Tasmania Fears Losing ‘Bundesliga Chokers’ Badge To Schalke

Tasmania Fears Losing ‘Bundesliga Chokers’ Badge To Schalke

BERLIN: Tasmania Berlin fears losing its notoriety if Schalke finally takes away its record for the longest winless run in the Bundesliga.

If Schalke doesnt beat Hoffenheim at home on Saturday, it will tie Tasmanias league record of 31 consecutive games without a victory from the 1965-66 season.

Tasmania is proud of its record, even going so far as to describe itself as historic Bundesliga chokers on its Twitter page. It also describes itself as the worst Bundesliga club of all time on its website.

Its become a calling card for us, club chairman Almir Numic told local broadcaster Radio Eins this week. If you consider the last few years, weve been getting a lot of attention because of this record. Without this negative record, nobody in Germany or Europe would speak about Tasmania Berlin.

Tasmania, which is based in the southeast Berlin borough of Neuklln, now plays at fifth-tier level.

Weve never seen it as a negative thing. There are certainly clubs that would say, Why do you see this as something positive? and I would say, Better to have that kind of media attention than no media attention, Numic said.

Tasmania fans have been doing their bit to try to hold on to the old Bundesliga record. A small group of supporters tried encouraging Schalke before its game at Hertha Berlin last weekend.

No spectators are allowed at any Bundesliga games due to restrictions and a lockdown against the

coronavirus

, so the supporters held signs outside Berlins Olympiastadion saying, Thats our record! and Save the record for Tasmania! while displaying Tasmania scarves, flags and banners.

It didnt work.

Schalke lost 3-0 and was fortunate not to lose by more in Christian Gross debut as coach. Gross is already Schalkes fourth coach of the season and his team provided little evidence that it can stop its barren run against Hoffenheim.

One thing we shouldnt forget: We managed the record in one season, while Schalke will do it could do it over two seasons, Numic said.

Schalke, which hasnt won a league game since Jan. 17 last year, is a seasoned Bundesliga contender, backed by energy giant Gazprom. It has just four points from its opening 14 games this season.

The Gelsenkirchen-based clubs plight is far worse than Tasmanias given the historical differences between the clubs.

Tasmania was clearly out of its depth when it was promoted to the Bundesliga for political reasons in 1965. Hertha had been relegated for making illegal payments to its players and league authorities wanted to replace it with another from West Berlin in what was West Germanys soccer league at the time. Tasmania wasnt even the first choice, but it accepted the leagues invitation to play.

Tasmania started with a 2-0 win over Karlsruher SC but had to wait another 31 games for its next win, 2-1 at home over Borussia Neunkirchen in the penultimate round. Tasmania finished with a 4-0 loss at Schalke.

Our humor, our typical Berliner humor, certainly played a role in us not becoming resigned, but for every game we said, Each game starts 0-0, said Hans-Gnter Becker, who was Tasmania captain at the time.

Tasmania went through financial difficulties until it was declared bankrupt and disbanded in 1973. Its successor was founded as SV Tasmania 73 Neuklln the same year, when many club officials and players made the switch to the new club. It was renamed SV Tasmania Berlin in 2011.

Tasmania is currently top of its fifth-tier Oberliga but the season was suspended after nine rounds due to the

coronavirus

. The players cant train together due to restrictions.

Weve learned to cope with the pandemic. For the first two weeks of the first lockdown it was very quiet at the club. We sat down with some club officials and the coaches and came up with a plan for renovating our stadium, Numic said. During the lockdown period, while respecting the

coronavirus

restrictions, with fans, with members, with parents and with coaches on board, we completely renovated the stadium. You could see the potential behind the club then, the pride thats there also with the negative record.

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Ciarn Fahey on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cfaheyAP