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If you can´t buy success, loan it!

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What have Andreas Ottl, Julian Schieber and Mehmet Ekici in common? All have them are or have been on loan at 1. FC Nuremberg, and have helped “Der Club” to survive in the Bundesliga. Here is how Nuremberg keep their head above water.

Julian Schieber has played for Germany at the youth level. So far this season the striker has scored 5 goals in 20 matches.

“Der Club” from Nuremberg is undoubtedly one of the greatest clubs in German history. Dominating football in the 20’s, being amongst the best teams after the founding of the Bundesliga, being a relegated a year after the team won its first Bundesliga championship, the history of this club reads like a roller coaster ride. One major reason for the club’s wild history has been finical mismanagement. No Nuremburg supporter is filled with joy when he hears the words “Club 2000”. A concept that was originally designed to take the club into the future, it almost bankrupted the club in the early 90’s. Some of the debt has still to be paid back, and the club’s ability to compete for the hottest signings in Europe has sunken to an all time low. So how does this club manage to stay up in the Bundesliga?

Loan it, don’t own it
Certainly one of the answers to this conundrum is “smart” signings. Timmy Simons or Tomáš Galásek may not have been players that were grabbing headlines for every game they played in Belgium and the Netherlands, but both of them brought a massive amount of experience to the club.

Coach Dieter Hecking hasn't got a lot of money to throw around on the transfer market. "Der Club's" strategy is to loan players.

The other answer can be found in the way German football culture differentiates itself from the other big leagues in Europe. While most European clubs sent their talents away to play abroad or to play in lower divisions, the German top clubs are sending their players away on loans to teams that they themselves are competing against. “Der Club” has simply made it its specialty to find some of the most exciting talent in German football, and get them on a loan deal. Only in the last two seasons the club has had Julian Schieber, Mehmet Ekici, Jens Hegeler, Marcel Risse and Andreas Ottl on their books. All these players are young and hungry, and some of them may even have the potential to play at Real Madrid or Manchester United in the future(tho, not all of them). Having had all those talents on loan has has certainly helped “Der Club” to keep its place in the Bundesliga.

Taking on “Die Werkself”
Today’s match sees “Der Club” fighting a tough battle against Jupp Heynckes’ Bayer 04 Leverkusen. “Die Werkself” recovered splendidly after its whopping 3-1 defeat to Dortmund, and is now looking to gaining ground on the run away leaders. Dieter Hecking as certainly shown the tactical wit to outsmart the biggest teams in the league, and with some of the finest loan soldiers at hand, this match might turn out to be one of the most enjoyable spectacles this weekend.

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About Niklas

Niklas Wildhagen has been following the Bundesliga for over 20 years and he is the editor in chief of the Bundesliga fanatic.

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