Munich 1860

Munich 1860 - The Lions

Munich’s ‘other’ professional football team, is TSV 1860 Munich (the TSV stands for Gymanstics and Sports Club).  Aka ‘Die Löwen‘ (The Lions), the club was originally formed in 1848.  However, it was subsequently banned due to ‘republican activities’, before reforming again in …1860.

In the 1920s and 30s, 1860 were the dominant club in Munich.  In 1926, they completed the building of their stadium at Grünwalder Straße and in 1931 reached the final of the German Championship (played then between regional league winners).

However, by 1937 their fortunes had become so bad that they were forced to sell the stadium to City (who remain the owners to this day).

Cup winners and founder members of the Bundesliga
In 1942 they won the German Cup and in 1963 were chosen ahead of Bayern to represent Munich in the newly formed Bundesliga.

The Lions of Munich

The Lions of Munich

The glory, glory years
The next few years saw them enoy their greatest spell of success to date.  In 1964, they won the German Cup again and a year later only fell at the final hurdle in European Cup Winners Cup, losing the final – played at Wembely – to West Ham.  Despite this disappointment, they went on to win their first – and to date only – Bundesliga title the following year and were runners-up in 1967.

The dark days begin
By the end of the 1960s, however, the club’s heyday was over.  They were relegated at the end of the 1969/70 season and played second flight football for the next 7 years.  Promotions in 1977 and ’79 were both soon followed by relegation.  And worse was to come!

FA sends the club down

Every year in German football, the professional clubs have to have their ‘licence’ renewed by the German FA.  If it is not renewed, they can no longer play in the professional league.

In 1982 the FA ruled that 1860’s financial position was too precarious for professional football and withdrew their licence, resulting in enforced relegation to the semi-amateur third flight – in 1860’s case the Bavarian Upper League.

Stadium on Grünwalder Straße

Their 'ancestral' home, the Stadium on Grünwalder Straße

And there they languished for nearly a decade until, after one brief season back in the second flight in 1991/92, followed by immediate relegation, they achieved the previously unheard of feat of promotion from the third flight to top tier of German football in two consecutive promotion seasons.

Despite this return to the Bundesliga in 1994, the glory days did not come back and after seven seasons of largely mid-table performance they dropped out of the top flight again in 2004.

New stadium and financial scandal
Having in the interim committed to a 50:50 partnership with Bayern for the new Allianz Arena, and suffered the embarrasment of seeing their chairman and his son arrested for financial irregularities in connection with stadium construction tenders, the club had hoped desperately for an immediate return to the top flight in 2004/05.  However, they lost out to Eintracht Frankfurt on the final day of the season and thus remain – for now – very much the poor relation to their mighty neighbour, Bayern.

TSV 1860 official website (in German only)

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