RB Leipzig has taken Bundesliga by a storm this season. However, not many are fans of the way the club has established itself amongst Europe’s elites. We take a journey from their establishment to the progress they made throughout the years.
Birth of Leipzig
Dietrich Mateschitz, co-founder of Red Bull, is Australian Billionaire who purchased the playing rights of the fifth division side SSV Markranstadt with the intention of advancing the new club to the top-flight Bundesliga within eight years. He graduated from the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. During his travel for the marketing of Blendax toothpaste, he discovered Krating Daeng, the energy drink which later became Red Bull. In 1984, he founded Red Bull GmbH with his Thai partners and launched it in Australia in 1987.
Mateschitz’s brands are consistently marketed as associated with the physical and mental attributes needed for various types of extreme sports through commercial sponsorship. Having already owned the Sauber Formula One motor racing team, Team Red Bull in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, racing circuits, Mateschitz thought of putting his hands in the field of football. In April 2005, he bought the Australian football club SV Austria Salzburg and in March 2006, he bought the American club MetroStarts. He renamed both club’s name after his famous drink, as Red Bull Salzburg and New York Red Bulls respectively. In 2007, Red Bull founded Red Bull Brasil which promoted to the 1st division of the Sao Paulo championship in 2014.
In May 2009, he founded a German football club called RasenBallsport Leipzig or RB Leipzig. There are certain rules that should be followed by the German football club to play in the league. The German football federation says that club cannot be renamed after a big company unless it’s been owned consistently for 20 years. Next, supporters must own 50-plus 1 percent of the shares of a club.
To be obliged by the laws Red Bull thought of the genius idea.
- The name of the club was RasenBallsport Leipzig or RB Leipzig (which also has the hidden name of Red Bull Leipzig)
- They charged exorbitant member fees while all of the members of the voting community were the employee of Red Bull.
Protest against RB Leipzig
While lots of people saw it as a commercial opportunism at odds with the values of German football, there were lots of protest against RB Leipzig. Lots of away fans did not attend Leipzig’s games at Red Bull Arena (home stadium of RB Leipzig). Also, some of the Dresden fans threw Bull’s head on to the field during the game.
Success of RB Leipzig
After the fall of Berlin, Wall German football was dominated by the western teams, including Bayern Munich, Wolfsburg, Borussia Dortmund and much more. East German Football teams struggled for decades. West teams had better training facilities and other resources than the East Teams. There were no east side teams in Bundesliga. And later comes RB Leipzig.
The club was founded with the intention of advancing the new club to the top-flight Bundesliga within eight years. And they did it in just seven years. During the seven years period, they promoted for four times and are now playing in the German’s Top League “The Bundesliga.”
RB Leipzig played its first match on 10 July 2009 against the Oberliga club SV Bannewtiz. They won their first game with a score of 5 goals to none. They played their first competitive match on 31 July 2009, in the first round of Saxony Cup against Blau–Weiß Leipzig. Their first league match was against FC Carl Zeiss Jena II on 8 August 2009, and the score was 1-1.
The team managed to secure first place in the 2009-10 NOFV-Oberluga Sud at 25th match day and earned the promotion to the 2010-11 Regionalliga Nord.
The 2010-11 Regionalliga season started with a series of draws. The first win came at the 4th match day. After a modest start to the season, the club chased Chemnitzer FC, and at the end of the year, RB Leipzig confirmed its ambition to gain the promotion by signing Brazilian midfielder Thiago Rockenbach. They missed out the promotion in the first season, however, won the Saxony Cup – first title in club history – and qualified to play in 2011-12 DFP-Pokal.
In 2011-12 Regionalliga season, RB Leipzig registered the largest win in club history defeating SV Wilhelmshaven 8-2 on 19 February 2012. However, the club missed out the promotion for the second time.
The 2012-13 season proved to be more successful than other two. They earned their promotion in 18th match day as the winner of the 2012-13 Regionalliga Nordost.
RB Leipzig made the first appearance in the 3.Liga in the 2013-14 season with a win against Hallescher FC. They had signed lots of player like Anthony Jung, Tobias Willers, Joshua Kimmich, Andre Luge, Christos Papadimitriou, Yussuf Poulsen and Denis Thomalla during the summer. During the winter some players went out, and some came to the club. Later RB Leipzig conformed the second place and promoted to 2. Bundesliga.
Now the organization responsible for licensing was German Football League (DFL) instead of DFB. They had to redesign the crest, change the composition of the club’s organizational bodies and lower the membership fees and open up the association for new members. Lots of appeals and rejections finally led to a compromise on 15 May 2015. The club redesigned its crest, and it’s management ensured independence from Red Bull GmbH.
The club signed some players before the season. They spent about 12 million Euros on new players during summer of 2014. However, the team finished the season in the fifth position and couldn’t reach the Bundesliga.
Next season, they invested more in strengthening the team. With lots of good games, they were able to promote to German’s biggest league. They stood 2nd in the 2015-16 season.
The new eastern team joined the Bundesliga. And they didn’t lose any match in their first thirteen leagues matched of their first Bundesliga season. They finished 11th game day on first place. Now they are in the second place behind Bayern Munich. They broke a record for a longest undefeated streak of a promoted team to the Bundesliga. They are hoping for the best to win the Bundesliga this season and set the new record like Leister did last season in England. Or at least they have a good chance to play the Champions League next season.