1. FC Union Berlin wants to invest in the future on a grand scale after the most successful year in the club's history, both in terms of sport and business. "We are facing the largest and most important investment phase in our history," said club president Dirk Zingler on Monday evening at the general meeting in the Tempodrom.
The Köpenickers want to invest around 150 million euros in the coming years in the expansion of the stadium An der Alten Försterei and a new training center. "I think we'll get the best stadium in Europe," said Zingler.
There was more good news: The 58-year-old announced that the club had bought the property on which the stadium is located from the city of Berlin. Until now, Union had a heritable building right. This led to huge cheers. "It was the same for us on Monday," said Zingler happily.
The plan is to start expanding the stadium in the summer of 2024 at the earliest. The original plans for this were presented in 2017. The Corona crisis and problems with the traffic concept caused the delay.
After the conversion, the stadium will have a capacity of around 37,700 seats and will continue to be reminiscent of Oberschoeneweide's industrial buildings. There is a small fly in the ointment. The three standing room grandstands, in the construction of which the members were significantly involved in a much-noticed action, have to be rebuilt.
First, however, Union wants to change the area around the stadium. The office will be renovated from spring 2023. From the summer, a new training center for the licensed players department, a multi-storey car park, new training grounds and a clubhouse are to be built at the stadium.
With the plans, the people of Köpenick are further consolidating their status in the capital. The club would then have its own modern stadium with a suitable club site and a youth academy for 25 million euros. In terms of sport, Union has surpassed city rivals Hertha in recent years and also has more members - 48,364 was the number announced on Monday. In addition, the Irons, unlike Hertha on Sunday, were able to announce strong economic data.
Zingler announced record figures for the 2021/2022 season. The club achieved income of 122.137 million euros (2020/2021: 72.799) last season, as managing director Oskar Kosche said. Profit after tax for the entire group, which also includes Stadion AG, was EUR 12.685 million (2020/2021: -11.953).
In the current season, the Irons want to increase sales to 157.026 million euros. In addition, for the first time in the club's history, a positive equity capital of 4.165 million euros should be achieved. The group's profit is said to be 20.491 million.
Union looks back on the most successful year in the club's history. Coach Urs Fischer's team reached the semi-finals of the DFB Cup last season and finished fifth in the Bundesliga. Now the Köpenickers are wintering in three competitions and have been sensationally at the top of the league for weeks. "In the end it was an outstanding 2022 that we played," Fischer said in a media round on Monday.
The fact that the team only picked up one point from the last three competitive games before the World Cup break didn't dampen the fans' joy. Among them were two heavy defeats in Leverkusen (0:5) and Freiburg (1:4). Players and coaches were celebrated in the evening with standing ovations and songs.
During the planned expansion of the An der Alten Försterei stadium, Union wants to move into the living room of its Charlottenburg competitor. Zingler announced that they would probably play a season in the Olympic Stadium.
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