2008–09 UEFA Cup
The 2008–09 UEFA Cup was the 38th season of the UEFA Cup football tournament. The final was played at the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium, home ground of Fenerbahçe, in Istanbul on 20 May 2009; this season was the final one to use the UEFA Cup format. Zenit Saint Petersburg were the defending champions but were eliminated by Udinese in the Round of 16. A total of 157 teams from 53 UEFA associations participated in the 2008–09 UEFA Cup. Associations were allocated places according to their 2007 UEFA league coefficients, which takes into account their performance in European competitions from 2002–03 to 2006–07. Below is the qualification scheme for the 2008–09 UEFA Cup: Associations 1–6 each have three teams qualify Associations 7 and 8 each have four teams qualify Associations 9–15 and 22-51 each have two teams qualify, except Liechtenstein, which has one team qualify Associations 16–21 each have three teams qualify Associations 52 and 53 each have one team qualifyplus The top three associations of the 2007–08 UEFA Fair Play ranking each gain an additional berth 11 winners of the 2008 UEFA Intertoto Cup 16 losers from the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round 8 third-placed teams from the UEFA Champions League group stage Notes: Additional fair play berth: Additional teams transferred from the UEFA Champions League Since the winners of the 2007–08 UEFA Cup, Zenit Saint Petersburg, qualified for the 2008–09 UEFA Champions League through domestic performance, the title holder spot reserved for them in the playoff round was vacated.
As a result, the following changes to the default allocation system were made to compensate for the vacant title holder spot in the group stage: The domestic cup winners of associations 14 was promoted from the second qualifying round to the play-off round. The first UEFA Cup entrant of associations 19 and 20 were promoted from the first qualifying round to the second qualifying round. A UEFA Cup place is vacated when a team qualifies for both the Champions League and the UEFA Cup, or qualifies for the UEFA Cup by more than one method; when a place is vacated, it is redistributed within the national association by the following rules: When the domestic cup winners qualify for the Champions League, their UEFA Cup place is vacated, the remaining UEFA Cup qualifiers are moved up one place, with the final place taken by the domestic cup runners-up, provided they do not qualify for the Champions League or the UEFA Cup. Otherwise, this place is taken by the highest-placed league finishers that have not yet qualified for the European competitions.
When the domestic cup winners qualify for the UEFA Cup through league position, their place through the league position is vacated, the UEFA Cup qualifiers that finish lower in the league are moved up one place, with the final place taken by the highest-placed league finishers that have not yet qualified for the UEFA Cup. A place vacated by the League Cup winners is taken by the highest-placed league finishers that have not yet qualified for the UEFA Cup. A Fair Play place is taken by the highest-ranked team in the domestic Fair Play table that has not yet qualified for the Champions League or the UEFA Cup; the calendar draw. The draw for the first qualifying round took place on 1 July 2008; the first legs were played on 17 July 2008 and the second legs were played on 31 July 2008, with the exception of the Nordsjælland vs TVMK match, played on 29 July 2008. In each region of the draw for the first qualifying round, teams were divided into two pots, on the basis of UEFA coefficients; the lower pots contained unranked teams from associations 34–53, together with Vėtra of Lithuania.
The higher pots contained teams from associations 1–32, together with Sūduva of Lithuania, FH. Three of the 37 ties were won by the lower ranked team, all involving teams whose ranking was that of their association: WIT Georgia beat Spartak Trnava; the draw for the second qualifying round was held on 1 August 2008 in Nyon and featured 16 teams entering directly at the second qualifying round, as well as the 37 winners from the previous round and the 11 third round winners of the UEFA Intertoto Cup. The first legs were played on 14 August 2008 and the second leg on 28 August 2008; because there are an odd number of teams in the Central and Northern groups in the 2nd qualifying round, UEFA moved Rennes from the Central-East group to the Northern group. Furthermore, Liepājas Metalurgs and Sūduva were moved from the Northern group to the Central-East group, Vaslui and Interblock Ljubljana were moved from the Southern-Mediterranean group to the Central-East group, it is unknown why UEFA decided on these last moves since it is not required.
