RB Leipzig

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RB Leipzig
RB Leipzig 2014 logo.svg.png
Full name RasenBallsport Leipzig e.V,
RasenBallsport Leipzig GmbH[1]
Nickname(s) Die Bullen (The Bulls), also Die roten Bullen (The Red Bulls)
Founded 19 May 2009; 6 years ago (2009-05-19)
Ground Red Bull Arena
Ground Capacity 44,345
Management board Oliver Mintzlaff (CEO)[1]
Ulrich Wolter
Frank Zimmermann
Head Coach Ralf Rangnick
League 2. Bundesliga
2014–15 5th
Website Club home page
Current season

RasenBallsport Leipzig e.V., commonly known and deliberately promoted as RB Leipzig, is a German association football club based in Leipzig, Saxony. The club was founded in 2009 by initiative of energy drink-maker Red Bull GmbH who purchased the playing license of the fifth division side SSV Markranstädt with the intention of advancing the new club to the top-flight Bundesliga within eight years. Men's professional football is run by the spin-off organization RasenballSport Leipzig GmbH.[1] RB Leipzig plays its home matches at the Red Bull Arena.

In their inaugural season in 2009–10, RB Leipzig dominated the NOFV-Oberliga Süd (fifth division) and as a result were promoted as champions to the Regionalliga Nord (fourth division) for the 2010–11 season. In the 2012–13 campaign, RB won the Regionalliga Nord without conceding a single defeat and was promoted to the 3. Liga (third division). RB Leipzig was runner-up in 2013–14 and was promoted to the 2. Bundesliga.


RasenBallsport Leipzig was founded in 2009, as the fourth football club initiated and sponsored by Red Bull GmbG, following Red Bull Salzburg in Austria, the New York Red Bulls in the USA and Red Bull Brasil in Brazil.

Unlike the conditions for previous clubs, the statutes of the German Football Association (DFB) did not permit the corporate name Red Bull to be part of the team name.[2] In order to comply with these regulations, the club instead adopted the unusual name RasenBallsport Leipzig, literally meaning "Leipzig lawn ball sports". But through the use of the initials "RB", as well as key elements of the Red Bull corporate logo in the team logo, the corporate identity was still preserved.[3][4][5]

By its founding, RB Leipzig aimed to play first division Bundesliga football within eight years.[6] Following the model previously elaborated by Red Bull in Austria and the USA, the club was set to emerge and quickly rise through divisions.[7]

In 2009, it was predicted that Red Bull GmbH would invest 100 million Euros in the club over a period of ten years, and Dietrich Mateschitz, the owner of Red Bull GmbH, openly spoke of the possibility to win the German championship in the long term.[4][6][7][8] The last team from Leipzig to do so was the VfB Leipzig in 1913.

The club began by purchasing the playing license of the fifth division side SSV Markranstädt, a deal proposed by entrepreneur Michael Kölmel, the owner of the Zentralstadion.[7] The club acquired the top four men’s teams of SSV Markranstädt. The first team was acquired complete with its trainer stab and its manager Tino Vogel, the son of the former East German football legend Eberhard Vogel.[6][7][9] In addition to this, the club also acquired four youth teams from the then insolvent FC Sachsen Leipzig. This acquisition was urged by the Saxon Fooball Association (SFV) in order to prevent a migration of talents.[10]

In 2010, the first team moved from their old ground, the Stadion am Bad in Markranstädt, to play its matches at the Zentralstadion, which had been renamed Red Bull Arena.[11][12] The club returned the second, third and fourth team to SSV Markranstädt and adopted ESV Delitzsch as its reserve team.[13] However, a year later, its own second team, the RB Leipzig II, was promoted to the same Sachsenliga, ending that collaboration too.

