Alemannia Aachen is a German football club from the western city of Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia. A long term fixture of the country's second division, Alemannia enjoyed a three-year turn in the Bundesliga in the late 1960s and, after a successful 2005–06 campaign, returned to first division play for a single season; the club has since slipped in late 2012 entered into bankruptcy. They finished their 2012–13 3. Liga schedule before resuming play in the tier IV Regionalliga West in 2013–14. Alemannia carries the nickname "the Potato Beetles" because of their striped yellow-black jerseys, which make them look like the particular insects. In the second half of the 19th century, resident English merchants and industrialists brought football, in addition to the traditional equestrian sports, into the western Rhineland; the club was founded on 16 December 1900 by a group of eighteen high school students. Knowing that another team had taken the name 1. FC Aachen, the new club was christened FC Alemannia using a Latin word for Germany.
The First World War devastated the club: the pre-war membership of 200 was reduced to just 37 by the conflict. In early 1919 Alemannia merged with Aachener Turnverein 1847 to become TSV Alemannia Aachen 1900, their new partner's interest was in gymnastics and the union was short-lived, with the clubs splitting again in 1924. The city of Aachen is near the Belgian and Dutch borders and as a result Alemannia has had frequent contact with clubs from those countries, their first game was against the Belgian side R. Dolhain F. C. one of that country's earliest clubs. There are friendly contacts with the Dutch professional club Roda JC Kerkrade. Both clubs have the same club colors; the team played in the Rhineland-Westphalia FA and won its first championship there in 1907, before joining the newly formed Westdeutsche Fussball Verband in 1909. The club grew as interest in football increased, they qualified for the Rheingauliga in 1921, built their own stadium in 1928, earned admittance to the Oberliga the following year.
The club enjoyed some success in the early 1930s by advancing to the final four of the Westdeutsche championship playoffs. In 1933, German football was re-organized under the Third Reich into sixteen top-flight Gauligen. Alemannia played several seasons in the Gauliga Mittelrhein in early 1940s, they advanced to the national final rounds. This was in spite of a protest by SV Beuel 06 which saw that club awarded the division championship, but too late to allow Beuel to play in the national playoff in Aachen's stead. Alemannia is known as one of the few of this era to offer any challenge to the Nazi regime's purge of Jews from the country's sports organizations by demanding the release of a jailed Jewish member. In 1946, after World War II and the lifting of the ban placed by Allied occupation authorities on most types of organizations in Germany, Alemannia re-constituted itself and began play in second tier Rheinbezirk, they returned to first division play in the Oberliga West the next year, but ran into financial difficulty.
They remained a steady, but unspectacular second division side finishing mid-table. Aachen's first measure of success came with an advance to the DFB-Pokal final in 1953 where they lost a 1–2 decision to Rot-Weiss Essen. After the formation of the Bundesliga, Germany's new professional football league, in 1963, Alemannia found themselves in Regionalliga West. In 1965, they had another good run in German Cup competition, earning another final appearance – but were once again unsuccessful – this time losing 0–2 to Borussia Dortmund; the club were promoted to the Bundesliga for the 1967 -- 68 season. They enjoyed their best result the next year with a second-place finish behind champion Bayern Munich. However, the following season was a disaster: the team earned only one point in play away from home and toppled to an 18th-place finish, they returned to play in the Regionalliga West, in 1990 fell still further to the third division. After several mediocre seasons in the second half of the 1990s, trainer Werner Fuchs rejuvenated the Alemannia squad by playing 4–4–2 without a libero, creating a side that played an attractive, fluid offense.
