|Full name||Fussball-Club Augsburg 1907 e.V.|
|Short name||FC Augsburg|
|Ground|| WWK Arena|
|Website||Club home page|
Fußball-Club Augsburg 1907 e. V., commonly known as FC Augsburg or Augsburg, is a German football club based in Augsburg, Bavaria. FC Augsburg play in the Bundesliga, the top tier of the German football league system. The team was founded as Fußball-Klub Alemania Augsburg in 1907 and played as BC Augsburg from 1921 to 1969.
FC Augsburg, who has long fluctuated between the second and third division, experienced a difficult time in the early 2000s, suffering relegation to the fourth division for two seasons. FCA recovered from this, returning to professional football in 2006. At the end of the 2010–11 season Augsburg were promoted to the Bundesliga for the first time. Since 2009, FC Augsburg's stadium is the SGL arena.
A merger of Augsburg's two most successful clubs, TSV Schwaben and BC Augsburg, was discussed as early as in the late 1940s, but distrust between the two sides and a fear that the other club would dominate the merger caused each side to hesitate, despite the financial trouble both clubs were in. A first serious meeting between the two sides was held in 1964, both clubs having dropped out of tier-one football by then. The leadership of the multi-sports club Schwaben was completely behind a merger but the club's football department was not and once more the process of forming FCA was stalled. Traditionally, BCA saw itself as a working-class club, based in the north of Augsburg, while Schwaben was the club of the more affluent and based south of the city, with the river Wertach forming something of a boundary between the two clubs territories.
In 1968, with BCA struggling in the third division after relegation from professional football the year before and Schwaben soon to follow, another effort was made. In April 1969, a high-level meeting between the two club bosses brought the decision to merge the clubs and name the new side FC Augsburg. FCA was to be a football club only with no other sports department. The then-mayor of Augsburg, Hans Breuer, was one of the driving forces behind the move.
The merger came at a time of on-the-field decline for both sides, Schwaben had just been relegated from the tier-two Regionalliga Süd and decided that an attempt to regain their status was financially impossible, while BCA narrowly missed out on promotion to the league that season. In June, 256 of 265 of BCA's members present voted for the merger while, shortly after, 75 percent of Schwaben's members approved the motion, too.
Schwaben however opted for the "small solution", the club was to remain independent with only its football department merging into the new club. But even this move was not universally popular within the club, with some former members forming a new football club, the Eintracht Augsburg and restarting at the lowest level of the pyramid. For this reason, FCA is generally not considered to carry on the traditions of TSV Schwaben, only those of BC Augsburg. A year later, the footballers of Eintracht rejoined Schwaben but, since then, have always remained an amateur club. It took the new football department until 1981 to regain its third-division status, where they were to meet FCA for the first time in league football and renewed the Augsburg derby.
The new FCA played its first game on 30 July 1969, when it met 1. FC Nuremberg in Augsburg in front of 13,000 and lost 3–0 in extra time.
Early years: 1969 to 1974
After the formation of the club in 1969, the side was to spend most of its time in tier-two and three leagues, the Fussball-Bayernliga, Regionalliga Süd and the 2nd Bundesliga. The new side, despite now concentrating Augsburgs football forces, was no instant success. A fourth place in the league and dwindling supporter numbers proved that the new merger side had not yet been accepted in town. The following season, FCA finished one place better in the league but, with an average support of 300 spectators per game, the club found it difficult to retain its top players. The 1971–72 season saw further decline, finishing eighth but, from there, the team improved, winning the league the following year and returning professional football to town. By then, the club had found acceptance in town and, in the final game of the season, 15,000 spectators had turned up to celebrate the Bayernliga championship.
The 1973–74 season saw the return of one of Augsburgs greatest football talents to the city, and the FCA. Former German international Helmut Haller had returned to the club after eleven years in Italy, playing for Bologna and Juventus. FCA had paid DM 44,000 for the transfer of Haller.