In July 2011, RB Leipzig knocked Bundesliga club VfL Wolfsburg out of the first round of the DFB-Pokal, beating them with 3-2 after a hat-trick by Daniel Frahn. They were eliminated in the next round by FC Augsburg (0:1). [14]

In 2014, RB Leipzig became the first team since the introduction of the 3. Liga to achieve promotion to the 2. Bundesliga after only one season.[15]

Following the promotion the 2. Bundesliga, the organization responsible for licensing was no longer the DFB, but instead the German Football League (DFL). A license was initially refused by the DFL, but after a second appeal a compromise was reached.[16] Criticism mounted that the club lacked in participation, that the governing power was too concentrated on only a handful of people[17] and that the organization was not independent enough towards Red Bull.[18] To ensure independence and improve participation, three requirements was set up by the DFL in order to obtain a license for 2014–15 2. Bundesliga season.[17][19] One of the requirements was to redesign the club logo, as the logo too much resembled that of Red Bull. A second requirement was to change the composition of organizational bodies.[20] A third requirement was to lower the membership fees and open up the association for new members.[21] RB Leipzig finished 2. Bundesliga as 5th in 2014-15 season.

RB Leipzig released its own club magazine "Klub" on 6 October 2014.[22]

Organization and finance[edit]


RasenballSport Leipzig e.V is a registered voluntary association. Its executive body is the Vorstand, the management board. The management board is appointed by the Ehrenrat, the honorary board. It is also subordinated to the Aufsichtsrat, the supervisory board. The honorary board is elected directly by the club members at the general meeting.

Significant organizational changes were made in 2014, following requirements set up by the German Football League (DFL). One of the requirements was to change the composition of organizational bodies. Both the management board and the honorary board had been composed by either employees or agents of Red Bull.[20][21][23] This contradicted effectively to fundamental principles of the 50+1 rule, as interpreted by the DFL,[20] and which aims to forbid the influence of third parties on the sporting decisions of a club.[18] As a part of a compromise with the DFL, the club made a binding declaration to ensure that the management board was to be occupied by a majority of persons independent towards Red Bull.[16]

In addition, a supervisory board was added.[24] The honorary board had performed tasks that are normally performed by a separate controlling organizational body. These functions were now transferred to a newly created supervisory board, that can perform these tasks independently. The club decided to transfer the former members of the honorary board to the newly created supervisory board.[25][26]


Voting membership is severely restricted.[23] In contrast to all other association football clubs in Germany, there is no official way to become a voting member of RasenballSport Leipzig e.V. According to Ulrich Wolter, the club do not aspire towards the high number of members of other clubs. Wolter has also pointed at other clubs, where Ultras have succeeded in creating structures, and stated that the club absolutely wants to avoid such conditions.[27]

For the establishment of a registered voluntary association, an association is required to have at least seven members according to German law, see the 56 §[28] of the Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch. Four years after its founding, the club had only 9 members, all employees of Red Bull.[29] By 2014 the registration fee for membership stood at 100 Euro[23] and the annual membership fee at 800 Euro,[30] in comparison to FC Bayern Munich who by that time offered membership at annual fees between 30 and 60 Euro.[11][31][32] In addition to this, a person willing to pay the fee could not expect to become a member, since the management board could reject an application without notice.[11][29]

This restrictive membership policy met criticism, thus one of the requirements set up by the DFL in order to obtain a license for the 2014–15 2. Bundesliga season was to lower the membership fees and open up the association for new members. In order to meet the requirement, the club made changes to the membership in 2015. It is now possible for a person to become an official supporting member. The annual fee for this type of membership is between 70 and 1000 Euros and serves to promote junior football within the club. In return, a supporting member receives certain privileges such as a meeting with the professional team and a fitness session at the Red Bull Arena. Supporting members also have the right to attend general meetings.[33] However, they do not have voting rights.