In 1999, the team played well and delivered an strong second half. They were atop the table, just weeks away from the end of the season, when tragedy struck with the unexpected death of Fuchs; the whole city was in shock, but the club managed to pull through, dedicating their promotion to their late trainer and winning the Regionalliga West/Südwest. The first years in the 2. Bundesliga were tough for Aachen, both on the field and financially; the club struggled for several seasons and the situation was worsened when financial irregularities were uncovered showing the club was near bankruptcy. The turnaround came with a new executive board under president Horst Heinrichs, trainer Dieter Hecking and manager Jörg Schmadtke. Through improved financial management, shrewd player signings, clever game tactics, Aachen became a power once again in the 2003–04 season, they played their way to their third DFB-Pokal final appearance, knocking off TSV 1860 Munich, Bayern Munich, Borussia Mönchengladbach, before losing 2–3 to Bundesliga champions Werder Bremen.
As league champions Bremen held a place in the UEFA Champions League, thereby making room for Aachen to take part in the UEFA Cup competition. They delivered a decent performance, advancing to the Round of 32 before going out to eventual semi-finalists AZ Alkmaar; the club's participation in the German Cup and UEFA Cup play helped t
German Football Association
The German Football Association is the governing body of football in Germany. A founding member of both FIFA and UEFA, the DFB has jurisdiction for the German football league system and is in charge of the men's and women's national teams; the DFB headquarters are in Frankfurt am Main. Sole members of the DFB are the German Football League, organising the professional Bundesliga and the 2. Bundesliga, along with five regional and 21 state associations, organising the semi-professional and amateur levels; the 21 state associations of the DFB have a combined number of more than 25,000 clubs with more than 6.8 million members, making the DFB the single largest sports federation in the world. From 1875 to the mid-1880s, the first kind of football played in Germany was according to rugby rules. Association-style football teams formed separate clubs, since 1890, they began to organise on regional and national levels; the DFB was founded on 28 January 1900 in Leipzig by representatives of 86 clubs. The vote held to establish the association was 62:22 in favour.
Some delegates present may have voted only once. Other delegates present did not carry their club's authority to cast a ballot; the DFB consolidated the large number of state-based German regional competitions in play for a single recognized national title for the season 1902/03. Germans were not present in Paris when FIFA was founded by seven nations in May 1904, but by the time the FIFA statutes came into effect on 1 September, Germany had joined by telegram as the eighth nation; the German national team played its first game in 1908. Before 1914, the German Empire was much larger than today's Germany, comprising Alsace-Lorraine and the eastern provinces; the borders of the regional associations were drawn according to suitable railway connections. Teams based in Bohemia part of Austria-Hungary, were eligible, as they were German Football clubs and thus considered German. Thus, a German team from Prague was runner-up in the German championship. On the other hand, clubs of the Danish minority in Northern Schleswig refused to join the DFB.
This area after World War I voted to join Denmark. Due to border changes imposed by the Treaty of Versailles, the DFB had to adapt its structure; the Saarland and the Memelland were detached from Germany and East Prussia was cut off from the main part by the Polish Corridor. The role of DFB and its representatives like Felix Linnemann under Nazi Germany was documented in 100 Jahre DFB and by Nils Havemann in Fußball unterm Hakenkreuz. According to Gleichschaltung policy, the DFB, with its large membership from all political sides, strong regional structures compared to weak national ones, submitted to new rulers and new Gau structures. On a short general meeting on 9 July 1933 in Berlin, the DFB did at least formally; the Hitler salute was made compulsory. The records of German Jews were erased from the DFD's records, such as those of Gottfried Fuchs who had scored a world record 10 goals for Germany in a 16–0 win against Russia at the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm, becoming the top scorer of the tournament and setting an international record.
When, in 1972, German former player and national team coach Sepp Herberger asked the German Football Association vice president Hermann Neuberger to invite Fuchs as a guest or a guest of honour to an international against Russia on the 60th anniversary of Fuchs' performance for the German team, the DFB Executive Committee declined to do so, writing that it wasn’t willing to invite Fuchs because it would have created an unfortunate precedent. As of 2016, Fuchs was still the top German scorer for one match. A new organization, Deutscher Reichsbund für Leibesübungen, was established and Linnemann was appointed leader of its Fachamt Fußball, which took over the operational affairs, whereas the DFB lost most of its duties until it was formally dissolved in 1940. On the pitch, Germany had done well in 1934, but after a 0–2 loss in the 1936 Summer Olympics, with Adolf Hitler attending, the DFB and football fell from grace. Reichsjugendführer Baldur von Schirach and the Hitler Youth took over youth football from the clubs following a deal with Reichssportführer Hans von Tschammer und Osten, in charge of all sports in Germany since 1933, making DFB officials more powerless.
