In terms of sport, 1. FC Nürnberg still has problems, but technically things are going well. This is shown by the first virtual annual meeting. Among other things, it was about Patrick Erras, a possible comeback of Javier Pinola and the new ones on the supervisory board.
The camera pans: The two board members Dieter Hecking (sports) and Niels Rossow (finance) sit on the podium. Behind the chairman of the board, Thomas Grethlein, and his deputy. The scene is reminiscent of fundraising shows on television when celebrities collect money on the phone. The rest of the supervisory board sits behind the camera – spread out at individual tables like schoolboys during an exam. There are still a few club employees there, otherwise the VIP lounge in the Max Morlock Stadium is empty.
A direct meeting would have been right and important, “says Grethlein at the start of the club’s first virtual general meeting in history. But Corona makes that impossible. After the club’s poor athletic performance, however, an annual meeting cannot be postponed to 2021.” We want to Ask us the questions. “Later, they crack down on the officials using a chat function. The meeting lasts until 1.45 in the morning.
Traditionally, there are sometimes absurd questions: “Can wine spritzers be offered in the Nordkurve? If so, from a Franconian winemaker? Could volume discounts be introduced for beer orders?” That’s part of the process when the club invites you to its annual meeting. Even if the meeting leader preaches like a prayer wheel that only important questions should be asked.
Otherwise, Grethlein often has to put up with questions about the desolate performance of the team. Why he and his committee stuck to sports director Robert Palikuca for so long. “It is the greatest personal defeat that three board members have had to leave early.” The decision was not made easy. Until the end, one was convinced that he was the right one. “The backpack that he, the team and the club would have had to carry for the coming season was too heavy.” It took a fresh start. The optimal solution was found with the “young sports director and old hand”, Dieter Hecking.
Hecking explains to the members why he switched sides. “I wanted something new.” When he arrived in Nuremberg, he experienced a club that had been shaken for two years. “From relegation to relegation. An insecure team that showed in relegation that it can show emotions.” He recognized a squad that “has potential and that we have now strengthened selectively”. Manuel Schäffler, “my king transfer”, is one of them, just like Pascal Köpke, “a name that stands for quality in Nuremberg”.
At the same time, Hecking particularly regrets one departure: that of home-grown Patrick Erras. “It’s a shame that we didn’t manage to keep him here in Nuremberg. He could not only have been an important building block for this season, but also for the future.” Unfortunately, Hecking was “a little late”. Although they still had a conversation with each other, Erras said that he wanted to pursue a Bundesliga team’s request if the offer became more specific. “A player trained by us is now gaining a foothold in the Bundesliga. Maybe there is also a way back,” hopes Hecking.
Hecking also goes into another crowd favorite: Javier Pinola had come to see him, “because Pino would like to see his children grow up in Germany”. The sports director explains that he wants to exchange ideas with the Argentine in December. “We’re discussing what a return to the club might look like.
Then Hecking appeals to the fans to put their trust in the team. A young team has been formed that deserves a little patience. With coach Robert Klauss, he decided on a clear game idea. “In Nuremberg, attractive football should be seen again. First-class football with passion that is fun to watch,” he says. This is explicitly not a goal of promotion.
Niels Rossow confirms that the club is financially one of the top clubs in the league despite the desperate sporting performance last season and the measures relating to the corona virus. Almost two million remained with the club. “We were able to withstand the first corona wave,” he summed up. But he also stated that it would not be quite as rosy in the coming year. Because of the pandemic consequences in the current year, “we will probably not have such a balance sheet and one Being able to present profit and loss accounts “.
But Rossow also took stock of how the club had developed beyond that. A year ago he wanted to make the club “more visible”. He listed actions that help the Franconian image: an FCN plane from the Corendon airline, the premiere with the Christkindlesmarkt stand, a school start campaign and thousands of baby bodies that would be distributed free of charge at birth in a Nuremberg hospital .
Not only the support of the Nürnberger Tafel, the campaign shopping helpers and honor jerseys for special people proved “that the association is committed to society”. With a new platform “like no other football club in the world has so far”, 1. FC Nürnberg wants to encourage its members to get involved in society. At www.unserclub.de, the supporters collect points if they are part of a project and do something good.
18 candidates stood for election for the three vacant positions on the supervisory board of 1. FC Nürnberg. Among them was the acting head of the committee, Thomas Grethlein, who won the most votes with 1,108. Among the applicants were other well-known names: the two ex-professionals Marc Oechler and Martin Driller, as well as Hersbruck’s mayor Robert Ilg. The “horseradish baron” Hanns-Thomas Schamel tried his luck again. In the end, however, Matthias Fifka (799 votes), professor of strategic and value-based management, and ex-club professional and cup winner from 2007, Chhunly Pagenburg, prevailed.