On 2 December 2014, the general meeting of the association voted unanimously for the founding of a spin-off organization in the form of a GmbH. The decision was taken at an extraordinary meeting. Present were 14 voting members and 40 supporting members.[34] CEO Oliver Mintzlaff stated that the change was made for the club to be able to step up professionally and to remain competitive.[35] The RasenballSport Leipzig GmbH is now responsible for the men's professional team and the men's junior teams from U15 and above.[1][33][35]

The association is currently the sole shareholder of RasenballSport Leipzig GmbH. A sale of 49 percent of the shares is permitted, but the association will retain control of the company, by a majority of votes.[34][36]

As of March 2015, the General managers of RasenballSport Leipzig GmbH are Ulrich Wolter and Frank Zimmermann.[1]


RB Leipzig's kits have been provided by German sportswear brand Adidas since the club's founding. In 2014, the club switched to the American sportswear brand Nike, in an agreement that will be in place until at least 2025.[37] In October 2014, the club also entered into promotional agreements with Hugo Boss, Porsche as youth sponsor and Volkswagen for stadium commercials.[38]

Past seasons[edit]

Season League Place W D L GF GA Pts DFB Cup
2009–10 NOFV-Oberliga Süd (V) 1 26 2 2 74 17 80 not qualified
2010–11 Regionalliga Nord (IV) 4 18 10 6 57 29 64 not qualified
2011–12 Regionalliga Nord (IV) 3 22 7 5 71 30 73 Round 2
2012–13 Regionalliga Nordost (IV) 1 21 9 0 65 22 72 not qualified
2013–14 3. Liga 2 24 7 7 65 34 79 Round 1
2014–15 2. Bundesliga 5 13 11 10 39 31 50 Round of 16
2015–16 2. Bundesliga 5 1 1 0 3 2 4 TBD
Green marks a season followed by promotion, red a season followed by relegation.


Before investing in Leipzig, Red Bull also considered SG Dynamo Dresden, but this club was a dismal Bundesliga performer and was further tainted by fan violence mixed with a Cold War fanaticism marked by the use of slogans of the era and Warsaw Pact symbols, mismanagement, too many years spent playing in the lower leagues, and too small a stadium.

Ultimately, Leipzig was chosen as the site for a Red Bull club, because the company considered other clubs in Saxony to have inadequate stadiums, excessively violent fan cultures, and non-professional surroundings. The choice acknowledged the city's rich history going back to the emergence of modern sport in the late 1800s. It was home to the first German national football champion, as well as the meeting place for the founding of the German Football Association (Deutscher Fussball Bund or DFB). Leipzig is also close enough to Dresden to draw on that city's football heritage which includes the Dresden English Football Club, proven to be the first football club playing after the Cambridge Rules, established outside Great Britain. The selection and development of a club located in western Germany was dismissed because of the high number of well-established clubs already there.

In 2006, in the company's first attempt to enter the Leipzig football scene, it tried to purchase FC Sachsen Leipzig, a club with a rich tradition, but plagued in recent years by mismanagement, on-going financial problems and violence. After months of fan protests which deteriorated into violence, the company abandoned the plan.[39]

Protests also greeted plans to invest in SSV Markranstädt, but to a much lesser extent. Apart from the use of weed killer that damaged the pitch at Stadion am Bad and the destruction of some advertising installations, opposition was non-violent.[4] In a survey carried out by the newspaper Leipziger Volkszeitung, 70% of the residents of Leipzig who were asked welcomed the initiative. Public support for action against Red Bull's involvement was low, as the state of football in Leipzig had reached rock-bottom, according to the Alliance of Active Football Fans.[39] FC Sachsen Leipzig saw its Regionalliga Nord (IV) licence revoked at the end of the 2008–09 season when the club became insolvent, while local rival Lokomotive Leipzig failed to earn promotion. That team was beset by fan violence and carried the historical burden of being one of the worst ever Bundesliga sides (6th worst) having lost 20 matches while conceding 69 goals.[40] Neither of these clubs criticized Red Bull's investment,[39] despite all three of them playing in the same league in 2009–10.

"Nein zu RB"[edit]

After RB Leipzigs won promotion to the 2. Bundesliga, the criticism mounted around the license having been given to the team despite the clear involvement of Red Bull rather than the community, contrary to common practice in the country, and the use of football as a marketing tool.[41] Supporters of other teams in the 2. Bundesliga created a campaign called "Nein zu RB" ("No to RB") criticising the DFB's decision.[42][43]

The initiators were supporters groups of 10 teams:

Since then numerous groups from 19 different cities and town across Germany have joined the campaign, some non-football related.[44]





  • Reserve team


The club played most of its home games in its inaugural season in the Stadion am Bad, which holds 5,500 spectators and is the old homeground of the SSV Markranstädt.[45] Since 1 July 2010 home games have been played at the Red Bull Arena also known as Zentralstadion with 44,345 seats.