Germany had made a bid to host the 1938 World Cup. Following the Anschluss in March 1938 that made Austria part of Germany, the Austrian Football Association became part of the German federation. New coach Sepp Herberger was told on short notice to use Austrian players in his team, eliminated in the first round of the World Cup, weakening the situation of football within Nazi politics to near meaninglessness. Four Germans represented West Europe in a FIFA friendly on 20 June 1937 in Amsterdam, another two represented a FIFA continental team on 26 October 1938 in London, England. During the war, Germany played international games until 1942. In the aftermath of World War II, German organisations were disbanded by the allies. FIFA decided in November 1945 to ban the no longer existing DFB from international competition, while the Austrian association was re-founded. Internationa
The Regionalliga Bayern, is the highest association football league in the state of Bavaria and the Bavarian football league system. It is one of five Regionalligas in German football, the fourth tier of the German football league system, below the 3. Liga; the league was established at the end of the 2011–12 season and replaced the Regionalliga Süd at this level in Bavaria. The German league system, having gone through its last adjustment in 2008, when the 3. Liga was established and the number of Regionalligas increased from two to three, required another adjustment in 2011; the reason for this was the large number of insolvencies on the fourth level, caused by high cost and infrastructure requirements while, at the same time, the clubs at this level complained about low incomes and little interest from TV broadcasters. Some Regionalliga requirements were seen as causing too much of a financial strain on amateur clubs, for example stadiums had to have at least 1,000 seats, a separate stand with separate entrance for away spectators.
Many clubs struggled to cope with the 400-pages long license application, having to rely on volunteers rather than being able draw on permanent staff. This led to Oberliga champions at times, declining their right for promotion to avoid the financial risk the Regionalliga meant to them, breaking with a basic principle of German football, that league champions would always be promoted. In a special conference of the German Football Association, the DFB, in October 2010, 223 of 253 delegates voted for a reform of the league system on the fourth level; the number of Regionalligas was to be expanded to five, with the reestablishment of the Regionalliga Nordost, the formation of the Regionalliga Bayern and a shift of the Regionalliga Süd to the new Regionalliga Südwest. The suggestion for the league reform had come from Bavaria, where, in a meeting of the Bavarian top-level amateur clubs at Wendelstein, the financial survival of the leagues and clubs in the current system was questioned, it resulted in the publication of what was called the Wendelsteiner Anstoß, which demanded a clear demarcation between professional football on the first three tiers of German football and amateur football below that.
For this purpose, the paper demanded the reestablishment of the German amateur football championship as an incentive and goal for top amateur clubs who did not want to turn professional. On 16 December 2011, the Bavarian Football Association introduced the league's logo. In March 2012 the BFV announced that the league champions, apart from having the opportunity to compete in the promotion round to the 3. Liga, would qualify directly for the first round of the German Cup. Due to the ban of reserve teams in the German Cup, this spot would be handed to the best placed first team should the champions be a reserve side. With the deadline for the licence applications for the new league set for 1 April 2012, 32 clubs had applied for the new league. Of those, one came from the 3. Liga, six from the Regionalliga, eight from the Landesliga and two from leagues outside Bavaria. Of the 18 Bayernliga clubs, 15 applied for a licence, with only TSV Gersthofen, TSV Aindling and SpVgg Unterhaching II deciding not to apply.
