The Schützenwiese stadium has also retained its special charm in the Super League. In the 1-1 draw against the again disappointing champions FC Zurich, the newly promoted team from Winterthur is the better team, but makes one mistake too many in the closing stages.
It only takes a few minutes to walk from the train station to the stadium and you’re already standing in front of the Schützenwiese in the middle of the city of Winterthur. On Sunday afternoon there is a large train station here, FC Zurich is a guest, for the first time in 37 years in the top Swiss football league. In the spring of 1985, FCW won 4-2, but were later relegated – and only rose again this summer.
You still feel a little like it was in the 1980s on the Schützenwiese. The stadium retained its special charm after FC Winterthur’s return to the Super League, even if the individual sectors are now separated. The syrup curve for families is full, the beer curve anyway, the stadium is sold out, 8400 spectators are there. “You go to the Schützenwiese and have a party,” says Nicolas Galladé, head of the Social Affairs department of the city of Winterthur and an FCW fan since the 1980s.
It’s the same on Sunday, even if Galladé is prevented from attending due to private commitments. Not only the SP politician likes to explain that the Schützenwiese is the only football stadium in the canton of Zurich. And FC Winterthur is keen to maintain its remarkable independence in the Super League. “The club is a piece of cultural heritage in Winterthur,” says President Mike Keller. “We continue to attach great importance to our special attitude.” It’s about social values and social responsibility and, for example, about actively fighting racism or protecting the environment. “We’re proud to be a slightly different club,” says fan manager Martin Freuler, who is now employed 50 percent of the time.
Winterthur’s budget is almost twice as high as last season
FC Winterthur has also grown rapidly in other ways after promotion, for example by hiring people in the areas of security and marketing. With a total of eleven million francs for the entire operation, the annual budget is almost twice as high as last season – and yet it is still the smallest in the Super League. Mister FC Winterthur Andreas Mösli, managing director and mastermind of the club for almost twenty years, has reduced his workload to 60 percent, he is now media manager, among other things. He says that FC Winterthur is like a small motor ship that has left Eulachstrand to land in the Atlantic via various streams, rivers and lakes via the Mediterranean and is now on the move on stormy seas. «The MS Winterthur is currently being converted into an ocean-going ship. That doesn’t happen from one day to the next.”
That can be checked perfectly on Sunday in the 1-1 draw against FC Zurich. A time traveler, for example from the eighties, who accidentally landed on the Schützenwiese, would relatively quickly realize that the penultimate one receives the last one here. It is a very flawed game, with the FCZ presenting itself amazingly weak. The champions are harmless and lethargic and even if things get a little better after the break it’s still a performance never thought possible prior to this season. “We’re not allowed to play like we did in the first half,” says coach Franco Foda. And midfielder Blerim Dzemaili says FCZ are currently having trouble with the ball. You can see that things are just not going well.
Rohner scores the first FCZ goal after 445 minutes
In the spring, the ball was still running like clockwork – and FC Zurich went straight to the title. On Sunday, the passionately fighting FC Winterthur is the better team, even if the limited promoted team makes a lot of mistakes and inaccuracies. After all, it is the former FCZ junior Francisco Rodriguez who scored the deserved 1-0 lead for Winterthur in the middle of the second half.
It takes two gifts from the hosts for FC Zurich to finally score their first goal of the season in the Super League after 444 minutes and a few seconds. Souleymane Diaby misjudged a diagonal ball badly in the 85th minute, Fabian Rohner benefited from the dropout and finally also from the fact that Winterthur’s goalkeeper Timothy Fayulu slipped the ball under his body. It is the first reasonably dangerous attack by FC Zurich.
With two points from five matches and 1:10 goals, the FCZ is already nine points behind the leader YB at the bottom of the table – and number 3 in the canton of Zurich. The coach Franco Foda speaks of the “path of small steps” that his team has to take at the moment. Maybe he means the same thing as Winterthur’s coach Bruno Berner, who praises his team and says they’re getting one percent better with every game. FC Winterthur also concealed the overall lack of Super League quality in the squad against FC Zurich with a courageous performance, which, however, was not enough to win even against an opponent who was desolate for long stretches.
The spectators on the Schützenwiese will still come back. FC Winterthur had stopped selling season tickets several weeks before the start of the season at 4,500 season tickets so that other people could also attend the home games.
Winterthur – Zurich 1: 1 (0: 0). 8400 spectators. – Referee: Schärer. – Gates: 73 Rodriguez (Manzambi) 1-0. 85. Rohner (Viunnyk) 1:1. – Winterthur: Fayulu; Gantenbein, Gelmi, Lekaj, Schättin, Diaby; Ramizi (92nd Ballet), Abedini, Rodriguez (92nd Arnold); Di Giusto (61st Manzambi); Buess (78 Corbaz). – Zurich: crusher; Kamberi, Kryeziu, Aliti (69th Mets); Conde; Boranijasevic (Krasniqi 80), Dzemaili, Avdijaj (Rohner 69), Guerrero; Santini (Vyunnyk 46), Marchesano (Gnonto 46). – Winterthur without Schmid and Costinha (injured). Zurich complete. Bookings: 37. Santini (foul). 41. Dzemaili (foul). 60. Aliti (foul). 80. Schättin (foul). 84. Kryeziu (foul).
great league. 5th round. Saturday: Customs – Grasshoppers 2:2 (1:0). St. Gallen – Lucerne 4: 1 (1: 0). – Sunday: Winterthur – Zurich 1: 1 (0: 0). Basel – Lugano 0:2 (0:0). Young Boys – Servette 3:0 (1:0). – Ranking: 1.Young Boys 5/11. 2. St Gallen 5/9. 3. Grasshoppers 5/9. 4. Manners 5/8. 5. Servette 5/8. 6. Lugano 5/6. 7. Lucerne 4/5. 8. Basel 4/3. 9. Winterthur 5/2. 10. Zurich 5/2.