Monday, December 05, 2022

The latest football news from 90 Minutes Online

Red Bull Gives You Wingers!

Red Bull Salzburg badge (via Wikipedia)Almost as much a part of Christmas tradition in football as wall to wall televised matches, the January transfer window's rumour mill has thus far turned towards Red Bull Salzburg as a ripe source of plunder for runaway Premier League leaders Liverpool, who of course squeaked through in the Champions League by beating Die Mozartstadter in their final group match.



As expected, Japanese winger Takumi Minamino completed a move to Anfield on New Year’s Day having caught Jürgen Klopp's eye over the two legs. He'll join two fellow Austrian alumni in swapping red & white- colours imposed upon the club by owners Red Bull upon completion of their takeover in 2005- for all red.


Sadio Mané was the first of his prospective new team mates to play for FC Salzburg, as they're known under UEFA's strict rulings on sponsorship when playing in Europe. Spending three seasons with them having arrived pre- Red Bull on August 31, 2012 from Metz for a fee believed to be four million Euros, he wasted little time in scoring a first hat trick exactly two months after arriving, in an Austrian Cup win against Kalsdorf.


He would have to wait a year to repeat the feat in the Bundesliga when he got all three of the goals in a win over Grödig. Another treble in a 7-0 cup tonking of Horn in May of 2014, helped the team to an Austrian double by way of a sign-off, before moving to Southampton following an acrimonious spat between player & club over his desire to move to the Premier League.


A look at the stats shows exactly why the Saints were willing to part with £11.8 million to get him out. His 19 goals in 29 appearances in that first season in Austria made four million Euros look an absolute steal, 23 in 50 next time out hardly harming his case either! Finally he bagged three goals in eight during the fractious final act of his RB career.


Naby Keïta was next to follow in his path, as the midfielder also swapped France for Austria in leaving Istres for Salzburg in 2014, a year before the Red Bull takeover. He made his debut that July against Wiener Neustadt & ending the season with eight goals in 32 games


The following campaign saw him named the Bundesliga's player of the year after nine goals in 39, and a move to Germany with Red Bull Leipzig beckoned. Die Roten Bullen are actually a comparatively recent addition to their parent company's sporting portfolio, founded ten years ago after a buyout of SSV Markrandstadt spearheaded by co-owner Dietrich Mateschitz on the advice of friend Franz Beckenbauer. 


That in itself hadn't been the original plan- fan violence against a planned takeover of Sachsen Leipzig putting paid to a 50 million Euro investment. The German FA also had its reservations about the naming of the club & indeed the company's proposed level of involvement in its running even after a deal had been reached with original owner Michael Kölmel...


Interestingly, there are parallels of a sort in that respect with the beginnings of their rebranding of SV Austria Salzburg, as the first of the clubs to take their money was known pre their involvement- its history stretching back to 1933 & original violet & white colours.


Two separate fan groups, the Violet-Whites who wanted to preserve that tradition & stood against the airbrushing of it, a stance supported in a sense by Austria's FA who ordered that the suggestion the club had been founded in 2005 be removed from its website, & those who were on board with the change, the Red-Whites, stood on either side of the divide.


The new owners did at least enter into dialogue with the Violet-Whites, who saw their offer to include the old colours only as part of the socks of their away goalkeeper kit as an insult & promptly founded a whole new club! SV Austria Salzburg would take the original violet & white for their home colours, the former club badge also registered as a trademark by those who wanted to see it back.


Starting in the seventh tier of the national league, the 2 Klasse Nord, their first match delivered a 6-0 win over Lieferinger SV on July 29, 2006. That first season ending in promotion before a run which would see them rise to the First League, one under the Bundesliga, by 2014-15.


A sharp bump came in November '15 when debts of 900,000 Euros was followed by a fine of a further 40,000 & six point deduction for a breach of stadium regulations. This was preceded by finding out that a plan to sell a 51% share in the club to anyone interested in investing, with the condition that the club name, badge & colours would not be altered, was also a breach of league rules.


Perhaps seeking to make a marquee signing, RB Salzburg announced Giovanni Trappattoni as manager, to be assisted by Lothar Matthäus in time for the 2006-7 season once Red Bull's feet were firmly under the boardroom table.


The pair won the league with five games to spare but the resulting attempts to get in with Europe's big boys ended in a Champions League qualifying round defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk, & then a first round UEFA Cup exit at the hands of AEK Athens.


With all eyes currently on their youngsters, it might be a surprise to learn that the focus on youth was dictated by Red Bull as far back as the 2011- 12 season under Ricardo Moniz, who promoted the likes of Daniel Offenbacher & Martin Hinteregger from the youth team in preparation for that year's league & cup double winning effort.


Following Minamino agreeing to a knockdown £7.25 million move to Merseyside, it’s worth remembering that he’s still only 24, having arrived from Cerezo Osaka in January of 2015 & already making 136 appearances. The even younger Erling Braut Haaland (just 19) is another recent departure, being pinched from under the nose of Manchester United by Borussia Dortmund for roughly £18 million on December 29th, despite having been brought through in Norway at Molde by Ole Gunnar Solskjær & pitched into the first team at 16.


Judging by the current dominance of Liverpool, Die Mozartstadter, which again at the time of writing find themselves unbeaten & top of the pile domestically, are the go-to club in Europe if you want to find the ideal conductor for your football orchestra.

Web development by