After the conclusion of the promotion/relegation playoffs for Bundesliga 1 and two, in which VfL Wolfsburg and Erzgebirge Aue respectively came out on top, thus avoiding relegation, the season of German fully-professional soccer is officially over.
We know the identity of all teams in the top two divisions for next season.
Beyond that, we know that Bayern Munich, Schalke 04, TSG Hoffenheim and Borussia Dortmund will represent the Bundesliga in the UEFA Champions League, while DFB Cup winners Eintracht Frankfurt and 5th place league finishers Bayer Leverkusen go directly into the UEFA Europa League. Sixth placed RB Leipzig must go through qualifying to make it.
Hamburger SV will drop down to the second tier of German soccer for the first time ever, where 1.FC Cologne will join them. Other newcomers to Bundesliga 2 will be the promoted 1.FC Markdeburg and SC Paderborn.
Karlsruher SC will stay in the third tier for a second consecutive season for the first time in their history, after having only reached the promotion playoff and losing it to above-mentioned Aue.
The teams relegated to the Third Division are Eintracht Braunschweig and 1.FC Kaiserslautern. Fortuna Düsseldorf and 1.FC Nuremberg meanwhile, gained promotion to the top tier.
Let’s now move to a major news story in German soccer. The great Swiss coach Lucien Favre will leave his French club Nice to join Borussia Dortmund. That is of course very good news for Dortmund, no question about it.
But as a Bayern Munich fan, I ask myself, why my club failed to secure his signature. Niko Kovac is a good coach, no doubt about it. Yet, he clearly does not hold the credentials of a Favre.
As was to be expected, Bayern will not have a world class coach next season, for the first time since the sacking of Jürgen Klinsmann in the spring of 2009. Favre is no world class coach either, but he has a CV that Kovac is still building.
To be clear, I am also not comparing Kovac to Klinsmann, that would be an insult.