Introduction of the 2. Bundesliga

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The Introduction of the 2. Bundesliga was the step of establishing a professional second tier association football league in Germany in 1974. The new league, the 2. Bundesliga, played its first season in 1974–75 and continues to be the second-highest league in the country. Its introduction reduced the number of second divisions in Germany from five to two and the number of teams at this level from 83 to 40. It eliminated the necessity of having a promotion round at the end of the season to determine the two teams promoted to the Bundesliga.

History[edit]

Map of the five German Regionalligas from 1963 to 1974.

Germany's second tier of football, the Regionalliga, had been established in 1963 with the introduction of the Bundesliga. The Regionalliga was played in five regional divisions, North, West, South, South-West and Berlin. This arrangement however meant that, to determine the two teams that would be promoted to the Bundesliga at the end of each season, a promotion play-off had to be held after the end of the regular league season. These play-offs were originally made up of the five Regionalliga champions and runners-up, except for Berlin, where only the champions qualified from. Later, the Berlin runners-up was admitted, too.[1] Clubs relegated from the Bundesliga experienced a drop from a nationwide professional league to semi-professional and financially unattractive regional leagues.[2]

The decision to establish a 2. Bundesliga with two regional divisions made up of 20 teams each, North and South, was made at the annual convention of the German Football Association, the DFB, at Frankfurt on 30 June 1973. For the new northern division, eleven clubs from the west, seven clubs from the north and two clubs from Berlin were meant to qualify however, only one club from Berlin took up the option, leaving another spot for the west. For the new southern division, seven clubs from the south-west and 13 clubs from the south qualified. The two teams relegated from the Bundesliga, Hannover 96 and SC Fortuna Köln, were deducted from the quota of the region they belonged to.[3]

The qualifying process for the 2. Bundesliga[edit]

Qualifying system[edit]

The qualifying system took into account the last five seasons of the Regionalliga, whereby points were awarded for final placings. The last placed team in each season received one point, the second last two and so on up to the league champions which received points equal to the number of teams in the league. The points for the last season, 1973–74, where multiplied by three, the points for the previous two doubled and the points for the first two counted just single. Clubs that played in the Bundesliga in any of those five seasons received 25 points per season, which were also multiplied according to the before mentioned modus, depending which season they played in the Bundesliga. Clubs that played below the Regionalliga in any of the five season received no points for those seasons. Only clubs that played in the Regionalliga or Bundesliga in the 1973–74 season could qualify for the new league. Regionalliga clubs that finished on a relegation rank in 1973–74 were also barred from qualifying. If two clubs where on equal points overall the final placing of 1973–74 was taken to determine who ranked higher.[3]

2. Bundesliga Nord[edit]

Twenty teams from three different leagues qualified for the northern division.

From the Regionalliga Nord[edit]

Eintracht Braunschweig, the last champions of the Regionalliga Nord and the team with the most points in the five-year ranking for the league won promotion to the Bundesliga in 1974. In turn, Hannover 96, a northern club, was relegated form the Bundesliga to the new 2. Bundesliga. The next two qualified clubs, FC St. Pauli and VfL Osnabrück had been strong performers in the league over the years, with both winning seven league championships between them. Of the remaining qualified sides, VfL Wolfsburg had been a top side in the league in its eleven years of existence, too. HSV Barmbeck-Uhlenhorst had been on the rise only since 1970 while 1. SC Göttingen 05 had slowly been declining in results since 1968. Finally, Olympia Wilhelmshaven qualified as somewhat of an outsider. Of the established teams that failed to qualify Holstein Kiel and Arminia Hannover had both played in the league in every season and also won league championships. TuS 93 Bremerhaven and VfB Lübeck had also played in the league in every season but generally been less successful.[4][5]

The points table:[3]

Rank Club Points 1969 to 1974 Place in 1973–74
1 Eintracht Braunschweig 207 1
2 FC St Pauli 157 2
3 VfL Osnabrück 154 3
4 VfL Wolfsburg 138 4
5 HSV Barmbeck-Uhlenhorst 125 5
6 1. SC Göttingen 05 107 12
7 Olympia Wilhelmshaven 91 7
8 Holstein Kiel 91 13
9 VfB Lübeck 91 16
10 SV Arminia Hannover 78 9
11 VfL Oldenburg 69 6
12 TuS Bremerhaven 93 59 14
13 SV Meppen 55 8
14 Heider SV 50 15
15 1. FC Phönix Lübeck 50 19
16 OSV Hannover 47 11
17 Itzehoer SV 34 17
18 SC Concordia Hamburg 31 10
19 VfL Pinneberg 6 18

From the Regionalliga West[edit]