One of the reasons could be to have more balance in the groups with respect to the coefficients. In each region of the draw for the second qualifying round, teams were divided into two pots, on the basis of UEFA coefficients; the higher pots contained teams with a ranking of 176 or higher, unranked teams from associations ranked 1 to 15. 12 of the 32 ties were won by the lower-ranked team. The 12 teams that lost to a lower team were: AEK Athens, Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, Red Star Belgrade, Slovan Liberec, Lokomotiv Sofia, Gent, Q
Olympique Gymnaste Club Nice Côte d'Azur referred to as OGC Nice or Nice, is a French association football club based in Nice. The club was founded in 1904 and plays in Ligue 1, the top tier of French football. Nice plays. Nice are managed by former French international Patrick Vieira and captained by Brazilian defender Dante. Nice was founded under the name Gymnaste Club de Nice and is one of the founding members of the first division of French football; the club has won the Coupe de France three times. Nice achieved most of its honours in the 1950s with the club being managed by coaches such as Numa Andoire, Englishman William Berry, Jean Luciano; the club's last honour was winning the Coupe de France in 1997 after defeating Guingamp 4–3 on penalties in the final. Nice's colours are black. During the club's successful run in the 1950s, Nice were among the first French clubs to integrate internationals players into the fold. Notable players include Héctor De Bourgoing, Pancho Gonzales, Victor Nurenberg, Joaquín Valle, the latter being the club's all-time leading goalscorer and arguably greatest player.
Gymnaste Club'Azur was founded in the residential district of Les Baumettes on 9 July 1904 under the name Gymnaste Club. The club was founded by Marquis de Massengy d'Auzac, who served as president of the Fédération Sportive des Alpes-Maritimes. Akin to its name, the club focused on the sports of gymnastics and athletics. On 6 July 1908, in an effort to remain affiliated with the FSAM and join the amateur federation USFSA, the head of French football at the time, Gymnaste Club de Nice split into two sections with the new section of the club being named Gymnastes Amateurs Club de Nice; the new section spawned a football club and, after two seasons, the two clubs merged. On 20 September 1919, Nice merged with local club Gallia Football Athlétic Club and, adopted the club's red and black combination. In 1920, the club was playing in the Ligue du Sud-Est, a regional league under the watch of the French Football Federation. While playing in the league, Nice developed rivalries with Marseille. On 22 December 1924, the club changed its name to Olympique Gymnaste Club de Nice.
In July 1930, the National Council of the French Football Federation voted 128–20 in support of professionalism in French football. Nice, along with most clubs from southern France, were among the first clubs to adopt the new statute and subsequently became professional and were founding members of the new league. In the league's inaugural season, Nice finished seventh in its group. In the following season, Nice were relegated from the league; the club did not play league football in the ensuing season and returned to French football in 1936 playing in Division 2. Nice spent the next three years playing in the second division. In 1939, professional football in France was abolished due to World War II. Nonetheless, Nice continued to play league football under amateur status with the club participating in the Ligue du Sud-Est in 1939 and the Ligue du Sud in the following seasons. After World War II, Nice returned to professional status and were inserted back into the second division; the club achieved promotion back to the first division for the 1948–49 season under the leadership of the Austrian manager Anton Marek.
After two seasons of finishing in the top ten, now led by manager Jean Lardi, achieved its first-ever honour by winning the league title in the 1950–51 season. Led by French internationals Marcel Domingo, Antoine Bonifaci, Abdelaziz Ben Tifour, Jean Courteaux, as well as the Argentine duo of Pancho Gonzales and Luis Carniglia and the Swede Pär Bengtsson, Nice won the league despite finishing equal on points with Lille. Nice was declared champions due to having more wins than Lille. In the following season, under new manager Numa Andoire, Nice won the double after winning both the league and the Coupe de France. In the league, the club defended its title by holding off both Lille. In the Coupe de France final, Nice faced Bordeaux and defeated the Aquitaine club 5–3 courtesy of goals from five different players. Nice continued its solid run in the decade by winning the Coupe de France for the second time in 1954; the club, now being led by a young and unknown Just Fontaine, faced southern rivals Marseille and earned a 2–1 victory with Victor Nuremberg and Carniglia scoring the goals.
