More than 4,000 fans are celebrating Bayreuth’s return to professional football – but the successful coach is faltering

Bayreuth’s players celebrated winning the championship on Saturday. Photo: Peter Kolb / BFV

Bayreuth’s players celebrated winning the championship on Saturday. Photo: Peter Kolb / BFV

Spvgg Bayreuth is early champion of the Regionalliga Bayern 2022 and returns to single-track professional football after 32 years of abstinence, after “Altstadt” had given a year of intermission in the southern group of the then two-track Regionalliga in 2005/06 season and in 1990 relegated second division.

Oberfranken received the happy news on Friday night about the promotion to the third division. With a 4-0 (1-0) away win over Bayreuth’s title rival FC Bayern München II, Wacker Burghausen won the championship for Spvgg coach Timo Rost’s team. That night, Dr. Rainer Koch, president of the Bavarian Football Federation (BFV), and Association Game Manager Josef Janker to Bayreuth and brought the championship trophy and championship pennant. Before the last home game against Viktoria Aschaffenburg, the medals for the champion team were handed over in the Hans-Walter-Wild-Stadion.

The new regional league champions also showed no weakness on the last match day. Bayreuth won 2-1 over Viktoria Aschaffenburg. Over 4,000 spectators celebrated the championship and the return to professional football after 30 years at the stadium.

A long absence that left plenty of time for doubt. Just over ten years ago, Bayreuth even relegated to the sixth-ranked state league. The opponents at that time were Pettstadt, Trogen, Selbitz, Kleinrinderfeld, Neudrossenfeld, Hollfeld or Frammersbach. Who then would have thought that Kaiserslautern or Dresden, Mannheim, Saarbrücken, Essen or 1860 Munich could take their place from the summer?

In 2013, it was spun off as the Spielvereinigung Oberfranken Bayreuth, and things have been moving forward ever since. Timo Rust’s commitment in the autumn of 2018 was certainly a stroke of luck. But the biggest question mark is currently behind the coach. Marcel Rozgonyi describes the market for coaches as “volatile” – according to Duden “volatile, unstable, irregular”. “The question does not arise,” refers the CEO, another former professional who played with Rost in Energie Cottbus in the Bundesliga in 2002/03, referring to existing agreements. “But Julian Nagelsmann also had a three-year contract in Leipzig …”

Rost admits: “Four or five clubs from the front of the 3rd division, but also from the second division are interested. But everything is still open.” 50:50 chances of staying is like walking. Second Division relegated Aue wants to get the 43-year-old, presumably also Waldhof Mannheim, a return to Greuther Fürth, where he has already looked after the second team, would not be a big surprise. There was a focus on the championship and the promotion to the last, but from now on the third division can be tackled quite concretely.

At least Spvgg seems ready for the adventure. The necessary spotlights for the established stadium, which can accommodate more than 20,000 spectators, are currently being set up and will be available on the first day of the match. “We can meet the minimum requirements. But then we had to further optimize the structure,” says Marcel Rozgonyi.

In terms of interest, there is still room for improvement in terms of the normal average attendance of around 900 fans. “Bayern Munich showed what is possible in Bayreuth, although the more than 10,000 spectators are obviously not the norm there. But there are some top teams in the 3rd division,” said the CEO. At the top match Easter day against the pursuers, the crowd flocked to the arena built in 1967 and saw a 4-0 victory. Only five days later, the taillight TSV 1860 Rosenheim won with the same result in the Hans-Walter-Wild-Stadion. But more than 4,000 visitors in the season’s final home game is quite impressive.

At home, there were already defeats against Schweinfurt 05 or against Pipinsried. But 50 out of 54 possible points when they got Bayreuth away are certainly already suitable for the 3rd league. The distance to last year’s champion right now is 28 points, a real class difference. “I still have the greatest respect for Schweinfurt, a really great club,” Timo Rost said last Saturday as a fair winner.

The old town wants to make big changes in the squad, which only with difficulty and barely managed to move up to the 1st Bundesliga in 1979, and which beat Bayern Munich in the DFB Cup 1980, even in the 3rd division. Instead, selective reinforcements are planned. And also in league three, Bayreuth want to rely on the image they have in common with Schweinfurt 05. “We are a workers’ club,” says Rozgonyi, who was born in Hoyerswerda in the GDR, “there is no other way because in 3. Most clubs have completely different options in the league, so we have to work harder than the others, “says the manager. – mh / red

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