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The School News Site of Bonner Springs High School

The Pow Wow

The School News Site of Bonner Springs High School

The Pow Wow

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From Riches to Rags

Massive struggles by big clubs in Europe
Firework at the field during the Dutch Eredivisie match between AFC Ajax and Feyenoord at Johan Cruijff Arena on September 24, 2023, in Amsterdam. Image credit: Getty Images via

In the world of soccer there has been much struggle from the teams you’d least expect. There are many people you could point the finger at. You could say it’s on the players, or the coaches, or the sporting director and executive branch. Whether you like it or not, this game is a results business. Some of these teams’ biggest worries are not qualifying for European competitions, others are even threatening the existence of their club. Because when a club gets relegated, not only do they lose money and jobs. But most of their players leave for other teams in higher divisions and the team often stays in that division, possibly for a while. Examples like this are Hamburg SV in Germany, Sunderland in England, and Saint-Etienne in France. If these clubs want to stay up then they seriously need to get it fixed quickly or they’ll be another statistic. Even though they have time to turn it around they can’t rest on their laurels anymore.

AFC Ajax Amsterdam:

Four years ago this team was on the cusp of making it to the Champions League final, now they are at the bottom of the table. Shows how much can change in a while but we should’ve seen the warning signs last year. They had a very disappointing third-place showing and it was evident that this club was completely a shell of what they were. Usually, this side was great at adjusting on the fly when their star players would exit to go to bigger and better sides, and they would recoup their assets with other players made up from the transfer sum. As their reality is that they are a “feeder club”. They build their players up, make them good, and transfer quickly because the league competition is weak and they can’t afford the players. But this year it is just showing that this team has been handcuffed due to mismanagement and not having the same talent anymore. For instance, after some of the final players that made Ajax good had left they had spent $100 million in one transfer window. Things got so dire their transfer chief Sven Mislintat was fired after the Feyenoord rivalry game where hooliganism ran rampant with flares being thrown on the field shown in the photo postponement. That 3-0 mollywhopping was enough evidence to kick their manager to the curb as well. They have a long way to go if they want to turn around this season.

FC Basel 1893:

Not as much success as the previous club but FC Basel has usually been one of the better clubs in the Swiss Super League. They also sit at the bottom of the league and are on the doorstep of relegation. I think personally the reason why they sit in last place is because the talent pool has run out. This team had talents like Arthur Cabral and Yann Sommer and now they have moved on and play in better leagues. And when the talent runs low so does the team performance. Basel are a much weaker side and have serious questions to answer in the offseason. But they just have to make sure they don’t get relegated. If they do, their club’s future like I just mentioned is in serious doom.

Olympique Lyonnais:

This season for Lyon fans has been a nightmare revived over and over from game to game and day to day. Their story of how they completely went down to the doldrums will be studied for a while. This is not the start multi-club owner John Textor expected when he bought the club last year, which is the year Lyon fans wish they could go back to. That Lyon side was fun to watch, competitive, and most of all good. They weren’t world-beaters but they were one of the better sides they have had in the last few years. But it’s like they’ve gone so far backward

Angry fans of Olympique Lyon berated the playing body for their poor performance against PSG in Ligue 1.
Source: UGC

that they slipped off Mount Everest and are spiraling down. It feels like young star Bradley Barcola was the glue that held the team together. After he went to rival Paris Saint-Germain everything has gone crazy, even the fans. After another loss in Ligue 1 to Brest, Lyon fans forced the players to stay on the field and completely criticized them because they didn’t deserve to wear the club badge. And I see that impulse because the people who criticized them are ultras, who also have a share in the club and are massive supporters of the club. Not just the common fan. I don’t know how they fix it but maybe they’ll turn it around with Fabio Grasso as the new manager after Laurent Blanc was sacked.

FC Schalke 04:

This has been a while in the making. Schalke used to be one of the top clubs in Germany, everyone wanted to beat them and now everyone does beat them. After bouncing from promotion to the first division to relegation to the second division, they have cratered very suddenly. As in the second division, they are 16th and are currently slated to be in the relegation playoff. Now this may be just a rough start and they could turn it around, but with how depleted their roster is it looks like they might just go down to the third tier and everyone will forget them. As a Dortmund fan, I wouldn’t mind.



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Madden Rausch
Madden Rausch, Writer
Madden Rausch is in his second year on Staff at BSHS. He mostly covers World Sports and potentially other topics. Highlighting his fandom is Borussia Dortmund and the Kansas City Chiefs. He is pictured with Borussia Dortmund striker #9 Sebastian Haller.

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