News | Jason Pettigrove

Joint Appeal of SFV Decision

SAALFELDEN, AUSTRIA (Thursday, May 14, 2020) – Austrian Third-Division sides FC Pinzgau and SAK 1914 jointly announced today that both clubs have posted letters of appeal to the Salzburg Fußballvorband (SFV) protesting the governing body’s deci- sion to effectively ignore the Fall 2019 Regionalliga Salzburg campaign and deny the area’s Spring 2020 Regionalliga West qualifiers deserved berths in the 2020/21 Austrian Cup, slated to begin this Summer.

In the official inquiry letters to the SFV, FC Pinzgau and SAK 1914 cite the Österreichis- cher Fußball-Bund (ÖFB)-commissioned recommendations from Linz-based legal ex- pert Dr. Martin Karollus (Stellvertretender Leiter Institut für Unternehmensrecht).

Karollus, the Johannes Kepler Universität-based legal professor, recommended to the ÖFB on April 11 that the Austrian Bundesliga award its UEFA Champions League and Europa League berths based on the completed Fall 2019 table, as each competing club had played each other twice - precisely as what had occurred in the SFV-managed Re- gionalliga Salzburg campaign last Fall.

Instead of following the lead of the preeminent Austrian football governing body, the SFV berths from the region have been awarded to three finishers based on Spring 2019 results - Seekirchen and St. Johann in league play, along with Anif as a result of its 2019 Stiegl Landescup title. Both Seekirchen and Anif lost their 2019/20 ÖFB Cup first- round contests, while St. Johann was replaced by Zell am See due to Stiegl Landescup advancement.

“While both SAK 1914 and FC Pinzgau are sympathetic to the difficulties world football faces in contemplating restarts in both League and Cup competitions, our clubs jointly appeal to the SFV to reconsider its decision,

follow the ÖFB recommendation and grant us the honor of representing our region in the 2020/21 Austrian Cup.

When Covid-19 struck, we were excitedly preparing to represent our re- gion against teams from Tirol and Vorarlberg. SAK 1914 and FC Pinzgau emphatically displayed excellence and class on the pitch in the most re- cently-completed Regionalliga Salzburg season, clearly earning ad- vancement to the EliteLiga West.

SAK and FCPS fans deserve the pursuit of Cup glory as a reward for scin- tillating Fall campaigns - especially since Covid-19 denied our EliteLiga West competition. We played these games. We WON these games, nearly all of them. Paying customers attended these games. Goals were scored. Results were tallied. Points were earned.

None of this should simply disappear into the ether when ÖFB Cup berths are considered.

On 32 occasions, other Salzburg-based teams failed to defeat us, nearly failing to earn points at all. Our combined record against the other eight competitors was 28-4-0, with a dominant +85 goal differential. In head-to- head competition amongst the eight remaining 2020/21 Stiegl Landescup quarterfinalists, FC Pinzgau earned 22 of 24 possible points in league contests.

It cannot and should not be the case that SAK 1914 and FC Pinzgau are punished for our sporting and economic efforts and success, nor should these other clubs essentially be rewarded a SECOND time for their per- formances a year ago.”

Fall 2019 saw FC Pinzgau complete the 13-year old Club’s best-ever Regionalliga Salzburg finish (13-3-2, 42 pts., 2nd place), 10 points clear of third-place Seekirchen to earn advancement to this Spring’s “EliteLiga West” - obviously cancelled due to the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic. SAK 1914 won the League with an incredible 17-1-0 (52 pts.) mark, winning 17 consecutive matches following an opening-day draw with Anif.

In the now-cancelled EliteLiga West, SAK and Pinzgau were slated to play 15 matches in a six-team group that also includes sides from Tirol (SV Wörgl, SC Schwaz) and Vo-

ralberg (Dornbirner SV, VfB Hohenems), competing for a possible Regionalliga West HPYBET 2.Liga promotion berth for the Fall.

Improvements to the Club’s Saalfelden Arena home and planning for the Fall 2020 Re- gionalliga Salzburg campaign are ongoing, as is the Fan Ownership drive across the globe via


While the appointment of Manager Christian Ziege signified a professionalization of the Club’s Football Operations, the FC Pinzgau Directors recently launched an ambitious expansion of the Club’s Ownership Group, securing worldwide investment that is ex- pected to produce long-term benefits for the local community and all of Austrian football.

With a stated desire to compete in Austria’s 2.Liga as soon as possible, FC Pinzgau has spent recent months embarking on an aggressive expansion of the Club’s business op- erations, with numerous announcements anticipated on both the Sporting and Commer- cial sides in the coming months. All changes intend to showcase the Pinzgau communi- ty on both football & lifestyle fronts to a worldwide audience, enhancing international ac- cess to both Austrian football and Pinzgau/Saalfelden tourism endeavors.

Since Ziege’s arrival in Saalfelden last May, FC Pinzgau has amassed an overall 16-4-4 / 52 point record (2.17 points per game) in Regionalliga Salzburg action. After the for- mer German international inked a multi-year contract last Summer for the 2019/20 sea- son and beyond, more than a dozen new players from across the globe — U.S.A., Canada, Germany, Croatia, Hungary, Sweden, Jamaica, the United Kingdom, New Zea- land and African nations of The Gambia and Burundi — have joined the Club’s Austrian core in the last two transfer windows.

About FC Pinzgau

FC Pinzgau was established in 2007 in Saalfelden, Austria, calling the picturesque Pinzgau region of the Austrian Alps home. Fueled by a passion for community, quality and professionalism, FC Pinzgau’s promise is to showcase cosmopolitan talent locally while providing platforms that focus the eyes of the world on our spectacular backyard. Our unique “Fan Owned” experience, fueled by ambition, dreams and vision, aims to celebrating the unity and excitement inherent in world-class soccer.