Carniglia began managing Nice. In his first season in charge, Nice won the league for a third time after being chased for the entire season by rivals Marseille and Monaco, as well as Lens and Saint-Étienne. After the campaign, Fontaine departed the club for Stade de Reims. Three seasons Nice won the last title of the decade in 1959; the club finished the decade with two Coupe de France trophies. Nice appeared in European competition for the first time in the 1956–57 season, losing to Real Madrid in the quarter-finals. In subsequent decades, Nice struggled to equal the success of the 1950s with Reims and Saint-Étienne eclipsing the club in the 1960s and'70s. During this time, Nice competed in Division 1 with the exception of two seasons in Division 2 in 1965 and 1970. In 1973 and 1976, Nice achieved a second-place finish in the league, its best finish since winning the league in 1959. However, following the latter finish, the club finished in lower positions in the next six seasons and were relegated in the 1981–82 season after finishing 19th.
Nice played three seasons in the second division before returning to the top
Stade Rennais F.C.
Stade Rennais Football Club referred to as Stade Rennais, SRFC or Rennes, is a French association football club based in Rennes. The club was founded in 1901 and plays in Ligue 1, the top tier of French football. Rennes plays; the team is managed by Julien Stéphan. The team's president is Olivier Létang and its owner is Artémis, the holding company of businessman François Pinault. Rennes was founded in 1901 under the name Stade Rennais and is one of the founding members of the first division of French football. Alongside Nantes, Rennes is one of the top football clubs in the region and the two are among the main clubs that contest the Derby Breton; the club's best finish in the league has been fourth with the club accomplishing this feat on four occasions, most in 2006–07. Rennes has won two Coupe de France titles in 1965 and 1971. After winning the Coupe de France in 1971, Rennes changed its name to its current version. Rennes is known for its youth academy, known in English as the Henri Guérin Training Centre, formed in 2000.
The French Football Federation has recognised Rennes as having the best youth academy in the country in 2010. The cornerstone of the academy is the under-19 team, which has won the Coupe Gambardella three times in 1973, 2003 and 2008; the academy has produced several notable talents, such as Sylvain Wiltord, Yoann Gourcuff, Yann M'Vila, Moussa Sow, Yacine Brahimi, Abdoulaye Doucouré, Ousmane Dembélé and Jimmy Briand, among others. Stade Rennais Football Club was founded on 10 March 1901 by a group of former students living in Brittany. Football had become circulated in nearby regions and it was soon brought to Brittany; the club's first match was played two weeks against FC Rennais, which Stade lost 6–0. In 1902, Stade Rennais joined the USFSA federation and, became a founding member of the Ligue de Bretagne de football, a newly created regional league founded by the federation. In the second league season, the club won the competition after defeating the inaugural league winners FC Rennais 4–0 in the final.
On 4 May 1904, Stade Rennais merged with its rivals FC Rennais to form Stade Rennais Université Club, with the primary objective being to overcome the recent domination of the Ligue de Bretagne by US Saint-Malo known as US Saint-Servan, which fielded British players. The new club adopted the colours of Rennais, which consisted of a red and black combination with black vertical stripes on the shirt. After three years of Saint-Malo dominating the league, Rennes eclipsed the club in 1908 under the leadership of Welsh manager Arthur Griffith. In the following season, Rennes won the league again, but in 1910 Rennes was unable to win a third, as Saint-Malo won the league by two points; the champions subsequently went on an impressive run in which it won the league for the next four seasons over. After World War I, Rennes began focusing its efforts on winning the created Coupe de France. Strengthened by the arrivals of internationals Bernard Lenoble, Maurice Gastiger, Ernest Molles and captain François Hugues after the war, in the competition's fourth campaign, Rennes reached the final.
