1. FC Union quickly created clarity in the sporting leadership positions. With Bo Svensson as coach, the Köpenickers want to find their way back to their old strength in their sixth year in the Bundesliga. As the Iron Men announced, the 44-year-old Dane succeeds Nenad Bjelica, who was released shortly before the end of the season, and interim coach Marco Grote. The pay-TV broadcaster Sky had previously reported on the agreement between the Köpenick team and the former Mainz team.

“In close consultation with Oliver Ruhnert and Horst Heldt, we decided to restart the sport in the summer and are convinced that Bo Svensson is a coach who is a good fit for our club,” said President Dirk Zingler in a statement from the Unioner. As usual, the Berliners did not provide any information about the length of the contract.

“The unity that Union exudes, the unity between the team, fans, employees and club management, is a very important factor,” said the coach himself. “I’m looking forward to the path ahead of us and will do everything I can to ensure that we have one will have a successful season.”

It was only on Tuesday, three days after staying in the league, that the Eisernen presented Heldt as their new managing director of professional football. Like Svensson, the official will not start his new job until July, but will already be involved in all planning. His first official act with the Berliners was not long in coming. 

Coaching bench instead of teaching position

Svensson takes over the Köpenickers just one year after qualifying for the Champions League, almost at their lowest point in the sport. After a nerve-racking season with a series of defeats, two coaching changes and a last-minute Bundesliga rescue, the unsettled team lacks self-confidence. The collective unity and determination that has allowed the Berlin team to leave individually much better teams behind in recent years have rarely been evident recently.

The Dane is considered smart, empathetic and someone who questions his own behavior rather than that of his players. After retiring as an active professional footballer in 2014, he actually wanted to study and “perhaps work as a teacher with young people,” as Svensson once reported. But his compatriot Kasper Hjulmand brought him into the coaching staff at Mainz 05, where he was head coach between 2021 and 2023. 

Urs Fischer’s footsteps are huge

He now has time until the start of the Bundesliga at the end of August to close the Berlin construction sites together with sports director Heldt and instill the lost virtues in his team. 

Union will want to reduce and reduce the price of its comparatively expensive squad, as the club will not be playing internationally next season for the first time in three years. Unlike last year, personnel planning should be completed as early as possible.

Svensson will be in demand as a mental coach and psychologist in his first few weeks. The Scandinavian was also considered Union’s dream coach because of his human and emotional nature. 

After a lot of coaching turmoil in the past season, Union finally needs consistency on the sidelines again. The footsteps that Urs Fischer left behind last November after more than five years are still huge. Bjelica was unable to begin to fill it during his five-month term in office. Interim coach Grote didn’t do it in his short time anyway.