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The Mainz way is an example for Bundesliga clubs

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20.04.2019

Eine Fahrstuhlmannschaft. While it literally means an elevator team, this German term is used to describe a club that often goes up and down between Germany's tiers, without being able to cement their place in one league. Some of the those who fit the bill best include Nuremberg (up eight times, down eight times), Arminia Bielefeld (seven and seven) and VfL Bochum (six and six).

Mainz seemed to have all the hallmarks of a side who would become just such a team after securing their second promotion to the Bundesliga in the 2008-9 season: They've been one of the clubs with the lowest budget in the league from day one, and they still are. They come from a rather small town, in a region that has a footballing powerhouse in Eintracht Frankfurt. Their best players and coaches are constantly sold to bigger, richer clubs.

However, Mainz are still here, still punching above their weight. With four matches to go, FSV's 3-1 win over Fortuna Düsseldorf on Saturday means that the club has secured its eleventh season on the bounce in the German top flight.

Stability matters

Mainz's achievement should serve as a lesson for fellow low-budget teams, and indeed, those that are struggling on the pitch. Looking at the Bundesliga's current bottom eight clubs, only two have not parted ways with their coach yet: Fellow overachievers Freiburg have stuck with local favorite Christian Streich since 2012, making him the Bundesliga's........

© Deutsche Welle