Once upon a time, the players from Turbine Potsdam raised championship trophies and Champions League trophies, rushed from one success to the next under legendary coach Bernd Schröder – but now there is a risk of falling.
Coach gone, president gone, numerous players fled and the proud traditional club has fallen to the bottom of the table in the women's Bundesliga: the horror season could actually end with relegation.
Only one point from ten games, plus the end of the cup round of 16: In a club that had been spoiled by success for years, there was “a state of shock” at first, as the new Turbine President Karsten Ritter-Lang explained in an interview with SID .
Not thinking about a relegation scenario "would be more than unrealistic".
Even if the glory days are long gone, something like this was hardly imaginable last season.
The six-time champion just barely missed qualifying for the Champions League, and in previous years Turbine had mostly mixed among the top four teams.
Numerous construction sites
How did it come to this?
"It was a difficult situation after all the turbulence in spring and summer," said Ritter-Lang, who has been in office since November.
In June, just six months after the early contract extension, the collaboration with coach Sofian Chahed ended.
This led to "irritations", said Ritter-Lang.
Just five days later, the then President Rolf Kutzmutz resigned, who, according to the club's statement, "saw himself "no longer in a position to do anything positive for the club in a responsible position".
And there were more than enough construction sites on the pitch.
A large part of the squad left the club, apparently the players "didn't see a profound future at Turbine," said Ritter-Lang.
In addition, there were many injuries under Chahed's successor Sebastian Middeke.
The load control was "unfortunately only moderately taken into account in the summer months until October".
That's another reason why you couldn't continue with Middeke.
Interim coach Sven Weigang has been in charge of staying up in the league since November.
Unrest on and off the pitch - in short: "The club has imploded," said Ritter-Lang.
And that in an environment in which the three-time cup winner increasingly has to compete with clubs that operate under the umbrella of men's Bundesliga clubs.
In addition to Potsdam, SGS Essen is the only other pure women's football club in the top division.
Since the last Potsdam triumph in 2012, the German champions have been either VfL Wolfsburg or Bayern Munich, while RB Leipzig is pushing up in the second division.
Despite everything, Ritter-Lang believes that clubs like Potsdam can also play in the Bundesliga if “the general conditions are right there”.
The topic of relegation is still hanging over the club before the restart of the league games for the turbine on Sunday (1 p.m. at Magentasport) against Bayern Munich.
He is confident that the team is "on the right track" as far as the injuries are concerned, they have also sought advice from the Institute for Game Analysis, and there is now "good teamwork" between the coaching and functional teams.
Even if a descent could be "a time for an absolute restart", Ritter-Lang is sure "that we can already do it".