“The Betze is on fire” is what is often said these days in view of the euphoria surrounding 1. FC Kaiserslautern, which after years of decline is about to be promoted to the 2nd Bundesliga. Provided that the Palatinate prevail in the relegation duel against Dynamo Dresden.

At the moment, however, one could also say that the fuses for those responsible at Betzenberg have blown. Just before these groundbreaking games, which should give the club more positive headlines again, the club fired coach Marco Antwerpen. Dirk Schuster takes over for him. A few years ago, he managed to lead Darmstadt 98 from the third division to the Bundesliga.

Antwerp was doomed by the fact that 1. FC Kaiserslautern lost three games in a row, which means that the promotion they thought was certain was lost. It is the only dip in Antwerp’s tenure, which saved the founding member of the Bundesliga from relegation to the regional league last season and allowed his team to play successful football this season. Antwerp was extremely popular with the Red Devils’ supporters and was even considered a public favourite. Many fans reacted to this personality with irritation and horror.

Such a distrust is unusual, even in an industry where layoffs are the order of the day. Should the ascent fail, the Betze will certainly burn. With far more unpleasant emotions than usual.



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