Hamburg face changes after avoiding relegation
On Sunday, Hamburg drew 1-1 at Greuther Furth in the second leg of Bundesliga’s promotion-relegation play-off to triumph on the away-goals rule and extend their perfect run in Germany’s top flight.
Hamburg are the only club to have played in every Bundesliga season since the competition began in 1962, and the north German outfit have flagged numerous changes before the 2014/15 campaign begins to ensure they never get so close to relegation again.
“I couldn’t take another season like that or I would be suicidal,” said captain Heiko Westermann on Monday.
On May 25, Hamburg’s members are set to vote on the ‘HSV Plus’ restructure of the club, which would see the professional football department separated from the rest of the organisation to become a corporation.
It is predicted that this change would allow more investors to get involved in the club, which was founded in 1887, and reduce costs.
Meanwhile, coach Mirko Slomka argued changes need to be made to the playing squad, which won just seven games all season.
“We have to change in many areas. We need new faces for our club,” the 46-year-old said.
Slomka will have to do without his top-scorer Pierre-Michel Lasogga next season, with the German striker, who was on loan from Hertha Berlin, having been linked with a move to Newcastle United in the Premier League.
Lasogga scored 14 goals for Hamburg, including the decisive goal against Greuther.
Reports have also suggested Hakan Calhanoglu, who struck nine times this season, may be sold to Bayer Leverkusen, although sporting director Oliver Kreuzer is adamant the 20-year-old winger will stay at the Imtech Arena.
“He will definitely stay a HSV (Hamburg) player,” Kreuzer said.
For the club known as the ‘dinosaur’, due to it being one of the oldest clubs in Germany, evolution could make or break Hamburg.
But defender Marcell Jansen reckons not much could be worse than Hamburg’s recently-completed season.
“In the end we just have to be thankful that we have simply come away with two black eyes from the season,” Jansen said.
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