FCA became an instant success in the Regionalliga, drawing an average crowd of over 22,000 for its home matches. When the club traveled to Munich to meet TSV 1860 in the still quite new Olympic Stadium, 80,000 flogged to the game starting what remains today as a fierce rivalry between the two clubs. FCA dominated the season, eventually winning the league title as a freshly promoted team. The mood in Augsburg was one of excitement and the newspapers spoke of the atmosphere in the stadium as of "Augsburg, the Napoli of Germany".
Augsburg qualified for the promotion round of for the Fussball-Bundesliga through its league title, where it met four other teams to determined the one available spot in the first division. FCA gave away easy points at home, drawing three times in four games. Away, the team lost only once, against Rot-Weiß Oberhausen, but nevertheless came only second, one point behind Tennis Borussia Berlin, who earned promotion. Nevertheless, FCA had qualified for the southern division of the new 2nd Fußball-Bundesliga through its league title.
Stagnation: 1974 to 1983
The success of 1973–74 was quickly replaced with relegation trouble in the new 2nd Fußball-Bundesliga. The next five seasons saw lower table finishes, the temporary departure of Haller and frequent replacements of managers. By 1978–79, the club was unable to avoid relegation, despite Helmut Haller, at the age of 40, once more taking to the field for FCA for a last time. The club, after six seasons in the second division, returned to the Bayernliga.
FCA was able to break the fall and win the Bavarian league title to gain promotion back to the 2nd Bundesliga straight away in 1979–80. On top of this, the team qualified for the German amateur football championship, where it went all the way to the final before losing to VfB Stuttgart's reserve side. But the club's promotion back to the second level faced a major obstacle. The 2nd Bundesliga, after 1981, was to operate in a single division and with half as many clubs as before, meaning the club had to fulfill the qualifying norm, not an easy task for a freshly promoted side. FCA finished 18th in 1980–81, not enough to hold the league in a normal season and definitely not enough in 1981.
The club once more one the Bavarian league on first attempt, defeating Schwaben in the first two Augsburg league derbies since 1968, but now had to enter a promotion round to determined the two teams that would go up out of the four Southern German league champions. FCA cam second behind FSV Frankfurt and returned to the 2nd Bundesliga once more, despite some of the gate receipts already being pocessed during the game against FC Homburg by the tax department because of outstanding debts. However, the side was again not strong enough for this level and was relegated on a slightly worse goal average then 16th placed Union Solingen, lacking three goals to salvation. It was to be Augsburg's last season in the second tier for almost a quarter of a century.
Bayernliga: 1983 to 1994
FCA was to spend the next eleven seasons once more in Bavaria's highest league, the Bayernliga, at the time still the third tier of league football in the state. With the gradual reduction of the number of second divisions from five in 1974 to one in 1981, a number of Bavarian clubs that had once played at higher level had now dropped down to this level, too and competition in the league was much stiffer then in the past. TSV 1860 Munich, SpVgg Bayreuth, SpVgg Fürth, Jahn Regensburg, MTV Ingolstadt, FC Schweinfurt 05 and FC Bayern Hof had all played with Augsburg in the 2nd Bundesliga not long ago.
While the club was one of the top sides in the league, another title did not seem to materialise, a second place in 1985 being the best result, one point behind champions SpVgg Bayreuth. Again, the club changed managers frequently but had settled into the Bayernliga for good, it seemed. It was only when Armin Veh took over the team in 1991 that fortunes for the team seemed to improve, not harmed by the fact that TSV 1860 Munich made its "escape" from the league and returned to professional football that year.
In 1994, the club had another try at promotion in the last year of promotion play-offs to the 2nd Bundesliga. However, this time the Bavarian champion was not grouped with the other Southern German clubs as in previous years and had to face stronger clubs in the northern group that included Eintracht Braunschweig and Fortuna Düsseldorf. Despite being overmatched and unable to advance, they still had good support in the region with crowds of 20,000 plus turning up at these games. While the performance was not enough to gain entry to the 2nd Bundesliga, FCA did qualify for the new Regionalliga Süd, which was slotted between the second division and the Bayernliga as the new third tier.
