Sven Christian's Saga

Now I don't know Sven Christians personally, and for all I know, he could be a great guy. He probably even had a valid contract and WSV was probably at fault. But the end results have been so dire to WSV's fortunes, that I find it necessary to let off a little steam. Sorry Sven...

Now you've probably heard of Iceland's major exports: Soccer players whose last name end with "-sson" and the great Norse sagas, such as Njal's Saga, Laxdaela Saga or the Landnambok. Or maybe closer to Deutschland, you've heard of Beowulf, Heimskringla or even the Nibelungenlied. Whatever. But here is a tale with more violence than Njal's, with a central figure even more of a cad than Egil Skallagrimson, the hero of Egil's Saga. It is a story of greed and brutality, the ending chapter of which may turn out to be the Götterdämmerung of WSV...

Sven Christian's was/is a player of little or no talent, depending on your point of view. He wasn't even good enough to play for VfL Bochum, for heaven's sake. However, somebody at WSV got the idea that he would be a good signing, so he was signed for the 95-96 season, with a guanteed 3 year contract. The perpetrator of this evil deed was apparently (ex) Vice-President Burtelt.

He only played 18 games and the club wanted to let him go, so he took the club to court and won. WSV had to pay wages due of 1.5 Million DM, and facing another 3 Million DM due, eventually tried to settle out of court. When the other players on the team found out what was going on, they refused to play with him.

Upon appeal, the case was brought up at the Wuppertal Amtsgericht, and sure enough, WSV was found "guilty", and apparently now has to fork over 1.5 Million DM. This verdict (14 April 1997) could be the death blow to the club, since reports indicate that the club can't pay.

Not surprisingly, Sven realized that he may not be much of a footballer, but he could smell the Deutschmarks. He really should have been a lawyer. Realizing he was on to a good thing, he also decided to sue for DM 150.000 in "bonus" payments. I guess the logic was that since he was actually contributing to the team, i.e. making them stronger by not playing, that he was entitled to bouns payments (probably the Punkt-Prämien). Whatever.

One question that obviously crosses one's mind is how to resolve it, once and for all. WSV would probably do better hiring some unemployed Chechen gunmen or serbian Chetniks to have Christians bumped off. Granted, they're not very good, and WSV can no longer can afford a top dollar assasin. But you could limit the number of casualties hit in the crossfire if you could lure Sven to the next WSV home game, since the Zoo Stadion is usually empty when WSV plays anyway.

The next chapter in the Saga is that Sven has now (July 97) apparently signed with SV Babelsberg, champions of the Oberliga Nordost, Staffel 1, and just promoted to the Regionalliga Nordost. It is unclear whether the rumoured 50 Million Ostmarks (approx. 2 pfennigs) in transfer fees had yet been received.