“The descent with the announcement”, “Christian Constantin is right about that”: This is how Valais reacted the day after. Hope lies in the future – without the Constantin family.
A second-class FC Sion: After 17 years, the Valais are relegated from the Super League for the first time. Is the big disappointment dominating now? Not in Valais. Of course there are disappointed faces, dejected football fans, frustrated Valaisans. On the day after the Barrage defeat against Lausanne Ouchy, however, indifference, pragmatism and disillusionment prevail.
“For most, this is a logical consequence of sporting and economic mismanagement over the years,” says Simon Kalbermatten, an expert for FC Sion at Valais Radio Rottu, who has been with the club for many years. “If you add everything up, you have to honestly say that the descent is absolutely deserved.”
Is FC Sion still the Valais?
“I watch every game in Sitten, but it’s a mess. It’s been downhill for years. It’s right that they descend, »says a man from Upper Valais the day after the defeat. Another Oberwalliser thinks that you can no longer identify with the club – even if FC Sion otherwise unites Valais. He asks rhetorically: “Is FC Sion still the Valais?”
What is mentioned again and again on the streets in Brig and Visp, but also by listeners to Radio SRF: the great dissatisfaction with the club. «Who is to blame? The whole staff, with the president, the head of sports,” it says.
Into the future without the Constantin family
FC Sion fan Mischu says: “There is nothing better than that they are now relegated. They should start from the beginning, gain momentum, develop euphoria again in Valais and then start again in the Super League. »
A new start in the Challenge League – so the tenor goes, “without the Constantin family”, says a man on the street, representing many other voices from Valais.
The relegation brings with it a great opportunity.
It is also clear to FC Sion expert Simon Kalbermatten that changes are now needed. Changes in the management of the club. But you should also try to promote the local players and integrate them into the team: “The relegation brings a great opportunity.”
«FC Constantin» before the end?
An absurd coaching carousel, the failed experiment Balotelli, outbursts of anger: the father-son duo with President Christian and sports director Barthélémy Constantin repeatedly causes discussions.
In order to find the beginning of this development, you have to look back a long way, says FC Sion expert Hans-Peter Perchtold, who has been with the football club for decades.
When Christian Constantin started as a young president at FC Sion almost 30 years ago, he immediately made a controversial decision. He fired the coach Jean-Paul Brigger, even though he was in third place with his team. “You can’t understand the mechanisms of CC. At first they worked, but then they didn’t. Nevertheless, they are still the same,” says Bechtold. It’s unbelievable that he didn’t learn anything from it.
CC wants to go
Christian Constantin has announced that 2024 will be the end. “He’s really serious about giving up FC Sion,” said the expert. He became aware that he had invested a lot of money, but nothing came out. “Constantin now has a year to make a good transition.”
Relegation is always a chance, and FC Zurich have also proven that. “A chance for a fresh start, with reasonable means and a different basis.” Without Christian Constantine.
President Christian Constantin has clearly emphasized that he will continue for another year, says Kalbermatten. “If he manages not to always slip into the role of victim, not always to blame the referees and to go to work with the necessary self-reflection, he could quickly succeed in getting people back to the Tourbillon stadium – too against Schaffhausen, Thun and Aarau.»
Not all of Constantin was bad
“Christian Constantin is heavily criticized in Valais today. Many fans find that he is to blame for everything and that he took FC Sitten down with him, »says SRF Valais correspondent Roger Brunner.
With all the disappointment and resignation, however, people forget that FC Sion also celebrated great successes under Constantin. “He did a lot of good and invested a lot of money. If he hadn’t been there, FC Sion would not have been in the top class for a long time.”
Jürgen from Naters, who no longer counts himself among the FC Sion fans, advises his compatriots: “Take it easy. There will come a time again when the team plays like it did then. Then we’ll all go back to manners and have a huge party.”