MSV Duisburg spent the first 17 match days of the season in the relegation zone before using a second-half surge to move into the middle of the table and safely retaining the class.
Or so it seemed.
According to an announcement released Wednesday, the licensing committee of the DFL (German Football League) association, in a unanimous decision, determined the zebras failed to meet the required economic performance criteria for league membership. As a result, the zebras could be relegated to the fourth tier (Regionalliga) of the football system
While the decision of the association is final, MSV Duisburg can appeal. The club, on their website, has announced they “remain convinced they have fulfilled their conditions and obligations” and expect to receive written notice of the decision early next week, at which time they have one week to call for an appeal in court.
Should the decision withstand appeal, SV Sandhausen would suddenly find themselves again in the 2. Bundesliga, despite having earned the direct relegation by finishing 17th in the final league table of the 2012-13 season.
Duisburg was the only club among the 46 applicants for licensing to have been denied by the DFL, according to the DFL’s press release.