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Old 29.12.2014, 16:23
Maantee Maantee is offline
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Re: Prosecutors arrest Swiss club Xamax's owner

Swiss football has quite a sophisticated youth development system coordinated by the national association. Xamax was at the time of their downfall responsible for one of the 13 top-level youth organisations in the country supported by the national association and covering the area of the cantons Neuchâtel and Fribourg.

When Xamax inc. went bankrupt, the bankruptcy judge agreed to keep the youth organisation out of the bankruptcy estate, so this part continued existing with the support of local Xamax-afficionados and the national association. The Under-21 team was at that time playing in 2.Liga Interregional becoming in the same year the 5th level with the introduction of the new national 3rd tier, the Promotion League.

So, this Under-21 team is the basis of the new Xamax. The majority of the team are still today young players from their own youth organisation. But already from the beginning of the new Xamax some really good and experienced Challenge League (2nd tier)-players from the region (mostly Biel) could be added to the team.

So, Xamax moved up to the 1.Liga (4th level) in the first season and at the same time merged with the local FC Serrières already active in the 1.Liga (and rather a good team there). From a purely sport point of view the merger was not really necessary, but they think it's better for sponsoring purposes to reduce local competition. So Xamax became again the nr.1 football club in the city after only one year.

They managed also the promotion from 1.Liga the following year, and currently, Neuchâtel Xamax FCS is even in Promotion League on the first place after 17 out of 30 games with 4 points ahead of Rapperswil-Jona (the other team that moved up with them from 1.Liga this summer). Only the Promotion League champion is promoted at the end of the season to Challenge League.

So, they have good chances to move up to Challenge League. Afterwards, it will be vital to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They had allowed for Chagaev to take over their club because their ambitions were too high-flying and not realistic in the first place.

The situation has changed since their haydays in the 80-ies. Nowadays, the place of a club like Xamax is between the lower half of Super League and the upper half of Challenge League. They have the potential to return to Super League, but need to be aware that every now and then, they can drop down to Challenge League and they need to refrain from unrealistic adventures trying to fool reality. FC Aarau is a good example for Xamax, a club with very similar possibilites, but more realistic expectations during the recent decade.