Average home league attendances[edit]

Season Average attendance
2010/2011 4,206[46]
2011/2012 7,401[47]
2012/2013 7,563[48]
2013/2014 16,734[49]
2014/2015 25,025[50]


The club has twenty official fanclubs as of July 2015. The first two to become registered as official fanclubs were L.E Bulls and Bulls Club, both registered in 2009. L.E Bulls is the oldest official fanclub,[51] but Bulls Club claims to be the biggest.[52] There are also several non official fanclubs, such as Rasenballisten and Fraktion Red Pride. RB Leipzig also has a minor ultras scene with groups such as Red Aces and Lecrats.[53][54]


Current squad[edit]

As of 10 July 2015[55] Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Switzerland GK Fabio Coltorti
2 Germany DF Patrick Strauß
3 Germany DF Anthony Jung
4 Germany DF Willi Orban
5 Turkey DF Atınç Nukan
6 Germany MF Rani Khedira
7 Austria FW Marcel Sabitzer
8 Germany DF Tim Sebastian
9 Denmark FW Yussuf Poulsen
10 Sweden MF Emil Forsberg
13 Austria MF Stefan Ilsanker
14 Belgium MF Massimo Bruno
16 Germany DF Lukas Klostermann
17 Germany FW Nils Quaschner
18 United States FW Terrence Boyd
No. Position Player
19 Hungary MF Zsolt Kalmár
20 Germany MF Ken Gipson
21 Russia DF Dmitri Skopintsev
22 Germany GK Benjamin Bellot
24 Germany MF Dominik Kaiser
25 Austria MF Stefan Hierländer
27 Germany FW Davie Selke
31 Germany MF Diego Demme
32 Hungary GK Péter Gulácsi
33 Germany DF Marvin Compper
39 Austria MF Georg Teigl
Germany MF Gino Fechner
Poland MF Kamil Wojtkowski
Bulgaria DF Yuliyan Chapaev

Players out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Bosnia and Herzegovina FW Smail Prevljak (at FC Red Bull Salzburg)
Israel FW Omer Damari (at FC Red Bull Salzburg)[56]
For recent transfers, see List of German football transfers winter 2014–15 and List of German football transfers summer 2015.

Coach history[edit]


Notable former players[edit]

Reserve team[edit]

The club's reserve team, RB Leipzig II, played in the tier five NOFV-Oberliga Süd in 2014–15, where it won a league title and promotion to the Regionalliga Nordost.[57]

The team is coached by Tino Vogel.[58] As of 30 June 2015

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Germany GK Dominic-René Heine
Germany DF Jonas Hildebrandt
Germany DF Alexander Sorge
Germany DF Sören Reddemann
Germany DF Sebastian Konik
Germany DF Hannes Mietzelfeld
DF Firat Suscuz
Germany MF Fridolin Wagner
Germany MF Henrik Ernst
No. Position Player
Germany MF Alexander Siebeck
Germany MF René-Mike Legien
Germany FW Daniel Barth
Germany FW Janik Mäder
Germany FW Joshua Endres
Germany FW Federico Palacios Martínez
Germany FW Dennis Rothenstein
Poland FW Vincent Rabiega
Finland DF Mikko Sumusalo

Past seasons[edit]

Season League Place W D L GF GA Pts
2010–11 Bezirksliga Leipzig (VII) 1 18 6 6 65 32 60
2011–12 Sachsenliga (VI) 4 15 8 7 62 34 53
2012–13 Sachsenliga 3 21 4 5 69 25 67
2013–14 Sachsenliga 1 23 6 1 99 18 75
2014–15 NOFV-Oberliga Süd (V) 1 23 3 4 82 21 72
2015–16 Regionalliga Nordost (IV)
Green marks a season followed by promotion, red a season followed by relegation.

Affiliated clubs[edit]

The following clubs were formerly affiliated with the club:


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External links[edit]