Eleven clubs qualified from the Regionalliga West for the new 2. Bundesliga, with a twelfth club, Fortuna Köln, entering the new league after being relegated from the Bundesliga. Of the teams qualified for the league only Schwarz-Weiß Essen had played every season in the Regionalliga while SG Wattenscheid 09, Rot-Weiß Oberhausen and Alemannia Aachen had previously won the league. Bayer Uerdingen, with three seasons, and 1. FC Mülheim-Styrum, with two, had been relatively new to the Regionalliga, while Preußen Münster, Borussia Dortmund and Arminia Bielefeld had been former Bundesliga sides. DJK Gütersloh and SpVgg Erkenschwick had only competed in the league during the five year qualifying period but consistent results in this time meant the two clubs qualified, too. Of the clubs that missed out Viktoria Köln and Westfalia Herne had been stronger clubs in the Oberliga area, failed to make an impression in the Regionalliga but would, in the coming years, still earn promotion to the 2. Bundesiga.[5][6]

The points table:[3]

Rank Club Points 1969 to 1974 Place in 1973–74
1 Rot-Weiß Oberhausen 201 2
2 Borussia Dortmund 169 6
3 Alemannia Aachen 130 7
4 Arminia Bielefeld 123 14
5 SG Wattenscheid 09 113 1
6 Bayer 05 Uerdingen 104 3
7 Schwarz-Weiß Essen 97 8
8 Preußen Münster 92 5
9 DJK Gütersloh 82 9
10 SpVgg Erkenschwick 76 11
11 1. FC Mülheim-Styrum 67 4
12 Eintracht Gelsenkirchen-Horst 51 16
13 Sportfreunde Siegen 45 12
14 Arminia Gütersloh 44 13
15 Westfalia Herne 31 17
16 Rot-Weiß Lüdenscheid 27 10
17 Viktoria Köln 23 18
18 Union Ohligs 12 15

From the Regionalliga Berlin[edit]

Of the Regionalliga Berlin clubs, only Wacker 04 took up the option of entering the new 2. Bundesliga. Tennis Borussia qualified for the Bundesliga, and Blau-Weiß 1890 Berlin, next in line for the 2. Bundesliga qualification declined, as did every other club in the league.[5][7]

The points table:[3]

Rank Club Points 1969 to 1974 Place in 1973–74
1 Wacker 04 Berlin 100 2
2 Tennis Borussia Berlin 96 1
3 Blau-Weiß 1890 Berlin 95 3
4 Hertha Zehlendorf 79 4
5 Spandauer SV 53 10
6 Rapide Wedding 49 6
7 1. FC Neukölln 46 7
8 Berliner SV 1892 41 8
9 SC Westend 01 24 5
10 Alemannia 90 Berlin 22 12
11 BFC Preussen 14 11
12 BBC Südost 12 9

2. Bundesliga Süd[edit]

Twenty teams from two different leagues qualified for the southern division.

From the Regionalliga Süd[edit]

Of the thirteen clubs from the Regionalliga Süd that qualified for the new 2. Bundesliga, the top two, TSV 1860 München and 1. FC Nürnberg had won German championships during the Regionalliga area. A third one, Karlsruher SC, had been a founding member of the Bundesliga. The last champions of the league, FC Augsburg, finished fourteenth in the five-year ranking, nominally just outside the thirteen qualified teams. However, the three last placed teams in the league in 1973–74, despite two of them having more points than FCA, could not qualify. One of those three, KSV Hessen Kassel, had been a strong team over the years, playing every season, and even won the inaugural championship of the league, but only managed to come 16th in the final year. Of the other nine qualified teams, Stuttgarter Kickers, FC Bayern Hof, SpVgg Fürth and FC Schweinfurt 05 had also played all eleven seasons of the league. SV Darmstadt 98, SV Waldhof Mannheim and SpVgg Bayreuth qualified on the strength of two excellent last seasons in the league while VfR Heilbronn achieved consistent results over the qualifying period. VfR Mannheim finally was the team with lowest points total to qualify from any Regionalliga and also made Mannheim the only other city alongside Hamburg to have two 2. Bundesliga teams for the inaugural season. Of the non-qualified teams Freiburger FC had also played every season of the Regionalliga.[8][9]

The points table:[3]

Rank Club Points 1969 to 1974 Place in 1973–74
1 TSV 1860 München 155 3
2 1. FC Nürnberg 138 2
3 Karlsruher SC 134 8
4 SV Darmstadt 98 110 4
5 FC Bayern Hof 104 9
6 Stuttgarter Kickers 98 6
7 SpVgg Bayreuth 90 5
8 VfR Heilbronn 90 12
9 KSV Hessen Kassel 90 16
10 SpVgg Fürth 85 10
11 FC Schweinfurt 05 68 15
12 Freiburger FC 68 17
13 SV Waldhof Mannheim 61 7
14 FC Augsburg 54 1
15 SSV Jahn Regensburg 53 18
16 VfR Mannheim 28 13
17 VfR Bürstadt 27 14
18 FSV Frankfurt 26 11