Of the Landesliga clubs, eight applied for a licence. The BFV planned to complete the licensing procedure by 20 April 2012 and notify all clubs of the outcome by that date, but this process was delayed. On 20 April 2012 the FSV Erlangen-Bruck opted to withdraw its Regionalliga application because of ongoing financial issues. All Bayernliga and Regionalliga clubs had their licence applications approved by 27 April 2012 while the Landesliga clubs had to wait another week before being notified of a decision; the top goal scorers and spectator statistics for the league are: Promoted teams in bold. The first-ever round of the new Regionalliga Bayern kicked off on 19 July 2012 with the opening game held at Bamberg, ending with a 1–0 home victory for FC Eintracht Bamberg against SpVgg Bayern Hof. Alexander Deptalla of Bamberg became the first goal scorer in the league. While the league attendance in the early rounds was below 900 spectators a match an attendance record was set when the reserve teams of Bayern Munich and TSV 1860 met in front of 6,000 spectators on 5 August 2012.
The league was won by the reserve team of 1860 Munich, while FV Illertissen finished as the best non-reserve side and thereby earned the title of Bavarian amateur champion, which qualified the club for the first round of the German Cup. The league champions in turn qualified for the promotion round to the 3. Liga, in which it met the runners-up of the Regionalliga Südwest, SV Elversberg, lost. FC Bayern Munich II won the league title in the second season of the league but was, like the reserve of 1860 Munich the year before, unable to win promotion in the promotion round to the 3. Liga. TSV Rain am Lech, Bayern Hof and Viktoria Aschaffenburg were directly relegated while FC Schweinfurt 05 and TSV 1860 Rosenheim entered the relegation round, with the former defending its league place while the was relegated; the FV Illertissen was, for the second consecutive season the best non reserve side in the league and thereby qualified for the first round of the German Cup again. The league was won by Würzburger Kickers which thereby qualified for the promotion round to the 3.
Liga and the first round of the 2015–16 DFB-Pokal. Second and third place were taken up by the reserve teams of TSV 1860 Munich; the encounters of these two teams attracted the most spectators per game, being seen by 12,000 spectators on each occasion. The 2015–16 season saw a new Regionalliga Bayern record set when 15,224 spectators attended Jahn Regensburg's home match in their new stadium against FC Bayern Muni
Peter Frymuth is a German football official. He is vice president of the German Football Association and president of the Lower Rhine Football Association; as early as the 1970s, Frymuth had various functions in the Lower Rhine Football Association and the Western German Football and Athletics Association. In December 2006, he was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit for his volunteer activities in youth and amateur football. In 2013, Frymuth was elected president of FVN and vice president of the WFLV. From November 2004 to January 2014, Frymuth was CEO of Fortuna Düsseldorf. During this period, the club consolidated financially and rose from the 3. Liga to the Bundesliga. In 2014, he was named Düsseldorfer of the year in the category sports for his services. Since October 25, 2013, he has been vice member of the DFB presidium, he is responsible for "league operations and football development". Frymuth works full-time as head of district administration in the Düsseldorf district Eller. Frymuth comes from Düsseldorf-Lohausen.
In his youth he played football at Lohausener SV. He is married and has two children
The Regionalliga Nordost is the fourth tier of German football in the states of Berlin, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. These comprise the states of former East Germany as well as West Berlin. Most clubs are full-time professional, much like England's National League, it is one of five leagues at the fourth tier, together with the Regionalliga Bayern, Regionalliga Südwest, Regionalliga Nord and the Regionalliga West. From 1994 to 2000 it was part of the third tier, until the first of many re-structurings of the league system; the last of these occurred in 2012. The Regionalliga Nordost was formed in 1994 to form a regional third level of play between the 2nd Bundesliga and the NOFV-Oberligas Nord, Mitte and Süd; the league was made up of 18 clubs, with two coming from the 2nd Bundesliga and six each from Mitte and Nord while the south only sent four. It was formed alongside the Regionalliga Nord, West/Südwest and Süd. With the introduction of the Regionalliga went the disbanding of the central division of the NOFV-Oberligas.