In the match, the club faced two-time defending champions Red Star Olympique, led by attacker Paul Nicolas, defender Lucien Gamblin and goalkeeper Pierre Chayriguès. Red Star opened the scoring in the fourth minute and the match was concluded following a late goal from Raymond Sentubéry. After the disorganisation of the USFSA in 1913, Rennes joined the Ligue de l'Ouest. In 1929, Rennes departed the league after disagreeing with the increased number of games the league sought to implement in the new season; the departure led to Rennes becoming a "free agent", the club played numerous friendly matches to compensate the loss of league matches. In July 1930, the National Council of the French Football Federation voted 128–20 in support of professionalism in French football. Under the leadership of club president Isidore Odorico, Rennes was among the first clubs to adopt the new statute and, became professional and became founding members of the new league. In the league's inaugural season, Rennes finished mid-table in its group.
Two years in 1935, the club reached the final of the Coupe de France for the second time. Rennes, lost to Marseille 3–0 after failing to overcome three first-half goals; the club's attack was limited in the match due to being deprived of its top two attackers, Walter Kaiser and Walter Vollweiler, who were both injured. Rennes spent four more years in the first division before suffering relegation to Division 2 in the 1936–37 season. Rennes played in Division 2 before professionalism was abolished due to World War II. After the war, Rennes returned to Division 1. Led by the Austrian-born Frenchman Franz Pleyer, Rennes achieved its best finish in the league after finishing fourth in the 1948–49 campaign. Despite the domestic resurgence under Pleyer, the club struggled to maintain the consistency and, in the 1950s, rotated between the first division and the second division under the watch of the Spaniard Salvador Artigas and Henri Guérin, who acted in a player-coach role. Under the leadership of new president Louis Girard, Rennes underwent a major upheaval, which included renovations to the stadium.
Girard sought to make Rennes competitive nationally and the first objective was achieved when the club earned promotion back to Division 1 in 1958. After finishing in the bottom-half of the table for six-straight seasons, now managed by former club player Jean Prouff, finished in fourth place in the 1964–65 season. In the same season, the club earned its first major h
Racing Club de Lens, is a French football club based in the northern city of Lens in the Pas-de-Calais department. Its nickname, comes from its traditional colours of red and gold, their primary rivals are their northern neighbours Lille, with. The club's origins date back to 1906 in Lens and lie with students playing football on the Place Verte; the name "Racing Club de Lens" was a reference to Racing Club de Roubaix and Racing Club de France, both popular at the time. The club's first board of directors was formed by the parents of those students under the name of Racing Club de Lens in 1906; the club played in green and black to represent the founding location. They wore green to represent the name, "Verte", which means green in French, black to represent the omnipresence of coal mines in the surrounding area. Between 1907 and 1912, the players were forced to change sports grounds twice before settling at the actual Parc des Glissoires, between Avion and Lens. During World War I, the club's activities were stopped, only restarting in 1919.
Lens was playing in sky blue. It was in 1924 that the gold colours appeared; the legend says that Pierre Moglia, president of the club from 1923 to 1930, chose the colours of the Spanish flag after someone from the club remarked that the Saint-Léger church ruins they walked by that night were the last remains of the Spanish domination in 1648. People say that the colours come from the coal mines: the red for the blood of the miners and the gold for the coal, valuable at the time, it was in 1924 that the club was authorised to play at the newly built municipal stadium Raoul Briquet. The first match with the new colours was played for the inauguration of the stadium. In 1926, British footballer Kid Fenton was the first star who played for Lens, staying for eight seasons, it was the year the first supporters group was formed, – – Lens first capture of the Championnat d'Artois. In 1929, Lens won the North championship and won promotion for the first time to the Division d'Honneur of the Ligue du Nord with the clubs Olympique Lillois, RC Roubaix, Excelsior Athlétic Club de Roubaix and AC Amiens.
In the Artois League, the club gained prestige, in 1932, the club inaugurated the Stade Félix Bollaert. In 1937, Lens gained access to the first division after finishing first in the second division, led by such players as Stefan Dembicki and Spechtl. Lens managed to reach the last 16 of the Coupe de France, although the team was eliminated by the Red Star, 3–2. In 1943, Lens won the first division of the Northern Zone thanks to Dembicki, who scored 43 goals in 30 games. A year earlier, in a Coupe de France match, he scored 17 goals, still the world record today. After World War II, Lens finished in sixth place in the 1945–46 season, but they were relegated the following year. In 1948, the club played its first Coupe de France final. A year Lens was promoted to the first division, Maryan Wisnieski was recruited, in 1953. Problems with the board, made him quit the club. In 1962, the city of Lens' mines were shut down and the club was at stake given that most of the players were miners. Between 1956 and 1968, survival was hard.