Regionalliga: 1994 to 2000
Augsburg spent the first four years in the new league as a mid-table side, never getting anywhere near the promotion ranks. The fifth season then saw a decline, with the team only finishing 14th and only two points clear of a relegation spot.
The following year was once more a qualifying season, with the number of Regionalligas being reduced in numbers from four to two. FCA fulfilled the on-the-field requirement, finishing eighth, its best Regionalliga result to that date. However, financially the club was in dire straights with a real possibility of the club folding. While the later could be averted, FCA was refused a Regionalliga licence when a potential investor backed out and the Deutscher Fußball-Bund (DFB or German Football Association) relegated it to the Bayernliga, now the fourth tier. Main sponsor Infomatec, who had promised to provid a DM 3 million security for the club with the DFB was unable to do so and, faced with debts of DM 1.8 million, the club was not in the financial position to obtain a Regionalliga licence.
Recovery: 2000 to 2009
Financial rescue came in the form of Walther Seinsch, a local entrepreneur, who took over as chairman and introduced sound financial management in the club. The club was able to field a competitive team in the Bayernliga once more and achieved promotion back to the Regionalliga in its second season, in 2002.
The club returned as a force in the third division, earning top-four finishes in all of the next four seasons there. FCA came achingly close to advancing to 2nd Bundesliga in 2005, but missed their opportunity after giving up two goals to Jahn Regensburg in the last four minutes of their final game of the season. The club dominated the Regionalliga Süd the next year, winning the league and clinching a berth in the 2nd Bundesliga for the 2006–07.
This marked their first appearance in the 2nd Bundesliga in 23 years. They finished the campaign in seventh place on 52 points, only 8 points away from promotion to the top-flight. One again, the game at TSV 1860 was the highlight, with a 3–0 victory for Augsburg in front of 69,000 in the Allianz Arena. Ralf Loose replaced Rainer Hörgl as head coach in October 2007 when the club found itself in the relegation zone. Loose's contract was terminated on 16 April 2008 after a string of bad results. He was replaced with Holger Fach two days later. The club avoided relegation on goal average, being on equal points with relegated side Kickers Offenbach at the end of the season.
The longtime home ground of the FCA, Rosenau Stadion, built from World War II rubble, finally came to its well-deserved rest in 2009 when a new stadium was completed. The new Impuls Arena also hosted games of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup.
Bundesliga ambitions: 2009 to present
Under Dutch manager Jos Luhukay, Augsburg enjoyed a successful season in 2009–10, when the club reached the semi-finals of the German Cup as well as finishing third in the 2nd Bundesliga, which allowed it to play 1. FC Nuremberg for Bundesliga promotion. In two games there, the Franconians kept the upper hand and FCA was condemned to wait another year. At the end of the 2010–11 season FC Augsburg was promoted to the Bundesliga for the first time in its history, finishing second in the league. On 15 October 2011, Augsburg won its first-ever game in the first division, defeating Mainz 1–0. On 28 April 2012, Augsburg retained their status as a Bundesliga club for a second year with a game to spare. Only a week later, Luhukay resigned from the Augsburg job, citing doubts with regards to the club's prospects as the reason. On 17 May 2012, the club appointed Markus Weinzierl as their new manager.
In their second Bundesliga season the club struggled even more than in its first year, accumulating only nine points in the first half of the season. FCA however secured their survival in the last game of the season against SpVgg Greuther Fürth with a 3-1 victory.