From the Regionalliga Südwest[edit]

The Regionalliga Südwest saw some controversy in selecting their seven clubs qualified for the 2. Bundesliga when SV Alsenborn was omitted for failing to fulfill all license regulations and eight placed 1. FC Saarbrücken admitted instead. SV Alsenborn, with three league championships to its name, was the only club to miss out under such circumstances while 1. FC Saarbrücken was the home club of soon to become DFB-chairman Hermann Neuberger.[2][10][11] The other six clubs were all more obvious choices, Borussia Neunkirchen a former Bundesliga club, SV Röchling Völklingen, FSV Mainz 05, VfR Wormatia Worms and FK Pirmasens all having played every season in the league and, at various occasions either finished champions or runners-up. The seventh club, FC 08 Homburg, had entered the league in 1966 and gradually improved without ever finishing in the top two. Of the clubs that failed to qualify Südwest Ludwigshafen and TuS Neuendorf had also played every season in the league while, of the other six non-qualifiers, only ASV Landau had performed well during the five year qualifying period. FC Ensdorf, with three to its name, held the lowest point total of any Regionalliga club of 1973–74.[9][12]

The points table:[3]

Rank Club Points 1969 to 1974 Place in 1973–74
1 Borussia Neunkirchen 133 1
2 SV Röchling Völklingen 110 4
3 FSV Mainz 05 109 5
4 FK Pirmasens 107 8
5 SV Alsenborn 95 10
6 FC 08 Homburg 90 3
7 VfR Wormatia Worms 90 6
8 1. FC Saarbrücken 87 2
9 ASV Landau 82 9
10 Südwest Ludwigshafen 76 11
11 TuS Neuendorf 71 12
12 FV Speyer 43 15
13 Eintracht Bad Kreuznach 30 7
14 VfB Theley 27 13
15 Sportfreunde Eisbachtal 15 14
16 FC Ensdorf 3 16

Key[edit]

Club promoted to the Bundesliga. Club qualified for the new 2. Bundesliga. Club failed to qualify for the new 2. Bundesliga.
  • Denotes club had finished the 1973–74 season on a relegation rank and was barred from qualifying for the Regionalliga.

Changes to the league system[edit]

Unlike in 1963 when the Bundesliga was introduced and the league system below it experienced major changes, too, the introduction of the 2. Bundesliga did not have such a great impact. The biggest change was made in the area of the Regionalliga Nord where the third tier saw the introduction of the Oberliga Nord. This league covered the same area as the Regionalliga Nord and replaced the Amateurliga Bremen, Landesliga Hamburg, Amateurliga Niedersachsen and Landesliga Schleswig-Holstein at this level. In all other regions the third division remained untouched until a major reorganisation was carried out in 1978.[13]

The league system 1973–74[edit]

The top three divisions of the league system in the season before the introduction of the 2. Bundesliga:

Level

League(s)/Division(s)

I

Bundesliga
18 clubs
2 relegations

II

Regionalliga Berlin
12 clubs
2 promotion round

Regionalliga Nord
19 clubs
2 promotion round

Regionalliga West
18 clubs
2 promotion round

Regionalliga Südwest
16 clubs
2 promotion round

Regionalliga Süd
18 clubs
2 promotion round

III

Amateurliga Berlin
16 clubs

Amateurliga Bremen
16 clubs
Landesliga Hamburg
16 clubs
Amateurliga Niedersachsen
16 clubs
Landesliga Schleswig-Holstein
16 clubs

Verbandsliga Mittelrhein
15 clubs
Verbandsliga Niederrhein
15 clubs
Verbandsliga Westfalen
16 clubs

Amateurliga Rheinland
16 clubs
Amateurliga Saarland
16 clubs
Amateurliga Südwest
16 clubs

Amateurliga Bayern
18 clubs
Amateurliga Hessen
18 clubs
Amateurliga Nordwürttemberg
17 clubs
Amateurliga Schwarzwald-Bodensee
17 clubs
Amateurliga Nordbaden
16 clubs
Amateurliga Südbaden
16 clubs

The league system 1974–75[edit]

The top three divisions of the league system in the season after the introduction of the 2. Bundesliga:

Level

League(s)/Division(s)

I

Bundesliga
18 clubs
3 relegations

II

2. Bundesliga Nord
20 clubs
1 promotion spot + 1 promotion playoff spot
4 relegations

2. Bundesliga Süd
20 clubs
1 promotion spot + 1 promotion playoff spot
4 relegations

III

Oberliga Berlin
18 clubs
Oberliga Nord
18 clubs
Verbandsliga Mittelrhein
17 clubs
Verbandsliga Niederrhein
16 clubs
Verbandsliga Westfalen
18 clubs

