Germany: The Lower Leagues

8 Jun

Bit of a cheat of a post, this. Most of it originally aired around a month ago on the magnificent SeventyTwo, but after a period of exclusivity (ha, just kidding, he’s a pal), it’s ready to hit these boards. Hopefully it’ll be new to some of you, or you might just enjoy reading it again whilst taking in the new parts – i.e. the bottom has a ‘comprehensive’ promotion/relegation list!

I’d be willing to wager a fair wedge that there is no other league system in the world that has chopped and changed as much as the Deutscher Fußball Bund’s pyramid.

The top two (18-team) leagues – the Bundesliga and 2.Bundesliga – head a now nine-tier (tier IX has approximately 800 leagues) system that has undergone more cosmetic surgery than you can shake a stick at. Only three seasons ago, the third tier, now named the 3.Liga, became national for the first time.


Stalled by two World Wars and eras of National Socialism, professionalism in Germany, subsequently West Germany, was finally introduced following a 1962 World Cup quarter-final defeat to Yugoslavia with the establishment of the nationwide Bundesliga in 1963.

The second tier remained a five-league regional affair until in 1974, when it became apparent that the step, between the fully professional Bundesliga and semi-pro/amateur Regionalligas, became more of a chasm. The gulf left several relegated clubs on the verge of bankruptcy and was finally brought to the fore by the Bundesligaskandal of 1971 where a number of teams, including Schalke, colluded to help Kickers Offenbach avoid relegation.

To help combat this, the DFB launched the 2.Bundesliga which began as a north-south split but became countrywide in 1981. Ten years of relative stability followed before the reunification of Germany in 1990 complicated things with East German teams competing in the same league structure as those from the West for the first time since 1949 in the 1991/2 season.

Germany now has three nationwide leagues with the fourth tier the first region-based league. Currently each of the three regions (North, West, South) have a league consisting of 18 teams with only one promotion spot per division. From the 2012/13 season the fourth flight will be split to form five regions – a further indication of the instability within the German football league structure.

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2010/11 Season Review: Borussia Dortmund

7 Jun

Position: 1st

Average attendance: 79,150 (1st)

Number of sell outs: 13 (3rd)

Top scorer: Lucas Barrios (16)

Most assists: Mario Götze (11)

Red cards: 1 (Subotic)

Most minutes: Marcel Schmelzer – 3060

Season review

An opening day home defeat to Leverkusen, group stage elimination from the Europa League and dumped out of the Pokal at third division Kickers Offenbach… Three things you probably wouldn’t associate with runaway champions.

Yet that’s what Borussia Dortmund were in 2010/11. Deserved Deutscher Meisters for the 7th time.

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The Bundesliga 2010/11: Facts and Figures

5 Jun

So the summer is here, and club football is over. At least it is until the fixture list comes out (June 21st), the 2.Bundesliga returns (15th July), the Supercup raises the curtain (23rd July) and Borussia Dortmund officially kicks off the 49th chapter of Germany’s top professional league (5th August). ‘Till then, with Manuel Neuer’s transfer saga already wrapped up, all we’ve got to keep us busy are relics from the season just gone. With that in mind, here’s a list of my top stats from the 2010/11 season. The list is by no means exhaustive and any additional suggestions are welcome…


13,054,974 people passed the gates of Bundesliga grounds this season. A new record with an average of 42,663 per game.

169 Bundesliga games sold out this season. That’s 55.2%, and up from 135 the season before.

Wolfsburg were the least attractive game for fans this season with an average of only 40,957 people going to see their away games. St. Pauli were the biggest home draw with 44,945.

Bayern Munich extended their home league sell-out streak to 75 games. The last time they failed to sell out was against VfL Bochum in January 2007.


Borussia Dortmund’s 23 wins is the best since Bayern Munich notched up 24 in the 2004/05 season.

Bayer Leverkusen picked up 36 away points – the best since Hamburg in 2005/06 (36 points with a slightly better goal difference).

Mainz 05 put seven wins together from the start of the season. Only two sides have done this previously – Bayern (2001/02) and Kaiserslautern (1995/96) – and on all three occasions, Borussia Dortmund have gone onto win the league.

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