The three very rough protagonists of eintracht frankfurt’s little fubball march are now far away.
The forward trio of luka jovic, sebastien haller and ante rebic, described by goalkeeper kevin trapp as a “herd of buffaloes,” gave the hessians a frenetic fubball spring and a few magical moments on the rough european stage before frankfurt quickly became too small for them again. Serb jovic moved to real madrid, french haller to london to west ham united, croatia’s vice world champion rebic is playing for AC milan this season.
The first eintracht entry into a european semifinal since 1980 was celebrated for the first time this saturday, and many SGE supporters were allowed to remember the past spring wistfully during these turbulent days. Whereas twelve months ago the state of exception meant making rough journeys to lisbon or london with thousands of fans, these days the corona crisis means: empty stadiums for a long time, stopped competitions for more than a month and closed borders because of a pandemic that has brought all the football euphoria to a halt.
When spectators were last allowed into the stadium for an international match in frankfurt in february, adi hutter described the atmosphere as follows: “this europe league is simply lived here in frankfurt.”The austrian had previously worked in switzerland and austria, but he had never experienced such immense enthusiasm. In fact, with the surprising results against benfica, inter or lazio rom, eintracht has not only delighted its own audience, but also improved its own economic basis once again, which now pays off even in times of crisis.
Regarding the multi-million dollar tv rate, on which the existence of some clubs seems to hang at the moment, hutter jungst said: “we all know that it would be important for a lot of bundesliga clubs. Eintracht frankfurt is in the fortunate position of being able to spend some time over. 2016 would have been very difficult for eintracht frankfurt as well.”But since relegation was averted almost four years ago, an upswing has set in on the main, not only in sporting terms, but also in management.
The executive boards of fredi bobic and axel hellmann, as well as sports director bruno hubner, have long-term contracts. Last season, sales rose by 60 million euros to an all-time high of more than 200 million euros. In addition, eintracht now has over 90.000 members, here too the trend is upwards. With a view to europe and the unexpected semi-final appearance, president peter fischer spoke of “a year of light and shine. In his usual martial speech, fischer remarked that they had “eaten up” opponents who were otherwise only known from television.
The club is trying to shape the future even in the current uncertain crisis period. The stadium, which in the future will be called "deutsche bank park", is to be extended to 60.000 spectators to be expanded. For the transfer market, however, planner bobic will have to rethink, all previous considerations are "completely for the tonne", as the former goaljager told the "spiegel". President fischer called out to the members as early as january: "don’t worry about it. 2020 will not be boring."At the time, no one had thought of a halt to the games and several months without fubball fans in the stadiums.