Steffen Baumgart coaches 1. FC Köln from summer 2021.Image: Imago Images / Kirchner Media
Only about a month ago Steffen Baumgart clearly answered an ARD journalist’s question about what the inhabitants of Cologne need to overcome the crisis: “Me, I mean the same thing.” At the time, Baumgart and his team had only collected one point after seven games and were bottom of the table.
Now, about a month later, FC have at least five points more and are no longer bottom. However, the Cologne team is still in the relegation zone and shows manageable performances week after week. After the 1-1 draw against Bochum at the weekend, Baumgart made it clear that the half-time talk for his players at the Ruhr Stadium was anything but pleasant.
Watson is now on WhatsApp
“Believe me, I don’t let anything go. It was a little more emotional,” the 51-year-old said of the “Very clear and very clear” announcement to its professionals.
But despite the current misery, the club’s management is on Baumgart’s side. In the one-two punch of Sport1, sports chief Keller had his back to his coach on Sunday: “For me the coach is not measured by points. For me he is measured by two things. First: What does he bring to the team with his performances every day with his coaches on the field or in the locker room to help the team grow?” Baumgart gets an A from Keller in this category because he would do a great job.
1. FC Cologne: details of Steffen Baumgart’s contract known
“The second thing that is important to me – added Keller – is that the coach has access to his team? When he speaks, does the team listen to him and is they willing to put it into practice? And if I can say yes, then I have two very important criteria, so I don’t need to ask questions about the coach or make a confession.”
Rather, according to Keller, the team needs to “get stronger.” As a result, the sporting director believes that his team can reach a higher sporting level. However, the professionals around captain Florian Kainz have not made it so far. It therefore seems that Cologne will have to prepare for the relegation battle after two quieter seasons.
It might be the worst season under Steffen Baumgart, who finished seventh his first year and 11th the following year. Participation in the Bundesliga is extremely important, especially for the club’s economic recovery. In September, finance director Philipp Türoff announced that the club had debts of €50 million.
In addition to the financial dimension, staying in the league would also be important to fill the coaching position. As “Bild” reports, Baumgart’s contract is not valid for the 2nd championship. In the event of relegation, the former professional footballer could leave the club for free or would have to negotiate a new contract with the club management. Baumgart is currently under contract in Cologne until 2025.
All that was known so far was that he did not have an exit clause. Another club would then have to negotiate a transfer fee with FC to buy Baumgart out of his contract.
When FC Bayern secured the services of Harry Kane in the summer, it was a real exclamation point. Sporty, because the Englishman is considered one of the best strikers in the world. But also from a financial point of view, because with a transfer fee of 95 million euros he became the most expensive purchase to date in the history of the Bundesliga.