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Bundesliga News

Heidel praises Stach's debut, denies that player's old club Fürth receives compensation for cap

By Peter Vice

FSV Mainz 05 executive Christian Heidel praised Nullfünfter midfielder Anton Stach after a successful debut for the German senior men's national team on Saturday evening. Stach, alongside national team teammate David Raum, is one of two former SpVgg Greuther Fürth players who have made a meteoric rise to the top over the past year. 

Journalist Michael Ebert of German footballing magazine Kicker, when speaking to Heidel, wished to know if it was true that Fürth would receive some compensation for the national team players they developed. Heidel denied the information Ebert gleaned from other sources. 

Christian Heidel.
Christian Heidel.Photo: Sandro Halank, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0

One year ago this month, FSV Mainz midfielder Anton Stach was competing with Stefan Kuntz's U21s in the UEFA U21 European Championship. After the DFB Juniors (rather surprisingly) captured the 2021 continental title, a youth program that many German football watchers had grown skeptical of suddenly morphed into a perceived wellspring for young German talent.

Many members of that team have since made the jump to the senior level. Lukas Nmecha and Florian Wirtz are now mainstays unlikely to return to the youth ranks ever again. Ridle Baku and Nico Schlotterbeck--form permitting--are probably done with the U21s. The main story, however, concerns two players who (at the time) were playing for second-division side SpVgg Greuther Fürth.

Current Hoffenheim fullback David Raum has practically solidified a role with the top-level Nationalmannschaft. Raum's rice remains one of the more sensational national-team related stories of the past year. On Saturday night, a lot of German attacks ran through Raum on the left flank.  It took some time for Raum's former U21 and Fürth teammate Anton Stach to jump to the next level, but this too finally came to pass Saturday night in Sinsheim.

Stach entered the match alongside SC Freiburg captain Christian Günter for Raum and Julian Weigl in the 64th on a double like-for-like substitution. Günter took over for Raum at the left fullback position while Stach played as a straight six. The surprise call-up reflected on how fast everything moved in the last week during his post-match interview.

"It all happened so quickly in the last few days," Stach remarked afterwards, "I haven't really been able to process it yet. I'm simply happy and grateful for now."

Mainz's chief sporting executive Christian Heidel, conversely, wasn't shy about discussing Stach's performance. The long-time club boss naturally studied his player's relief performance and had nothing but positives to report.

"Anton kept it sovereign and confident," Heidel said of the 26-minute-long relief- shift, "He always wanted the ball, exhibiting the type of play we've come to expect from him. Big compliments."

When speaking to Heidel, reporter Michael Ebert of German footballing magazine Kicker wished to elicit comment from the administrator on what is an interesting story in its own right. Presumably, as part of the DFL's new revenue sharing model, Fürth is entitled to some compensation for developing players like Stach and Raum.

Those active in German footballing circles find themselves quite curious as to how such payments work in detail. The current financial disparities in German football, grossly unfair as they are, can be very modestly addressed if smaller clubs receive additional funds for grooming national team players.

Last-placed and sure-to-be relegated Greuther Fürth actually deserved quite a bit of credit for their role in cultivating young talent. SpVgg players Jamie Leweling, Maximilian Bauer and Simon Asta are among the actors currently playing for U21 head-coach Antonio di Salvo's Juniors during the current international break.

Regrettably, Ebert only able to solicit a denial from Heidel. The FSV sporting CEO, after emphasizing that contractual details weren't divulged by the club, did report that no payment was due to Fürth for Stach's appearance.

Ebert nevertheless spoke to other unnamed sources who claimed that the Middle Franconians would get a low six-figure-sum after the player's international cap. The German journalist could then only note that "conflicting reports" existed with regard to the payment.

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