Yes, it is now official. Lugano, Lausanne, and Sion get relegated and are replaced by Aarau, Delemont, and Luzern...
I am really saddend by the current state of Swiss soccer. This has never happened in the NLA before and now it happens with THREE clubs at once (!) This really weakens the league very significantly. With no offense to Will, Thun, or Delemont - but they are simply not of the same caliber as Lugano, Lausanne, and Sion. Nobody benefits from a weaker league, not even the strong teams. The NLA also lost 3 decent stadiums with the departure of the aformentioned clubs. This is a big crisis - something must be done, and done quickly. I completely agree with GC president Widmer and think the NLA should be reduced to 10 teams next season (one year earlier than planned.) This might happen on June 14th when the league has a big meeting. They need to make a decision fast - the new season is supposed to start July 6th.
My personal big hope for the future are the new stadiums. Hopefully the new stadiums in Zürich, Bern, Basel, Geneva, and St. Gallen will create 6 financially strong clubs that can carry the league...
Well, here is what's been happening. The clubs from the German speaking regions support an immediate reduction of the league, while the clubs from the French speaking regions are completely against it. The result of this is that the format will remain the same for one more season. The clubs supporting the reduction could probably push their proposal through in a voting, but they clearly said they dont't want to upset their colleagues. I'm a bit disappointed, but understand the western clubs. They just lost two clubs due to license problems and Delemont would also remain in the NLB. So here is the lineup for next season:
FC St. Gallen
Obviously the Swiss and Austrian leagues don't get much revenue from TV rights compared to the big leagues but i can only think that they must have been playing wages that were more than they could handle
Afterall i'm pretty sure that teams in Austria and Switzerland pay much better than teams from say Scandinavia and Eastern Europe and i think the large number of players from these regions (especially in Austria) is testiment to this.
BTW: what are the populations of Austria and Switzerland respectively?
Austria has over 8 million, Switzerland more than 7 million inhabitants.
You're right, the wages paid in Austria (and Switzerland) are much higher than in Scandinavia and not comparable to those paid in Eastern Europe.
Generally Austrian clubs have difficulties to calculate risks. The clubs depend very much on European football and tend to risk a lot for those competitions. Tirol for example always planned with reaching the final round of the CL, which they never managed, but their squad got more and more expensive. Then they paid crazy wages, their third keeper had about as much income as the top strikers elsewhere in the league...
To make it short: most clubs spend far too much money on mediocre foreigners - and the young talents want high wages right from the start or try to go abroad, where they mostly warm the benches...
Austria has lost about 14 professional clubs since 1983, which opened the gates for a lot of minnows. Next season we will have:
Pasching (population 6000)
Admira Mödling (pop. 20000)
Ried (pop. 12000) within the 10 team league.
In Switzerland, Delemont and Wil are in the same category...