Its clubs were spread between the remaining two. The founding members of the Regionalliga Nordost were: From the 2. Bundesliga: Carl Zeiss Jena Tennis Borussia Berlin From the NOFV-Oberliga Nord: BSV Brandenburg Eisenhüttenstädter FC Stahl Reinickendorfer Füchse FC Berlin Spandauer SV FSV Optik RathenowFrom the NOFV-Oberliga Mitte: 1. FC Union Berlin Energie Cottbus Türkiyemspor Berlin Lok Altmark Stendal Hertha BSC Berlin II Hertha ZehlendorfFrom the NOFV-Oberliga Süd: Rot-Weiß Erfurt Erzgebirge Aue Sachsen Leipzig Bischofswerdaer FV 08The league always contained 18 teams throughout its original six years; the league winner was not always promoted to the 2nd Bundesliga. The champions of the Regionalligas Nord and Nordost had to play-off for a spot in the 2nd Bundesliga from 1996 to 2000; the winner of this contest was promoted, the loser faced the runners-ups of the Regionalligas Süd and West/Südwest for another spot in the second division. In 1997, Energie Cottbus became the first club from the Regionalliga to reach a German Cup final, losing 2-0 to VfB Stuttgart.
The league was disbanded after six seasons. In 2000, the number of Regionalligas was reduced from four to two. Most clubs from the league went to the Regionalliga Nord, some clubs from the south went to the Regionalliga Süd. With the changes in the German league system in 2008, the number of Regionalligas was extended to three, with the formation of the Regionalliga West, a league, a reformation of the Regionalliga West/Südwest; the Regionalliga Nordost was not recreated, however. Instead, its clubs remained in the Regionalliga Nord. Teams from its region playing in the Regionalliga Süd moved to the northern group as well, unless they qualified for the 2nd Bundesliga or 3rd Liga; when the league was discontinued in 2000, the top seven clubs in the league went to the two remaining Regionalligas, five to the north and two to the south, these being the two clubs from the state of Thuringia. The other eleven league teams were relegated to the NOFV-Oberligas. To the Regionalliga Nord: 1. FC Union Berlin Dresdner SC Erzgebirge Aue SV Babelsberg 03 Sachsen LeipzigTo the Regionalliga Süd: Carl Zeiss Jena Rot-Weiß Erfurt In October 2010, another reform of the Regionalligas was agreed.
The number of leagues was again expanded to five. The defunct Regionalliga Nordost was reestablished and a Regionalliga Bayern was established; the Regionalliga West lost the clubs from the south west to a new league, formed out of those clubs and clubs from Regionalliga Süd outside Bavaria. The new system came into operation at the beginning of the 2012–13 season; the number of reserve teams per Regionalliga was limited to seven. The five league champions, plus the runner-up of the Regionalliga Süd/Südwest, will play-off for the three promotion spots, in a home-and-away series; the new leagues will consist of up to 22 clubs in their inaugural season, but will have to be reduced to between 16 and 18 clubs. The Regionalligas will not be administrated by the DFB, but rather by the regional football associations. With regard to reserve teams only seven are permitted per league, this rule may be subject to change under certain circumstances. Reserve sides of 3rd Liga teams are not permitted in the Regionalliga.
The reorganisation of the Regionalligas, so soon after the last changes in 2008, became necessary because of a large number of insolvencies. These were caused by a lack of media interest in the leagues combined with large expenses and infrastructure demands; as four teams will be relegated from the 3rd Liga starting at the end of the 2018–19 season, the champions of the Regionalliga Nordost, along with those of the Südwest and West, will be promoted directly to the 3. Liga; the West was chosen via a draw. The remaining two champions chosen from the same draw, in this case from the Regionalliga Bayern and Nord, will play a two-legged promotion play-off for the last promotion spot. In 2020, the three direct promotion spots will go to the champions of the Regionalliga Südwest and the champions of the two leagues that participated in the promotion play-off in the previous season, while the champions of the Nordost and the West participate in the play-off; this format was installed as a temporary solution until the DFB-Bundestag in 2019 can decide on a format that enables all Regionalliga champions to be promoted.