In 1964, Lens finished third, with Ahmed Oudjani the top scorer with 30 goals. Another famous player, Georges Lech, joined Lens, although the club was relegated in 1968; the following year, the mine's administrators rescinded their ownership of Lens, it was the end of professional football at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis. Lens was once again one year after its relegation. Better days arrived in 1960 after the town council bet on the Racing Club de Lens. Lens's mayor, André Delelis, wanted to see the club continue thrilling the fans. With the future president, Jean Bondoux, the mayor brought together volunteers and subscriptions to make the club survive. Moreover, the city recovered the stadium from the closing mine industry. In 1972, Lens reached the semi-finals of the Coupe de France, the arrival of two Polish players helped the club to the first division. In 1975, Lens once again reached the final of the Coupe de France against Saint-Étienne, but les Verts won the game 2–0, with an anthology goal by Jean-Michel Larqué.
As finalist of the Coupe de France, Lens had the opportunity to participate in its first UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, but the team was knocked out by the Dutch club ADO Den Haag. Lens' progress continued, after finishing second in the league behind Nantes, they managed to qualify to the UEFA Cup, they knocked out Malmö FF, above all, the Lazio. After an away defeat, they won 6–0 at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis after extra-time. After this rare exploit for a French club, they were eliminated by East German side 1. FC Magdeburg. Worse, the club went back to the second division in 1978; the return among the elite was in 1979 with Roger Lemerre as head coach. During the 1980s, Gérard Houllier and Joachim Marx succeeded him; these were great gains to the team though the club lost players such as Didier Sénac, Gaëtan Huard and Philippe Vercruysse. In 1988, a local businessman took over the club, with the help of Serge Doré. During the same year, Arnaud Dos Santos was named head coach of the club, led the club back to the first division in 1991.
In 1993 and 1994, Lens played in the top of the league, the team qualified for the UEFA Cup twice in a row. Lens reached the semi-final of the Coupe de France after knocking out Pari
Le Havre AC
Le Havre Athletic Club is a French association football club based in Le Havre, Normandy. The club was founded as an athletics and rugby club in 1872. Le Havre plays in Ligue 2, the second level of French football, plays its home matches at the Stade Océane. Le Havre made its football debut in France's first-ever championship in 1899 and, on its debut, became the first French club outside Paris to win the league; the club won the league the following season in 1900. Le Havre has yet to win the current first division of French football, Ligue 1, but has participated in the league 24 times; the club's highest honour to date was winning the Coupe de France in 1959. The main rivalries of Le Havre are the "Derby Normand" with SM Caen and an always heated clash with Lens, located in the region of Nord-Pas-de-Calais, it was in 1872 that a group of British residents formed Le Havre Athlétique, which played a hybrid form of football, a cross between rugby and association football, called "combination".
Association football began being played on a regular basis in 1894. In 1899, Le Havre became the first club from outside Paris to become French football champions. At the time the championship was organised by the USFSA. After being awarded a win over Iris Club Lillois in the semi-final by walkover, they were awarded the title after receiving a walkover in the final against Club Français, they would win the following year, with the final being a "re-match" of the forfeited 1899 final. The club is famous for its notable youth investment program which develops and nurtures young talent, with the vision of using them in the first team if they show enough promise. A vast amount of good young talent has gone on to make an impact at international level including Benjamin Mendy, Ibrahim Ba, Jean-Alain Boumsong, Lassana Diarra, Riyad Mahrez, Steve Mandanda, Vikash Dhorasoo, Paul Pogba and Dimitri Payet; the club was on the receiving end of some high-profile illegal transfers, by which Charles N'Zogbia, Matthias Lepiller and Paul Pogba were signed by other clubs without the proper compensation being paid.