Amateurliga Rheinland
17 clubs
Amateurliga Saarland
18 clubs
Amateurliga Südwest
19 clubs
Amateurliga Bayern
18 clubs
Amateurliga Hessen
19 clubs
Amateurliga Nordwürttemberg
16 clubs
Amateurliga Schwarzwald-Bodensee
16 clubs
Amateurliga Nordbaden
16 clubs
Amateurliga Südbaden
20 clubs

Aftermath[edit]

The new second division in German football was, in this form, only to last for seven seasons. In 1981 another change was made when the 2. Bundesliga was reduced to one single division of 20 clubs.[2] In this format it stayed until 1992, when the German reunion and the influx of clubs from former East Germany led to an expansion of the league to 24 teams for two seasons. The first of those was played in a northern and southern division, after this it returned to single division format. From 1994 onwards the league played with only 18 clubs, a number it continues to have today.[5][9][14]

In regards to promotion from 1974 onwards three spots were available for the 2. Bundesliga. The champions were promoted directly while the runners-up played each other in a two-leg play-off to determine another spot.[15] Promotion to the 2. Bundesliga was determined through direct promotion as well as promotion rounds, with the champions of the larger Amateurligas and Oberligas being promoted directly while the smaller ones had to decide the remaining spots in play-offs. This changed in 1978 when the third divisions were reformed and reduced in numbers.[13]

The first-ever game in the 2. Bundesliga was played between 1. FC Saarbrücken and Darmstadt 98, with Nikolaus Semlitsch scoring the first-ever goal of the new league.[15] Of the 40 founding members of the 2. Bundesliga, SC Fortuna Köln became the longest-lasting club, playing 26 consecutive seasons in the league until 2000, when the club was relegated, ten seasons longer than second-longest Alemannia Aachen, who held out until 1990.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Aufstiegsrunde www.fussballdaten.de, Tables and results of the Bundesliga promotion round 1963 to 1974, accessed: 14 February 2014
  2. ^ a b c Die Hermanns-Schlacht (in German) Der Spiegel, Article on Hermann Neuberger and the introduction of the single division 2. Bundesliga in 1981, published: 23 February 1981, accessed: 14 February 2014
  3. ^ a b c d e f g DSFS Liga-Chronik, p. C 3 & 4
  4. ^ Regionalliga Nord www.fussballdaten.de, Tables and results of the Regionalliga Nord 1963 to 1974, accessed: 14 February 2014
  5. ^ a b c d 2. Bundesliga Nord www.fussballdaten.de, Tables and results of the 2. Bundesliga Nord 1974 to 1981, accessed: 14 February 2014
  6. ^ Regionalliga West www.fussballdaten.de, Tables and results of the Regionalliga West 1963 to 1974, accessed: 14 February 2014
  7. ^ Stadtliga Berlin www.fussballdaten.de, www.fussballdaten.de, Tables and results of the Stadtliga Berlin 1963 to 1974, accessed: 14 February 2014
  8. ^ Regionalliga Süd www.fussballdaten.de, Tables and results of the Regionalliga Süd 1963 to 1974, accessed: 14 February 2014
  9. ^ a b c 2. Bundesliga Süd www.fussballdaten.de, Tables and results of the 2. Bundesliga Süd 1974 to 1981, accessed: 14 February 2014
  10. ^ SV Alsenborn www.abseits-soccer.com, accessed: 14 February 2014
  11. ^ Hoffenheim-Vorgänger Alsenborn: Fritz Walters Dorfmannschaft (in German) Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, published: 20 May 2008, accessed: 14 February 2014
  12. ^ Regionalliga Südwest www.fussballdaten.de, Tables and results of the Regionalliga Südwest 1963 to 1974, accessed: 14 February 2014
  13. ^ a b Landesverbände (in German) Das deutsche Fussball Archiv, Tables and results of the German football leagues: State associations, accessed: 14 February 2014
  14. ^ 2. Bundesliga www.fussballdaten.de, Tables and results of the 2. Bundesliga 1981 to present, accessed: 14 February 2014
  15. ^ a b 2. Bundesliga: Geschichte, Regeln, Rekorde (in German) www.spox.com, accessed: 14 February 2014

Sources[edit]

  • 30 Jahre Bundesliga (in German) 30th anniversary special, publisher: kicker Sportmagazin, published: 1993
  • kicker-Almanach 1990 (in German) Yearbook of German football, publisher: kicker Sportmagazin, published: 1989, ISBN 3-7679-0297-4
  • DSFS Liga-Chronik seit 1945 (in German) publisher: DSFS, published: 2005

External links[edit]