Schalke could face dire repercussions should it suffer relegation at the end of the current campaign. The historic German club currently features in the second-tiered 2. Bundesliga after dropping from the top flight last season. Although they have recently gone up and down between the two divisions, Schalke is now at risk of going out of business altogether.

Sky Germany is reporting that Schalke would be unable to handle the financial consequences if it suffers relegation to the third division. The club’s license for the third league would be impossible due to their extreme debt. This means that the players and coaches have to do everything possible to save the team in the coming months.

Royal Blues have been one of the more successful German clubs

Schalke is a fairly successful German club historically. Only three other teams have more Bundesliga titles than the Royal Blues. This includes Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, and FC Nurnberg. Schalke has also collected the third-most DFB-Pokal trophies as well. The prestigious title is the premier domestic tournament in Germany.

Despite becoming a yo-yo club, Schalke was still a Bundesliga mainstay in recent memory. The team even previously lifted the Europa League title (then called the UEFA Cup) in 1997 after edging Inter Milan in the final. The Royal Blues collected the cup by beating their opponents on penalties, despite playing the match in Italy.

Schalke then picked up their most recent DFB-Pokal trophy during the 2010-11 season. Although they have not yet won a significant title since then, they did finish second in the Bundesliga as recently as 2018. They were led that year by a star-studded midfield that included Leon Goretzka, Max Meyer, and USMNT leader Weston McKennie.

Financial problems have hampered the team in recent seasons

Nevertheless, the club has not fully recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic. The global shutdown in the spring of 2020 exacerbated previous financial issues. The team officials publicly claimed at the time that the club was facing possible bankruptcy. Schalke did initially survive Bundesliga relegation during the 2019/20, but eventually finished bottom the following year.

As a result of sporadic stays in the second tier, the Royal Blues have racked up significant extra debt. This total financial obligation is around $179 million. The club, however, may not even be worth this amount, especially if they are to be relegated in May.

Schalke currently finds itself 15th in the 18-team 2. Bundesliga table. Although they are not in the drop zone at the moment, the Royal Blues are level on points with teams below them. They are only narrowly ahead in the standings due to a better goal difference.

The Gelsenkirchen side returned from the winter break only to be thoroughly beaten in their two most recent matches. Nevertheless, they still have 15 league games remaining on the schedule to avoid potentially having to start over as an amateur club. Schalke next faces Eintracht Braunschweig on Saturday, Feb. 3.