The first two were arbitrated by FIFA, who ordered Newcastle United and Fiorentina to pay training compensation. Le Havre is known as'les ciel et marine' in France, which translates as'the sky and navy blues'; these colours were chosen by the club's English founders as they were those of their alma maters, the universities of Oxford and Cambridge: the anthem of the club is played to the melody of "God Save the Queen" to mark the English origins of the club: "A jamais le premier de tous les clubs français ô H. A. C. Fiers de tes origins Fils d'Oxford et Cambridge deux coulours font nôtre prestige Ciel et marine!" English translation: "The first of all French clubs The H. A. C Proud of your roots Son of Oxford and Cambridge two colors make our prestige sky and the sea!" As of 5 March 2019. Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
As of 10 October 2018. Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. Ligue 2 Winners: 1938, 1959, 1985, 1991, 2008 Runners-up: 1950 Coupe de France Winners: 1959 Runners-up: 1920 USFSA Championnat Winners: 1899, 1900, 1919 Challenge international du Nord Winners: 1900 Coupe Nationale Winners: 1918, 1919 Challenge des Champions Winners: 1959 Official site
Stade Malherbe Caen
Stade Malherbe Caen is a French professional football team, playing in the city of Caen in Normandy. The club was founded on 17 November 1913 by the merger of Club Malherbe Caennais and Club Sportif Caennais; the team takes its name from a 17th century poet from Caen. For most of its history, SM Caen has been one of the main amateur clubs in France; the late 1980s and early 1990s saw the rise of Stade Malherbe in the French football hierarchy. In 1985, Stade Malherbe adopted professional status. Three seasons it was promoted for the first time to first division. In 1992, a few months after being narrowly saved from bankruptcy, the club finished fifth in Division 1 and qualified for UEFA Cup, but it was relegated three years later. Despite a second division title won in 1996, SM Caen fell back into the anonymity of the second division. Under the chairmanship of Jean-François Fortin, from 2002, under the sporting direction of Patrick Rémy, Franck Dumas and Patrice Garande, the Stade Malherbe has regained sporting success.
The club was promoted in Ligue 1 several times, reached the Coupe de la Ligue final in 2005 and finished 7th in Ligue 1 in 2016. In 2018, as the club began its 5th consecutive season in Ligue 1, a conflict erupted within the management team: Jean-François Fortin left his place to Gilles Sergent, while Patrice Garande was replaced by Fabien Mercadal. SM Caen has been playing since 1993 at the Stade Michel d'Ornano. Before and since its foundation, the club played at Stade de Venoix, now used by the reserve team, it has geographical rivalries with Le Havre AC and Stade rennais, its closest neighbour in Ligue 1. Many football clubs were constituted in Caen at the end of the 19th century: the Union sportive des étudiants de Caen, founded in 1892, the Union Athlétique du Lycée Malherbe, founded in 1892 or 1895 and the Club Sportif Caennais, founded in November 1899; these clubs participated in the early editions of the football championship organised by the Union des Sociétés Françaises de Sports Athlétiques.
In 1907, former members of UALM created the Club Malherbe Caennais, soon the best club in Lower Normandy. In 1909 and 1911, several friendlies matches were organised between a selection of players from Caen and the English club of St Albans City F. C.. The Stade Malherbe Caennais was founded on 17 November 1913 from the merger of Club Sportif Caennais and Club Malherbe Caennais, it was a multi-sport athletic club, which adopted the "Malherbe" and the striped jersey of the CMC, the red and blue colours of CSC. The club had its own facilities – the Stade de Venoix – inherited from the CMC; the football team of CMC, engaged in the league in Lower Normandy, changed its name just after the start of the season. By winning this competition, Stade Malherbe recorded their first title in its first year of existence. Having qualified for the finals of the 1914 USFSA Football Championship, Caen was eliminated in the 1/8 final by the Union sportive Servannaise: after a draw in the first game it had to forfeit the second.
