TSV 1860 München investor Hasan Ismaik has followed through with his threat to pull the plug on his financial loan to the club. Without his support, the traditional and historical club is on the verge of bankruptcy.
Ismaik is quoted as saying that he "was left with no other choice." It will be a particularly disappointing piece of news for 1860 fans. Despite dreams of a top-flight return this season fading with their inconsistency, there was a belief that it wouldn't take too long before they were back to domestic derbies against the mighty Bayern Munich.
2003/2004 was the last time the side were in the Bundesliga and have come close a few times but have just missed out, leaving them to wallow in second division obscurity. The investment of Ismaik, a 3-year loan of more than EUR9,3 million seemed to have levelled the ship and offer new manager, Alexander Schmidt, the opportunity to strengthen over the coming summer in the aim of pushing for promotion.
Sporting director Florian Hinterberger and manager Schmidt both had their contracts renewed by the club, against the wishes of Ismaik. The rumoured arrival of Sven-Göran Eriksson a few months back, along with this recent disapproval, suggest Ismaik was keen to bring in a bigger name. He has labelled the decisions to keep the aforementioned pair as ones that "are killing the club."
Conflicts between the club and their investor have been on-going this season and the possibility of a departure was always a possibility. The startling nature of this leaves the club and the fans horrendously exposed. Runners-up in the 1965 European Cup and Bundesliga champions the following year seem a distant memory but they are part of the makeup that make this club a well respected one in Germany. Their youth system has also produced a number of fantastic talents, most notably Sven and Lars Bender in recent years.
On a day where their bigger brother announced one of the signings of the season, 1860 stand on the precipice of their existence. It just shows that even in the much-heralded sustainable football in this country, there are still perilous situations at hand.