Where VfB comes from, where it currently stands and where it wants to be

A short introduction so we can go forward from here.

15 years ago until maybe 10 years ago, VfB was a successful Bundesliga club. It still is number five in the all time table and will probably have snatched the number four in a year.

In 2007, VfB won its last “Meistertitel”, winning the league by surprise. A young team with promising players played fun, offensive and great football. Nonetheless, they weren’t supposed to win or even be favourites for the title. But when they won, the whole city erupted from the long waiting time since its last title in 1997 (league cup) and 1992 (league). The team needed hours to get to the celebration party, because all the roads were blocked by fans. Hundreds of thousands of fans were on the streets on this day. The goal that made this triumph in the very last game of the year possible was a marvelous goal by Thomas Hitzlsperger - yes, the current boss of the team.

Since this last title, only two other teams have won the league except from Bayern München and only BVB more than once.

After that surprising title, ambitions flew high in Stuttgart, but the reality couldn’t keep up. A few years later, in 2013 a drought began that resulted in the second ever relegation of the club in June 2016 and after a quick comeback in the third relegation in 2019.

Well, as VfB has been relegated twice in the last five years, its first season in the top flight league, the Bundesliga, has come to a successful end. Its current coach is Pellegrino Matarazzo, a US citizen from New Jersey. He has proven to be a great coach, simply by holding the job for more than one year now, which hasn’t happend to a coach for eight years. Sven Mislintat, known from BVB Dortmund and FC Arsenal is the manager and Thomas Hitzlsperger the boss of teh AG. For many years, VfB has struggled in the top flight league or even gone down to the second league, but currently it looks promising. Many good players have been scouted by the “big” European teams and will or could be transfered to other teams in the summer.

Due to Covid, VfB will only be willing so much to hold on to their top players. Over the summer months, we’ll see a lot of rumors and I’ll try to keep you posted about them.

Current troubles

Currently, the football side of the club is an AG, a joint stock company. The original “e.V.” association, where the 70k members have the final say, holds 88,25% of the AG. Daimler aka Mercedes-Benz have bought 11,75% of the AG.

This whole process has caused a lot of headaches in the last years, because the former president and other members of the executive board have massively and illegaly used member data and shared it with companies like Facebook to post custom ads to their news feeds.

In July of 2021, there will be the next elections for the association part of the club, where - because of Covid - everyone will be up for re-election. In the beginning of 2021, there has been a wave of resignations because of the data scandal. Most of the so-called “old guard” has left the club and in July there’s the chance of a true fresh start.

In the future, as VfB has a huge fan base with thousands of passionate fans going to the stadium every other week and with a lot of potent sponsors in the back that are settled around Stuttgart (you may know one or two of them with Porsche, Bosch and especially Mercedes-Benz, which is the current main sponsor, has the naming rights of the Mercedes-Benz arena, owns a part of the club and Mercedes boss Ola Källenius’ office is located directly next to the training grounds of the club), the ambition and where the fans see the club in the long-term, are the European qualifiers. Currently, everything other than being relegated is a success, but in three to five years, if everything goes according to plan, I think most of the fans want to be back in the competition for the European competitions such as the Champions League or the Europa League (#1-#6). But for the next year or two, the goal is very clear: A top 15 seed. No more relegations. No more drama.

Further resources:

VfB Stuttgart history

VfB Stuttgart has also English social media channels. There are a also a few English articles every week on the website. There’s a great Reddit forum for English speaking VfB fans. Just follow the english Twitter account of VfB for a live ticker. For general info, such as the table and future fixtures, just go to the english site of the Bundesliga, bundesliga.com. If you have a question, just DM me at Twitter @max_brustring or write a mail to maxmueller@vfbnewsletter.com.