World War I stopped the competitions. Thirty-nine members of the club were killed in the fighting, including former captain Eugène Lesomptier. In 1919, the USFSA championship was replaced by regional championships organised by the French Football Federation, called Division d'Honneur. Stade Malherbe, reinforced by the move to Caen of the former French international Eugène Maës, won six times the championship of Lower Normandy between 1920 and 1928, but were unable to compete with the major Upper Normandy clubs, Le Havre AC and FC Rouen. Since 1919–20, Caen participated in the Coupe de France but fell in round of 32 in 1921 and 1922. In 1929, the two Division d'Honneur leagues of Normandy were merged and Stade Malherbe was promoted the year after, its best final standing was 5th in 1933. In 1934, one year after FC Rouen and Le Havre AC, Stade Malherbe acquired professional status and reached the French Division 2; the club finished 11th out of 16 for the first season 6th in 1936 and 8th in 1937.
But its financial situation deteriorated and Stade Malherbe left D2 in 1938, after four professional seasons. The club returned to Division d'Honneur of Normandy, it won the last edition before World War II in 1938–39, the first two after WW2 in 1946 and 1947. In 1948, Stade Malherbe joined the newly founded Championnat de France amateur, the third level of French football. Soon considered as a "lord" in CFA, Caen was unable to win the championship, unlike their regional rival US Quevilly, despite successive calls to former French international players as coaches: Jules Vandooren, Jean Prouff, Andre Grillon, Jean Vincent and Oliver Celestin. Stade Malherbe made itself known by repeated feats in Coupe de France in the 1950s: French champion Stade de Reims and top teams Racing Club de France and RC Lens were defeated in January 1953, 1956 and 1961. In 1958, Caen pushed FC Nantes to play five games to decide: the first three games resulting in 0–0 draws, the fourth was stopped, the fifth saw Nantes win 1–0.
Through its success Caen won the "Challenge France-Football" rewarding the best amateur team in Coupe de France in 1956 and 1961. Undermined by the instability of its coaches and presidents and a precarious financial health, Stade Malherbe weakened and was relegated twice into Division d'Honneur, but regained its place in CFA. In 1970, the CFA was removed and the Division 2 was enlarged to 48 teams. During the 1970s, Caen evolved between D2, where it failed to stabilise. Jacques Mouilleron became coach in 1973. In 1975, the club won its first national title: the West group of Division 3. Stade
2008–09 Ligue 2
The Ligue 2 season 2008–09 was the sixty-seventh edition since its establishment, began on August 1, 2008 and ended on May 29, 2009. The fixtures were announced on May 23, 2008. Teams relegated to Ligue 2 FC Metz, relegated after losing to Olympique Marseille on April 12, 2008. RC Strasbourg, relegated after losing to SM Caen on May 10, 2008. RC Lens, relegated after drawing with FC Girondins de Bordeaux on May 17, 2008. Teams promoted to Ligue 1 Le Havre AC, promoted after drawing with CS Sedan on April 22, 2008. FC Nantes, promoted after drawing with Montpellier HSC on April 25, 2008. Grenoble Foot 38, promoted after drawing with LB Châteauroux on May 12, 2008. Teams promoted from Championnat National Vannes OC, promoted after losing to FC Martigues on April 26, 2008. Tours FC, promoted after defeating Stade Laval on May 3, 2008. Nimes Olympique, promoted after defeating Stade Laval on May 16, 2008. Teams relegated to Championnat National FC Gueugnon, relegated after losing to AC Ajaccio on April 18, 2008.
FC Libourne-Saint-Seurin, relegated after losing to CS Sedan on May 2, 2008. Chamois Niortais FC, relegated after losing to US Boulogne on May 16, 2008. Last updated May 2009 Grégory Thil wins the Ligue 2 Trophée du Meilleur Buteur. Last updated: May 30, 2009 Source: Ligue 2 Paul Alo'o wins the Ligue 2 Trophée du Meilleur Passeur. Last updated: May 30, 2009 Source: Ligue 2 The nominees for Ligue 2 Player of the Year; the winner will be determine at the annual UNFP Awards on May 24. The winner will be displayed in bold; the nominees for the Ligue 2 Goalkeeper of the Year. The winner will be displayed in bold; the nominees for Manager of the Year. The winner will be displayed in bold. Last updated May 22, 2009 French League Official Site Ligue 2 Official Page