedules every season and many other on going stuff...it all cost hockey teams fans.

the good news is that the teams without big arenas in the DEL all manage to survive pretty good. frankfurt, straubing, augsburg, kassel, iserlohn seem to be good adresses for players. calm environment, no talk about financial struggle.

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03-20-2009, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HockeyInsider87 View Post
I'm told that the Ice Tigers have new financial supporters. What do you mean by Cologne and other non-play off teams cutting payrolls? I think I'm missing something in the translation.
Cutting payrolls implies that the teams recommenended their key players to look for a kind of rental contracts with other teams (in Sweden, in Switzerland, in Austria). So they did not have to pay them for the remainder of the season.
Julien (Cologne) is an example.

I agree with Zecke that there will be a bing bang in the summer. It just started with Duisburg.

IMHO a DEL with 12 teams and 8 play off spots would be fine.
If the ****ing schedule remains I think about not buying a season ticket for the first time since many years.

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03-21-2009, 12:15 PM
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Hehe, German hockey is always in an economic crisis. Especially the lower leagues. This season it was Bad Tölz and Leipzig, the year before it was Essen and Regensburg. Next year it will simply be someone else, nothing to see here.

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03-21-2009, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Burgs View Post
Hehe, German hockey is always in an economic crisis. Especially the lower leagues. This season it was Bad Tölz and Leipzig, the year before it was Essen and Regensburg. Next year it will simply be someone else, nothing to see here.
the difference is that arena hockey will fail. at least i hope so. hamburg, cologne, duesseldorf, krefeld, hannover, nuernberg...the arenas are filled when there's success but once there's a bad season people will stay away because it's to expensive. the greed and dreams of the owners will catch them soon.

hockey in germany wasn't ready for big arenas and is no family entertainment. that will always be soccer. hockeyfans were always different, but loyal. but the arenas make a clear cut and teams lost their loyal fans and gained only attendance that will run away once the team is losing.

in the lower leagues the problems are different. but the lack of clear structures is a big problem. not promotion to DEL is a big problem. 2nd-tier hockey has no real goal. in former times to get promoted was the big goal.

the oberliga is so divided, it's a mess. southern teams want better schedules and play their own. northern teams wants southern teams to play against. leipzig is not allowed to play POs, but was voted to get back next season also the majority was against.
so all smart teams will try to leave the oberliga. either to 2nd-tier or 4th-tier. but those who want to go up need money. money that usually isn't there.

it's true that german hockey always had its 2-3 teams every season that go bankrupt, but there are more problems coming up. the whole german hockey needs a new structure and to be honest, the first step would be to get rid of the DEB/DEL bosses.

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03-22-2009, 03:55 AM
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I am shocked to say that but Zecke is right with statement about large arenas.

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03-23-2009, 08:58 AM
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Received reliable information today that players on the (team in 2nd-tier that was not yet mentioned in this thread) have not yet paid for March. Apparently, they were supposed to be paid on the 1st of the month. Also, I was told the team has been late paying the players every month all season. Could be a sign this team is having financial problems or is just poorly run.

Reading these and other boards it seems there is a lack of structure and accountability in all leagues in Germany. Is there not a league Head Office with a league President that oversees all teams in each league to make sure owners are viable and held accountable?

Reading some of the other problems listed so far it seems like the fans may have too much say in how a team is run. They boycott or threaten to boycott when not happy or don't get their way. Not what you would call loyal fans in many cases. The GM is powerless in many cases and the owners often are too involved in running the team. Running hockey teams should be left to people that know hockey and understand hockey players. I agree with Zecke about the DEL. Many new arenas are being built to big. Nothing worse than watching a game in a half full 16,000 arena. They should be built to a similar standard but ideally in the 7000-10,000 seating range.

You don't get the sense they have the same problems in Austria, Switerland, Sweden and Finland.


Last edited by zecke26: 03-23-2009 at 10:34 AM. Reason: no libel
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03-25-2009, 11:07 AM
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What's wrong with these teams that don't honor contracts? How could they refuse to pay players according to contracts they agreed to? Don't they realize that hockey is a small world and that players communicate via facebook, email, msn, NHLPA and PHPA websites, HF boards about teams to stay away from?

Teams that don't honor contracts are giving themselves a bad reputation and it will only be a matter of time before they will have great difficulty getting new players. This team in the Bundesliga 2 is one of a few mentioned as being late in paying players. Teams in the DEL seem to be cutting costs and not renewing contracts of players as well. What's going on in Germany?

