Red Bull Salzburg sporting director DIETMAR BEIERSDORFER (left), the one-time German international who spent the majority of his career with SV Hamburg and SV Werder Bremen, and club head coach HUUB STEVENS, the former Dutch international who played primarily with PSV Eindhoven, flank the Austrian Bundesliga’s most expensive summer signing — from Brazilian club FC Fluminense, 21-year-old attacker ALAN Douglas Borges de Carvalho — at the Red Bull Arena. (Ralph Martin Fischer/GEPA Pictures)
With the financial resources of the energy drink manufacturer, Red Bull GmbH, available to the team, RED BULL SALZBURG are to the Austrian Bundesliga what Manchester City is to most of the teams in the wealthy English Premier League.
Manchester City, owned by United Arab Emirates Royal Family member Mansour bin Zayad Al Nahyan, easily paced the world of professional football by forking out over 145.0 million Euros in transfer fees this off-season summer; five of the world’s ten most expensive summer signings have headed for the Eastlands in England.
Very few Austrian clubs spent any money at all acquiring new players, instead opting for austerity and fresh faces on free transfers; only one team even approached a total expenditure of what would be, by English standards, a modest figure of one million Euros.
That was, of course, Red Bull Salzburg, whose final bill for this summer’s shopping came to roughly 13.5 million Euros.
Unfortunately for both Red Bull Salzburg management as well as Dutch coach HUUB STEVENS, the early dividends paid from this summer’s investments have been less than spectacular both on the European stage and domestic front.
Red Bull Salzburg were unceremoniously dumped out of the UEFA Champions League in the Playoff Round by Israeli club FC Hapoel Tel Aviv recently and stand seventh out of ten after six rounds in the Austrian Bundesliga.
Granted, Red Bull Salzburg have two league games in hand due to postponements; just five goals from the four Bundesliga matches played, however, is a problem for a squad of such pedigree and experience.
The team did lose its top two goal-scorers from a season ago — Austria international striker MARC JANKO (18 goals, 34 games) was sold to Dutch Eredivisie side FC Twente Enschede and, at the end of August, Cameroon international midfielder SOMEN TCHOYI (8 goals, 36 games) left for West Bromwich Albion of the English Premier League.
But, on the whole, the “high-priced” replacements have yet to deliver the goods.
Midfielder JAKOB JANTSCHER, bought from SK Sturm Graz for a fee of roughly 1.06 million Euros, has been the exception to the rule with three goals for Red Bull his first four Bundesliga games to go with another in the UEFA Champions League, but the production from the strikers has been less than stellar so far.
Champions Lge ——— Bundesliga
6 ga/6 st – 2 go ——— 4 ga/4 st – 1 go — Gustavo ZARATE
4 ga/3 st – 2 go ——— 4 ga/3 st – 0 go — Roman WALLNER
3 ga/2 st – 1 go ———- 3 ga/1 st – 1 go — Joaquin BOGHOSSIAN
2 ga/0 st – 0 go ——— 1 ga/0 st – 0 go — ALAN
3.767 mil Eu — FC Fluminense (Brz) —————— ALAN
3.229 mil Eu — CA Cerro Montevideo (Urg) —- Joaquin BOGHOSSIAN
1.400 mil Eu — Grasshopper Zurich (Switz) —- Gonzalo ZARATE
1.292 mil Eu — LASK Linz ——————————- Roman WALLNER