Recent managers of the club:
|1 July 1980 – 31 March 1981||Heinz Elzner|
|31 March 1981 – 31 May 1981||Heiner Schuhmann (interim)|
|1 July 1982 – 30 June 1984||Hannes Baldauf|
|1 July 1984 – 30 June 1986||Paul Sauter|
|Oct 1986–March 88||Heiner Schuhmann|
|25 Feb 1989 – 4 Oct 1989||Helmut Haller|
|5 Oct 1989 – 6 Dec 1989||Jimmy Hartwig|
|22 Jan 1990 – 30 April 1990||Dieter Schatzschneider|
|1 May 1990 – 31 May 1990||Gernot Fuchs|
|1 June 1990 – 30 June 1995||Armin Veh|
|7 May 1995 – 30 June 1995||Helmut Riedl|
|1 July 1995 – 24 Sep 1996||Karsten Wettberg|
|25 Sep 1996 – 31 Dec 1996||Helmut Riedl|
|1 Jan 1997 – 18 April 1998||Hubert Müller|
|19 April 1998 – 30 June 1998||Helmut Riedl|
|1 July 1998 – 30 June 1999||Gerd Schwickert|
|1 July 1999 – 1 Dec 1999||Alfons Higl|
|2 Dec 1999 – 31 Dec 1999||Heiner Schuhmann (interim)|
|1 Jan 2000 – 30 June 2000||Hans-Jürgen Boysen|
|1 July 2000 – 30 June 2002||Gino Lettieri|
|1 July 2002 – 28 Sep 2003||Ernst Middendorp|
|13 Oct 2003 – 26 Sep 2004||Armin Veh|
|27 Sep 2004 – 25 Sep 2007||Rainer Hörgl|
|1 Oct 2007 – 16 April 2008||Ralf Loose|
|18 April 2008 – 13 April 2009||Holger Fach|
|14 April 2009 – 30 June 2012||Jos Luhukay|
|1 July 2012–||Markus Weinzierl|
- Main article: SGL Arena
FC Augsburg seasons
- Main article: List of FC Augsburg seasons
The recent season-by-season performance of the club:
|1999–2000||Regionalliga Süd||III||8th ↓|
|2005–06||Regionalliga Süd||1st ↑|
|2010–11||2nd Bundesliga||2nd ↑|
- With the introduction of the Bezirksoberligas in 1988 as the new fifth tier, below the Landesligas, all leagues below dropped one tier. With the introduction of the Regionalligas in 1994 and the 3. Liga in 2008 as the new third tier, below the 2nd Bundesliga, all leagues below dropped one tier.
Youth and amateur sides
The historically indifferent performance of the senior side was offset by the success of the club's youth team, which captured a national championship in the under-18's in 1993, being the last non-Bundesliga club to do so. They also took four Cup titles in the early 1990s, all under the guidance of coach Heiner Schuhmann. With Schuhmann's departure for Bayern Munich, the golden age of FCA youth football ended and the club could not quite achieve so highly again. With the formation of the Under 19 Bundesliga (2004) and Under 17 Bundesliga (2007), the club's youth teams slipped to second division status but recovered and, in 2010–11, the youth teams play in the Under 19 Fußball-Bundesliga and Under 17 Fußball-Bundesliga, the first tier of youth football in Germany.
- Main article: FC Augsburg II
The club's reserve side had its greatest success before the merger, playing, as BC Augsburg Amateure, for a season in the southern division of the Amateurliga Bayern in 1962–63. A sixth place there allowed the side to qualify for the unified Bavarian league the following year but, along with the decline of the senior team, the reserve side got relegated too, finishing 17th.
The team disappeared into the lower amateur leagues after that but returned to the Landesliga Bayern-Süd in 1976, finishing runners-up in the league in its first season, now as FC Augsburg Amateure. By 1978 however, the side was relegated again, not to return to this level for a quarter of a decade. It did however take out the Schwaben Cup in 1977 and qualified for the first round of the 1977–78 German Cup. After away victories over second division side Arminia Hannover and fellow amateur side 1. FC Normannia Gmünd in the first two rounds, the team reached the third round, where it lost 0–4 to Hertha BSC Berlin.
After becoming a founding member of the Bezirksoberliga Schwaben in 1988, the team was withdrawn at the end of the season, disbanded altogether and not reformed for more than a decade.
Since 2004, the side once more plays in the Landesliga Bayern-Süd, generally achieving good results and even being promoted to Regionalliga Bayern in the 2012–13 Season.
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