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03-25-2009, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HockeyInsider87 View Post
What's going on in Germany?
Simple answer.

Soccer>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Hockey

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03-26-2009, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Toni Porkka View Post
Simple answer.

Soccer>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Hockey
Is this a joke or a serious answer? No team should operate a club if they are not able to honor contracts.

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03-26-2009, 10:59 AM
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Is this a joke or a serious answer? No team should operate a club if they are not able to honor contracts.
i think he's serious.

let me try to explain. soccer is the #1 sport in germany. and there's nothing even close. so wherever a hockey team is they have to fight for sponsoring. usually hockey teams only work when there's no local soccer team or in bigger cities where is enough economy to split sponsoring.

it's very hard to manage a hockey team, because not only the economical crisis is everywhere, but it's hard to get sponsoring for a sport that has no free TV minutes and is not really a topic in newspapers. while on the other hand even 6th-tier soccer teams are in the newspapers and everywhere.

so the teams rely on a few sponsors. and once one of the sponsors goes bankrupt, the whole team is in trouble and they can no longer pay the salaries in time. it's not always bad management (sometimes it is of course), but the biggest problem is simply that hockey is a small sport in germany.

ever wondered why hockey is succeeding in iserlohn or kassel very well? try to find the local soccer teams. they are far down. that's the reason hockey was able to establish himself in these towns.

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03-26-2009, 11:26 AM
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14 teams left in the DEL. Ice Tigers retire from DEL hockey.

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Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,

Liebe Eishockey-Fans,



völlig überraschenden erhielten wir heute die schriftliche Nachricht, dass sich die Bionorica AG aus firmenpolitischen Gründen gezwungen sieht, ihr Engagement als Namenssponsorin, sowie als Finanzinvestorin bei den Sinupret Ice Tigers zu beenden. Wir können Ihnen versichern, dass wir alles versucht haben, die Ice Tigers am Leben zu erhalten. Aber unter diesen Vorraussetzungen ist es dem Rest der Investorengruppe nicht mehr möglich, die Ice Tigers zu retten.

[...]

Mit freundlichen Grüßen / Best regards

Ralf Kissau
-Pressesprecher / PR-Manager-

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03-26-2009, 11:30 AM
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@HockeyInsider87
I am quite serious about my answer.

The problem of not meeting payments is different thing.
As Zecke pointed out all German hockey teams have problems in acquiring sponsors. Due to the recent economic crisis sponsors withdraw their money and teams have to handle with even tougher budget restrictions. As a consequence they cannot meet their obligations: Rent for rinks, player’s payroll, and so on.
It is definitely not a problem with the German mindset.

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03-26-2009, 11:56 AM
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Okay, I fully understand how big Soccer is in Europe. In the USA hockey is our 4th or 5th sport behind Football, Baseball and Basketball but teams still meet their payroll and honor contracts. Of course in the lower leagues in North America the contracts are basically weekly contracts and can be terminated at any time. The AHL and NHL guarantee their contracts and the NHLPA and PHPA protect the players against dishonorable owners. If teams in Germany are not going to honor player contracts because they have money problems maybe they should think twice before firing a coach and having to pay two coaches in the same year. That's a sign of poor budget management.

There are reasons why players leave teams every year and show no interest in returning. Good owners figure this out. Bad owners will continue to blame everyone but themselves and will never win because of it.

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03-26-2009, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zecke26 View Post
the difference is that arena hockey will fail. at least i hope so. hamburg, cologne, duesseldorf, krefeld, hannover, nuernberg...the arenas are filled when there's success but once there's a bad season people will stay away because it's to expensive. the greed and dreams of the owners will catch them soon.

hockey in germany wasn't ready for big arenas and is no family entertainment. that will always be soccer. hockeyfans were always different, but loyal. but the arenas make a clear cut and teams lost their loyal fans and gained only attendance that will run away once the team is losing.
I don't think the arenas are the big problem. For better or worse, they're the future. If you want to grow the game of hockey in Germany you need to expand to "new markets" both geographically and economically. Case in point: Hamburg. Yeah I know they have a lame name and boring colors and all that. But what's better for German hockey, the Hamburg Freezers playing in front of 8,000 people in the DEL or the old Crocodiles playing with maybe 1.000 people in the stands in HH-Farmsen? You're getting people interested in the sport who wouldn't have dreamed about going to a dark, cold cave to watch a third-rate team before.

