WIf German volleyball professionals want to improve their sport, there are two obvious options: either they switch to Italy or to Poland. More money can be earned in both countries, teams from both leagues operate at a higher level, which can be seen not least from the results at European level.
Most recently, Tobias Krick left the United Volleys in Frankfurt, which had been founded by his wealthy father for a well-endowed adventure with Top Volley Cisterna in Italy’s Superlega, where he will meet his national team colleagues Simon Hirsch and Dennis Kaliberda, among others. Last year David Sossenheimer followed in the footsteps of Christian Fromm and Lukas Kampa to the east and emigrated to the MKS Bedzin in Poland’s PlusLiga.
In Germany, however, the fact that a complete club wants to go beyond the narrow limits of league sports has only existed as an import. The German-Austrian Alpenvolleys Haching have been active in the Bundesliga as a joint venture from Innsbruck and Unterhaching in the past three years, but have withdrawn for the coming season due to unachievable financial visions despite sporting success.
Now, however, the ten-time German volleyball champion Berlin Recycling Volleys is apparently flirting with his often-acclaimed move to Poland’s elite league in the medium term. “Now the plans are as concrete as never before,” manager Kaweh Niroomand told Berlin’s “Tagesspiegel” at least. According to Niroomand, the games of thought are becoming more specific, since he believes that the already semi-strong Bundesliga will lose even more quality in the coming years due to the Corona crisis and that it will hardly be possible to attract high-quality foreign players to Germany. Even in the canceled 2019/20 season, the Berliners had not suffered a loss in any game in this country. Even longtime rival VfB Friedrichshafen recently lost considerable ground.
For the ambitious Niroomand, there therefore seems to be only one way out to continue to be able to show high-class volleyball: the flight to the east. Klaus-Peter Jung, managing director of the German Volleyball Bundesliga, remains relaxed. He “also read” about the Berlin plans, as he says in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. In addition, he had already been in conversation with Matthias Klee, the managing director of the Berlin Volleys, who told him that moving to Poland was not an issue.
And even the visionary Niroomand said in the Tagesspiegel: “The likelihood that it will work with a change is not that great.” But at least he had already contacted the management of the Polish league, which had responded positively and arranged a preliminary meeting. In addition to the national associations and both leagues, a change would also have to be approved by the European Volleyball Association (CEV), so there are some legal and bureaucratic hurdles to be overcome.
In Poland, the sport of volleyball is much more important than here. That is why the Corona crisis has not put the clubs in such severe economic distress as in the Bundesliga, where three teams have declared their retirement in the past few weeks. In Germany, Berliners will also benefit from their well-attended Max-Schmeling-Halle at home games and their full budget of a good 2.5 million euros in the long term if their competitors cannot keep up.
It is also a fact, however, that the Volleys registered on May 15th for the coming 2020/21 season in the Bundesliga, which had shrunk to ten teams – whenever it started. The move to the east can only take place in autumn 2021 at the earliest.