Der Bär Wird Wieder Brüllen, The Third Season, Part One

Was in der weiten Welt des Sports ist hier los?

Hannah screamed, and so did Julia. The pounding on the door was loud, it sounded like someone was taking a sledgehammer to it.

“Stay here,” he said, looking at them. He approached the front door warily, took a deep breathe and opened it.

“Did you know about this?” Coach Schmidt was young, but he was angry.

Klaus shook his head. “He told us nothing. It was a surprise to all of us. If we had know about it beforehand rest assured the supporters club would have protested.”

“And now?”

“It’s done. The paperwork has already been signed.”

Coach looked ready to curse, hands going to his head and inhaling deeply, the he held that breath, shut his eyes, and counted silently. After about ten seconds, he opened his eyes again.

“We have a good relationship, that is the Supporters Club and the staff, yes?”

“Of course Coach, you’ve done an incredible job, we couldn’t be happier, back to back promotions? You’re a hero. You aren’t to blame for what happened, we all know that.”

“Then one day, in the future, I am going to call in a favor.”

The door to the General Managers office flew open so hard, so fast, it almost came off it’s hinges. Behind Coach Schmidt his secretary stood, scared out of her wits.

“When I signed my contract, I was assured that this was a partnership, that we were partners. Did you lie to me, Robert?”

Chairman Ammerbach swallowed, and stood up.

“If you’ll let me explain-“

“Explain what Robert? Explain why you thought the best time to do this would be when I was away and not answering my phones or emails for a week? “

“Coach, Nicholas-” Robert stopped when Nicholas held up his hand.

“We are not friends Chairman. You will address me as Coach, I will address you as Chairman, and when the cameras are on, we are on the same team. But if you think for a minute I am going to forget what you have done with this announcement-“

“It’s a new Stadium-“

“It’s 26 MILLION EUROS of debt we cannot take on right now. You put in almost 500K of your own money last season just to keep everybody’s bank accounts in the good. Now we are in 2 Bundesliga with a team that would have a hard time getting out of the Regionalliga. We have been lucky! I have been able to make bricks with just dirt and straw, and now you saddle us with this? The difficult I can do, the impossible? Just what do you think will happen?”


“Who’s going to sign for us? I need to put together a squad that will keep up up, and I am already against the payroll, and no one worth their salt is going to want to come here because they think we’re going back down.”

“We needed a stadium-“

“We could have rented, like we are doing now. I know Hohenschonhausen doesn’t meet the Bundesliga 2 requirements, but instead of just renting this year, now we are renting, and paying out a loan fee.”

“We’ve needed a new stadium for awhile, you know that, it’s been one on e the Supporters Club’s biggest complaints for years now-“

“Which is why you hid this from them, eh?” Schmidt took a step forward, and Ammerbach stepped back, until he hit his desk, and swallowed.

“It was now or never, Coach.”

Schmidt looked at him, and then shook his head.

“We have a vision for this club. We have a plan, we have goals. We talked about this before I even signed. Assurances were made, on both sides. At no time was a new stadium ever mentioned. I would have told you then what I am telling you now, the club is in no financial position to undertake such a thing, and yet, you did. I don’t know how, I don’t know which bank or other institutions agreed to loan you the money, and I know the only thing of value you could have put up as collateral was the club itself, but that’s not my concern anymore.” Coach Schmidt stopped talking, then pinched the bridge of his nose.

“I am going to do everything I can to keep this club up. You will back me 110%, because if you do not, this club goes into administration, and if that happens, you will lose everything. But that means everyone is going to be keeping an eye on you as well Chairman.”

“You’ll lose it all too Coach,” the Chairman said.

Nikki held up a hand, all five fingers extended.

“Hannover.” Down went thumb.
“Hamburg.” Down went the forefinger.
“Kaiserslautern.” Down went the pinky.
“FK Austria Vienna.” Down went the ring finger.
“Sparta Rotterdam.” Coach turned his hand around, and showed the Chairman his remaining finger.

“I will have plenty of options available to me. I just took a team with next to no resources to back to back promotions, and those are just the interview requests I’ve turned down this year. I’ve made a splash, and I am confident that I can go to any of those clubs and succeed. But-” he inhaled deeply.

“I made a promise. The only person who can get me to break that promise is you, so you know what’s going to happen now?” Nicholas had stepped forward, invaded the chairman’s personal space, and after given the appearance of brushing lint of his jacket, grabbed him by the lapels.

“We are going to be a United front. But that means no more parties, no more new cars, now more jetting off to Marbella to have a nice weekend with the mistress. We are not going to fail on the field if I have anything to say about it. But when we stay up, when we get our League money and television revenues, if we somehow manage to avoid relegation and administration, when I come to you and say “We need new training facilities, I need another scout, the U19 team could use another coach, you are going to smile, nod, and write me a check. Do. You. Understand?”

Coach’s voice had gone so quiet near the end. the Chairman had a hard time hearing him. But the look in coaches eyes had him nodding quickly.

I couldn’t make this up if I tried. I knew our stadium was old, falling apart, and needed an upgrade. I also knew getting promoted meant we’d be renting a stadium until we had our finances sorted out. The season ended with BFC getting promoted, we had the team meeting, and then this comes across the inbox:

It has been a long term objective of the club to get a new stadium built, but now? 32M Euro’s we don’t have to build a 15K seat stadium, while renting a stadium in Cottbus…our net debt jumped to 42.2M Euro’s

Then, not even two weeks later, comes this bit of delightful news:

Ammacher is lucky he is a Newgen.

We’re in Bundesliga 2 now. Armenia Bielefeld, 1. FC Koln, Kaiserslautern, Nurnberg, Regensburg, and other teams that are not only bigger than us, but financially more stable. Hell, even Ingolstadt and Hansa Rostock have better finances than we do, and they’re tipped to be relegated as well.

This save just got infinitely harder.

And if I am being honest, a lot more fun.

Let the rollercoaster ride continue!

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