The winners and runners-up of the league: Source: "Regionalliga Nordost". Das deutsche Fussball-Archiv. Retrieved 19 March 2008. Promoted teams in bold; the top goal scorers and spectator statistics for the league since its reforming in 2012 are: The following clubs have played in the league and achieved the following final positions: 1 RB
The Austrian Regionalliga is the third-highest division in Austrian football, after the Austrian Bundesliga and the Second League. It is divided into three groups: East, covering the states of Lower Austria and Burgenland. With introduction of the Staatsliga A as the first division and the Staatsliga B as the second division of Austrian football in the 1949–50 season the teams from the Austrian states were allowed to play for the first time again in the highest leagues since the end of the second world war; this entailed a change of the categorization in the amateur football. While Central and Eastern Austrian football teams played in the respective national leagues, from which the champions got promoted either directly or by play-offs to the Staatsliga B, the Western states did not participate in the Staatsliga B. In 1949–50 the teams from Carinthia state and Salzburg played in the again-created Tauernliga and from 1955–56 to 1958–59 season in the Tauernliga South and Tauernliga North. Besides the Arlbergliga consisted from 1950–51 to 1959–60 the clubs from Tyrol state and Vorarlberg state.
These leagues can be regarded as second divisions since their champions played in direct duels for promotion to the Staatsliga A. In 1960, the Carinthian teams played in the Central Regionalliga and the Tyrolean and Vorarlberg clubs were still in the Arlbergliga. For this reason the champion of the Salzburger Landesliga was entitled to deny the qualification matches against the champion of the Arlbergliga. In the season of 1959–60, the Eastern and Central Regionalligen were established and one year the Western Regionalliga; the Regionalligen counted up to the season of 1973–74 as football's second division in Austria. The respective champions were allowed to get promoted directly to the top level. In 1974–75 the introduction of the first and second Austrian Bundesliga happened, with in each case 10 clubs and to the abolish of the Western and Central Regionalligen. For the promotion to the 2nd Bundesliga, the champion of the Eastern Regionalliga, allowed to move upwards directly, which the champions of the State Leagues of Salzburg, Vorarlberg, Upper Austria and Styria those Play Offs had to complete in each case.
In the 1977–78 season, the states of Salzburg and Vorarlberg merged their Landesligen to Alpenliga as the 3rd division. In the 1980–81 season, the Western Regionalliga was once again introduced as the third division; the Eastern Regionalliga championship was not held from 1980–81 to 1983–84 and it would not be until the 1984–85 season that it would be reintroduced. Up until the 1995–96 season, the champions of the Western and Eastern Regionalligen earned a direct promotion to the 2nd Bundesliga; the Central Regionalliga, would not be reintroduced until the 1994–95 season. The champions of the regional organizations, the state football associations of Upper Austria and Styria had their only promotional spot to the 2nd division decided in play off matches. Between the 1996–97 and 2003–04 seasons, the three champions of the Regionalligen together with the last one of the First Division played those Play Off matches to accomplish the two remaining promotional/relegation spots. After an expansion of the First Division to twelve clubs it was decided that - from the 2005–06 season - due to deprivation of pro league licenses, the winners of the regional leagues went up directly again.
The First Division contracted back to ten teams in 2009–10, thus the number of promotions to and relegations from the second tier were reduced to two. Until 2013–14 one conference winner played the bottom First Division team, while the other conference winners contested the other promotion spot; until 2014 -- 15 two teams are promoted to the First Division. In 2014–15 the Western champions were directly promoted while those from the East and Central contested the other promotion place. In 2015–16 all three division winners were promoted to fill vacancies in the second tier and 2016–17 only the Central winners were promoted as the Eastern and Western champions declined promotion. At the end of 2017–18 all three Regionalliga champions and six other licensed teams went up when the second division, now the Second League, expanded from 10 to 16 clubs
The Bundesliga is a professional association football league in Germany and the football league with the highest average stadium attendance worldwide. At the top of the German football league system, the Bundesliga is Germany's primary football competition; the Bundesliga comprises 18 teams and operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the 2. Bundesliga. Seasons run from August to May. Most games are played with a few games played on weekdays. All of the Bundesliga clubs qualify for the DFB-Pokal; the winner of the Bundesliga qualifies for the DFL-Supercup. 54 clubs have competed in the Bundesliga since its founding. Bayern Munich has won the Bundesliga the most, winning the title 27 times. However, the Bundesliga has seen other champions with Borussia Dortmund, Hamburger SV, Werder Bremen, Borussia Mönchengladbach and VfB Stuttgart most prominent among them; the Bundesliga is one of the top national leagues, ranked fourth in Europe according to UEFA's league coefficient ranking for the 2017–18 season, based on performances in European competitions over the past five seasons.