I'm all for taking a slow path to modernization but I also don't get the hardcore traditionalists who want to return German hockey to where it was in the 80s. That's a "Vogel-Strauß-Syndrom" IMO.

You see, I'm a Crimmitschau fan and we have probably the oldest barn in German pro hockey. It's open on two sides, it's FREEZING cold in winter and there are only about 150 seats, the rest being standing room for some 6,500 people. It makes for a very special atmosphere (especially when you're there as a guest and don't see it every weekend) but I think it's beginning to cost us new or "casual" fans. Now the "real fan" hates those people anyway but the "real fans" are getting less and less for various reasons (mainly age and moving away to find a job).

You need some normal spectators, you need the families and event watchers. You need their money to pay the bills. And we're having a hard time convincing people to stand 3+ hours in bitter cold to watch crappy hockey and stand 20 minutes in line to go to the only toilet. The party times we had in the mid to late 90s with average attendances of 5,000+ people are over. We need to become attractive again for newbies.

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in the lower leagues the problems are different. but the lack of clear structures is a big problem. not promotion to DEL is a big problem. 2nd-tier hockey has no real goal. in former times to get promoted was the big goal.
The lower leagues are a complete mess. There is no leadership from the ESBG, there is no common goal to work for, the referees suck beyond belief and there are always 1-2 clubs spending way more than they can afford which always starts an arms race and ruins the salaries. Most of those teams don't survive for long but the damage is already done. There needs to be a structure and a cooperation for the good of the league but instead everyone is cooking their own soup and no one gives a crap whether a competitor goes under or not.

Quote:
the oberliga is so divided, it's a mess. southern teams want better schedules and play their own. northern teams wants southern teams to play against. leipzig is not allowed to play POs, but was voted to get back next season also the majority was against.
so all smart teams will try to leave the oberliga. either to 2nd-tier or 4th-tier. but those who want to go up need money. money that usually isn't there.
I think the Northern teams would be fine to play an Oberliga Nord but there's just not enough teams for that. Which leads to teams like Leipzig getting a free pass which in turn pisses off the other teams and fans and makes hockey look ridiculous. Bad situation all-around.

Quote:
it's true that german hockey always had its 2-3 teams every season that go bankrupt, but there are more problems coming up. the whole german hockey needs a new structure and to be honest, the first step would be to get rid of the DEB/DEL bosses.
Couldn't agree more, these people are clueless and provide zero leadership. But they're safe because you don't get much money or fame in hockey. Reindl has survived 2 relegations to the Div-I WHC and several passport and doping scandals. And his people go out and complain about our fans who travelled across half the globe to Canada to support the team. This would never happen in soccer, the pressure to step down would be huge. But it's hockey so the public doesn't care and those clowns live on.

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03-26-2009, 12:50 PM
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Well, HockeyInsider87, it seems like you have your mind already made up.

One thing you need to keep in mind is that most teams in Germany are not owned by some rich guys but depend for the most part on sponsors and if that sponsor goes bankrupt it's 'game over'.

The system here is different.

I admire everyone willing to put any money into hockey here in Germany because it sure is an ungrateful task.

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03-26-2009, 12:54 PM
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Is there any club in Germany that really makes money with hockey? Eisbären Berlin maybe?

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03-26-2009, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HockeyInsider87 View Post
The AHL and NHL guarantee their contracts and the NHLPA and PHPA protect the players against dishonorable owners. If teams in Germany are not going to honor player contracts because they have money problems maybe they should think twice before firing a coach and having to pay two coaches in the same year. That's a sign of poor budget management.
Hockey-teams in Europe are completely different from those in America. It's not the hobby of a bunch of rich people who can live with losses because they have way too much money anyway. This isn't the NHL, sponsors actually do pay for rather large parts of the budgets. When a crisis hits the markets, and sponsors drop out everywhere (even soccer is hurt by it), there is absolutely nothing you can do.

It isn't bad budget management when those who promised to pay you money suddenly can't do it anymore. You can prepare for some minor losses, but not for losing your biggest sponsors. Sports are at the end of the line, if something bad happens to companies, it has a knock on effect.


Berlin isn't making any money either, in fact they had rather big losses the last few years. In the range of 2-3 million Euro.

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03-26-2009, 01:31 PM
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Is there any club in Germany that really makes money with hockey? Eisbären Berlin maybe?
I think that even the Polar Bears are happy when they finish the year with break-even figures.

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03-26-2009, 01:32 PM
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....


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