1.FC Kaiserslautern

GERMAN CHAMPION 1951, 1953, 1991, 1998
GERMAN CUP 1990, 1996

Despite the fact that it is essentially a backwater town (or perhaps because of it), this club has some of the most fanatical following in all Germany. Known as the Rote Teufel (Red Devils), Kaiserslautern has long been known for feisty, aggressive play. And despite many poor years, they have on many occasions risen to the very top of German soccer.

The original club has it's roots at the turn of the century. In 1900 Germania 1896 and FG Kaiserslautern merged to form FC 1900. In 1929, they merged with SV Phönix, and by 1932, they finally settled on the current name.

The start of the 1950s saw FCK scale the heights for the first time. With the club built around the talents of the legendary Fritz Walter, they won the title both in 1951 and 1953. It wasn't until some 40 years later, in 1991, that they would win the title again. This time, the star of the club was forward Stefan Kuntz.

After a disastrous year in 95-96, when Kaiserslautern dropped out of the Bundesliga for the first time, redemption came with new head coach Otto Rehagel. After marching threw the 2.Liga, FCK became the first directly promoted team to win the Bundesliga title in the first season.

The 1998-99 saw FCK unable to get off the ground and try and defend their title. Despite a respectable standing, the team failed to impress in most of their matches. Nevertheless, they have a strong squad, and should remain near the top of the table. They did just that in 99/00, but really didn't impress, finishing a disappointing (for their fans) 5th. The crap hit the fan in 2002-03. The team played horribly, and looked sure for releagtion. The club also collapsed financially, under a burden of the new stadium and alleged tax fraud. When it looked like this storied club would disappear, a savior appeared in ex-Belgian international Erik Gerets, who took over as coach and a furious run avoided relegation. The city and state also apparently kicked in money to help save the club, and star players, such as Miroslav Klose apparently made wage consessions. But things didn't improve the next year, as FCK barely hung on.

The game was up in 2006, and FCK went down. Rather than bouncing back immediately, the club went through a series of incompetent management fiascos, and in 2008 was almost relegated into the 3rd division. It took a last minute run to save the legendary club.

Fullname 1.Fußball-Club e.V. Kaiserslautern
City Kaiserslautern (Rheinland-Pfalz). Pop: 100,000 (2002)
Address Fritz-Walter-Stadion, 67653 Kaiserslautern. Phone: (06 31) 3 18 80
Colors Usually all red with white trim.
Nickname Roten Teufel (Red Devils)
Stadium Fritz-Walter-Stadion, also known as Betzenberg. Capacity 41,582 (20,772 seats)
Was refurbished in 1998.
Tickets Be prepared, as FCK usually sells out the games. If you can get them, anywhere from 8.50-41 euros (2004). Tickets can be ordered online.
Supporters Some of the most dedicated and die-hard supporters in all Germany. Averaged over 38,000 in 2004.
Foes Most recently Bayern, since they stand in the way of winning the title. Since they dominate the SW, they can pretty much ignore local clubs.
Heroes Well over 20 german internationals. Fritz Walter (61 caps, 1940-58) is one of Germany's most beloved players. His brother Ottmar (21 caps, 1950-56) was also pretty good. Midfielders Werner Liebrich and Horst Eckel were also 54 World Cup winners. Andreas Brehme has 40 caps for FCK, and another 46 elsewhere (1984-94). Hans-Peter Briegel was a rugged defender/midfielder, who later moved into club management. (53 caps with FCK, 19 with Verona, 1979-86). One might forget that Michael Ballack got his first cap with FCK.
Zeroes (Mis)management in the late 1990s-2000s has almost bankrupted the club.
Beer Karlsberg Urpils, from a brewery in nearby Homburg.
Grub and Pub
The Net Official site is www.fck.de . There are a zillion fan sites. Worth mentioning is the english language sites, led by Simon Chapman's e-mail list at www.i-way.co.uk/~pod98/1fck.html

Recent History:

1963-64	(I)	Bundesliga	12th
1964-65	(I)	Bundesliga	13th
1965-66	(I)	Bundesliga	15th
1966-67	(I)	Bundesliga	5th
1967-68	(I)	Bundesliga	16th
1968-69	(I)	Bundesliga	15th
1969-70	(I)	Bundesliga	10th
1970-71	(I)	Bundesliga	8th
1971-72	(I)	Bundesliga	7th
1972-73	(I)	Bundesliga	9th
1973-74	(I)	Bundesliga	6th
1974-75	(I)	Bundesliga	13th
1975-76	(I)	Bundesliga	7th
1976-77	(I)	Bundesliga	13th
1977-78	(I)	Bundesliga	8th
1978-79	(I)	Bundesliga	3rd
1979-80	(I)	Bundesliga	3rd
1980-81	(I)	Bundesliga	4th
1981-82	(I)	Bundesliga	4th
1982-83	(I)	Bundesliga	6th
1983-84	(I)	Bundesliga	12th
1984-85	(I)	Bundesliga	11th
1985-86	(I)	Bundesliga	11th
1986-87	(I)	Bundesliga	7th
1987-88	(I)	Bundesliga	14th
1988-89	(I)	Bundesliga	9th
1989-90	(I)	Bundesliga	12th
1990-91	(I)	Bundesliga	1st 	CHAMPIONS
1991-92	(I)	Bundesliga	5th
1992-93	(I)	Bundesliga	8th
1993-94	(I)	Bundesliga	2nd
1994-95	(I)	Bundesliga	4th
1995-96	(I)	Bundesliga	16th	DFB Cup Winner
1996-97	(II)	2.Bundesliga	1st
1997-98	(I)	Bundesliga	1st	CHAMPIONS
1998-99	(I)	Bundesliga	5th
1999-00	(I)	Bundesliga	5th
2000-01	(I)	Bundesliga	8th
2001-02	(I)	Bundesliga	7th
2002-03 (I)	Bundesliga	14th
2003-04	(I)	Bundesliga	15th
2004-05	(I)	Bundesliga	12th
2005-06	(I)	Bundesliga	16th
2006-07 (II)	2.Bundesliga	6th
2007-08 (II)    2.Bundesliga	13th
2008-09 (II)    2.Bundesliga	7th
2009-10	(II)	2.Bundesliga	1st
2010-11 (I)     Bundesliga	7th
2011-12 (I)     Bundesliga

(c) Abseits Guide to Germany : www.abseits-soccer.com