Relegation favourites SV Dessau 05 were performing above expectations to sit outside the drop zone of German Division North East – South. But Ruprecht Prusseit’s young side were far from secure in the fifth tier, especially considering an increasingly concerning financial situation.
Dessau began 2025 by taking an unlikely lead at Plauen, only to deservedly lose 2-1 after the hosts battered them by 22 shots to two, then got battered 3-0 at home to Magdeburg II. And results elsewhere swiftly reduced their gap to just two points. They maintained that gap with a much-needed 2-1 win over Grimma thanks to two goals in a minute from striker Tom Berg, as Halle and Inter Leipzig behind them were showing signs of resurgence.
Unlike last season, the teams in the bottom three were picking up results, inlcuding Martinroda beating 3rd-place Bautzen. That sent Dessau into the relegation zone for the first time since September as they lost 4-1 loss at Nordhausen and they stayed there with unsurprising defeats against top half teams.
That meant they absolutely had to get three points against bottom side Eisenberg, who only had four points from 25 games. And they delivered as 16-year-old midfielder Mohamed Seidemann scored his first senior goal before another Berg brace sealed a pretty lucky 3-0 victory.
Financial Situation Heaps Pressure On Prusseit
Dressau’s dwindling financial situation was becoming almost untenable to the point where it was significantly impacting Prusseit’s role. Firstly, the board decided to cease non-contract player bonuses. A few days later, the unsustainable position meant the club announced it would likely enter administration if Prusseit failed to avoid relegation. Then the board agreed a £725k loan to help the club’s running costs, which it immediately began paying off in £3k monthly repayments. In other words, the club is screwed financially!
Prusseit reached 100 games in charge of Dessau with a dreadful game at home to Zorbau, but his defence performed well to earn a 0-0. But they were terrible next time out at Martinroda, who won 2-0 to climb above Dressau, before a 3-1 loss at home to Wismut Gera.
That left Dessau in a perilous position, just one point clear of relegation with four games remaining and with a pretty tricky run-in that, most likely, would hang on a big trip to Inter Leipzig.
Game 1 – Hohenstein (9th, away): The strive for survival started terribly as Dessau got thumped 4-1 at Hohenstein. Elsewhere, Halle won at Inter Leipzig to climb out of the drop zone and send Dessau into it.
Game 2 – Bautzen (6th, home): They played slightly better at home to Bautzen but fell behind to the visitors’ first shot on target and conceded again after an hour. Beck got a goal back but it wasn’t enough. Inter and Martinroda also lost while Halle somehow drew 0-0 at home to leaders Rot-Weiß Erfurt. So Dessau remained two points from safety with two games remaining.
Game 3 – Inter Leipzig (17th, away): The crunch game of the run-in took Dessau to Leipzig and Prusseit took a tactical gamble with an asymmetric 4-5-1 approach. The home team absolutely dominated, racking up 28 shots to eight. But Berg scored inside three minutes to give his team something to hold onto before midfielder Marc Kauffmann smashed home a 30-yarder then, four minutes later, converted a penalty to seal a huge 3-1 win. However, Martinroda scored a 90th-minute winner to defeat Oberlausitz 1-0, which kept Dessau in the relegation zone on goal difference.
Game 4 – Rot-Weiß Erfurt (2nd, away): A final-day clash with East German rivals Erfurt meant relegation was virtually guaranteed, considering the visitors needed to win to get promoted. They seemed to have a lifeline as Erfurt were down to 10 men after 36 minutes. But, typically of this team, they allowed Erfurt to go down the other end and score the opener. And as Prusseit pushed for an equaliser they allowed Erfurt in for a second. They suffered the ignominy of relegation while their opponents Erfurt celebrated the league title.
SV Dessau 05 were relegated from German Division North East – South.
Dessau were relegated by the merest of margins, finishing level on points with Halle and only going down on goal difference. They only scored 34 and conceded 69, and only won twice in their final 12 games of the season.
What Will Become Of Prusseit After Relegation?
Dessau’s relegation seemed almost inevitable at the start of the season but they fought relatively hard in a bid to survive. But truth be told, they didn’t have anywhere near the quality to stay up. One positive from the season was Berg top-scoring with a relatively impressive 22 goals in 34 games, but the rest of the squad only mustered 12 goals between them. However, there is significant potential in this young squad, if the club can get over its major financial issues.
Another positive was Dessau enjoying another strong youth intake led by midfielder Fynn Fiedel, who came in with 4-star potential. Other players worth keeping an eye on include wingers Florian Osmanovic and Leonard Helmstedt, midfielder Jörg Jürgen and left-backs Robert Seidemann and Ben Feuser.
Up in Bundesliga, there were seismic waves as Bayern Munich lost their first league match of the save. And not only did they lose once, they lost five times. Indeed, with five games remaining, Leipzig were actually top on goal difference. But they blew it and Bayern won their 13th consecutive title by seven points.
Would Lazaró stick with Dessau as they drop back into the sixth tier of German football? Or would another East German side come calling over the summer? Join us on Friday to find out!
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