The Bundesliga is the number-one football league in the world in terms of average attendance. The Bundesliga is broadcast on television in over 200 countries; the Bundesliga was founded in 1962 in Dortmund and the first season started in 1963. The structure and organisation of the Bundesliga along with Germany's other football leagues have undergone frequent changes; the Bundesliga was founded by the Deutscher Fußball-Bund, but is now operated by the Deutsche Fußball Liga. The Bundesliga is composed of two divisions: the 1. Bundesliga, below that, the 2. Bundesliga, the second tier of German football since 1974; the Bundesligen are professional leagues. Since 2008, the 3. Liga in Germany has been a professional league, but may not be called Bundesliga because the league is run by the German Football Association and not, as are the two Bundesligen, by the German Football League. Below the level of the 3. Liga, leagues are subdivided on a regional basis. For example, the Regionalligen are made up of Nord, Nordost, Süd, Südwest and West divisions.
Below this are thirteen parallel divisions, most of which are called Oberligen which represent federal states or large urban and geographical areas. The levels below the Oberligen differ between the local areas; the league structure has changed and reflects the degree of participation in the sport in various parts of the country. In the early 1990s, changes were driven by the reunification of Germany and the subsequent integration of the national league of East Germany; every team in the two Bundesligen must have a licence to play in the league, or else they are relegated into the regional leagues. To obtain a licence, teams must be financially healthy and meet certain standards of conduct as organisations; as in other national leagues, there are significant benefits to being in the top division: A greater share of television broadcast licence revenues goes to 1. Bundesliga sides. 1. Bundesliga teams draw greater levels of fan support. Average attendance in the first league is 42,673 per game — more than twice the average of the 2.
Bundesliga. Greater exposure through television and higher attendance levels helps 1. Bundesliga teams attract the most lucrative sponsorships. 1. Bundesliga teams develop substantial financial muscle through the combination of television and gate revenues and marketing of their team brands; this allows them to attract and retain skilled players from domestic and international sources and to construct first-class stadium facilities. The 1. Bundesliga is financially strong, the 2. Bundesliga has begun to evolve in a similar direction, becoming more stable organizationally and financially, reflecting an higher standard of professional play. Internationally, the most well-known German clubs include Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Schalke 04, Hamburger SV, VfB Stuttgart, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Werder Bremen and Bayer Leverkusen. Hamburger SV was the only club to have played continuously in the Bundesliga since its foundation until 12 May 2018, when the club was relegated for the first time. In the 2008–09 season, the Bundesliga reinstated an earlier German system of promotion and relegation, in use from 1981 until 1991: The bottom two finishers in the Bundesliga are automatically relegated to the 2.
Bundesliga, with the top two finishers in the 2. Bundesliga taking their places; the third-from-bottom club in the Bundesliga will play a two-legged tie with the third-place team from the 2. Bundesliga, with the winner taking up the final place in the following season's Bundesliga. From 1992 until 2008, a different system had been used in which the bottom three finishers of the Bundesliga had been automatically relegated, to be replaced by the top three finishers in the 2. Bundesliga. From 1963 until 1981 two, or three, teams had been relegated from the Bundesliga automatically, while promotion had been decided either or in promotion play-offs; the season starts in early August and lasts until late May, with a winter break of six weeks (mid-December through to the end of