2nd league: battle for promotion: Darmstadt and Co. can, HSV must

Everyone wants to, some can - and one has to: no other club in the 2nd Bundesliga has set itself the goal of promotion as offensively as Hamburger SV before the season.

2nd league: battle for promotion: Darmstadt and Co. can, HSV must

Everyone wants to, some can - and one has to: no other club in the 2nd Bundesliga has set itself the goal of promotion as offensively as Hamburger SV before the season.

Even before the start of the second half of the season, nothing has changed in the specification. After four unsuccessful attempts since relegation in 2018, the perceived first division team, trapped in the body of a second division team, finally wants to officially belong to the German football upper class again from the summer.

"We are ready to accept the challenge. The challenge that we almost did last year. The challenge to take another step to finally achieve the long-awaited goal, the Bundesliga," said sports director Jonas Boldt (41). of the meeting of the HSV e.V. and spoken to the members from the heart of the rhombus. The competition also assigns the Hamburgers to be the favorites. "Well, I mentioned HSV in the summer - and I'm sticking to it, he's the first contender," said coach Frank Schmidt (49) from third-placed 1. FC Heidenheim to the "kicker".

HSV promotion is not a matter of course

In any case, the ascent for the Hamburger and coach Tim Walter (47) will not be automatic. HSV starts on Sunday (1.30 p.m. / Sky) against Eintracht Braunschweig only second in the second half of the season. Table leaders Darmstadt 98, Heidenheim, the fourth 1. FC Kaiserslautern or Hannover 96 are waiting for Hamburg's weak phases - and they came with unsightly regularity.

Three times they went into the second part of the season on a promotion place, three times they ended up in fourth place. Last season, HSV kept their third place from the first half of the season, but failed to climb up the table and straight into the Bundesliga. Hertha BSC blocked the detour via the relegation.

The HSV competition would not resist promotion either. In addition to wanting, there is not an absolute must. "If it didn't work out in the end, it wouldn't be a broken leg at all," said Darmstadt President Rüdiger Fritsch (61). 96 coach Stefan Leitl (45) had stated that promotion within three years was his goal when he took office in the summer. Hannover's Saturday opponents 1. FC Kaiserslautern remain modest as they have been promoted to the second division. Coach Dirk Schuster describes a run-through like he did with Darmstadt a few years ago as "remote from reality". Likewise, Heidenheim's Schmidt does not want to indulge in daydreams despite the best first half of the second division.

But all clubs can use the extra money in the 1st league. "An advancement means an increase in revenue at all levels. Media revenue, which accounts for the largest share, roughly triples," said Darmstadt boss Fritsch and calculated for his club: "That would be around EUR 36 million at around EUR 12 million now."

HSV earns plus

When it comes to the finances of the former European soccer giant HSV, the adjective "clammy" has been used for years. But now the new HSV CFO Eric Huwer (39) had good news to report to the members. For the first time in eleven years, Fußball AG ended a financial year with a profit, totaling around one million euros. Debt was reduced to its lowest level in 15 years and equity was increased to 35 million euros. "We're on the right track," he said.

In the 2nd Bundesliga, it is the fans in particular who ensure HSV high revenues. Almost every home game is sold out. More than 54,000 tickets have already been sold for the game against Eintracht Braunschweig. According to Huwer, the Hamburgers have the sixth-highest average attendance of the first and second division clubs. HSV and its fans are first class in this ranking. Now the team just has to follow suit.

Heidenheim's coach Frank Schmidt on SWR

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