1.FC Nürnberg

GERMAN CHAMPION 1920, 1921, 1924, 1925, 1927, 1936, 1948, 1961, 1968
GERMAN CUP 1935, 1939, 1962, 2007

Der Club is famed throughout Germany, although it has been basically living on reputation since 1968, when they last won their then record 9th title. They then achieved an immortal status when they became the only champion to be relegated next year. Since that period however, Nürnberg has entered into a relatively dark period.

The club was founded back in 1900, when college students who had often been playing rugby-style opted to form a team dedicated to the more "German" game. About 18 of them gathered a local beerhall, the "Bürenhütte" to form the nucleus of FCN. Oddly enough, they voted to make the "Loreley" the team pub, which must have been a bitter slap-in-the-face to the "Bürenhütte". Despite the fact that it took over a year to have enough players to field a team, by 1901 the dominant München club, Bayern, challenged 1.FCN to a match for the "Bavarian Championship". Der Club wasn't ready, and in front of 1,000 fans went down 0-6. They managed a bit more success against some of the other Munich clubs, but a rematch with Bayern next year ended even worse: 1-8. However things started going up rapidly, and by 1909 FCN could claim the Southern German Championship.

The 1920s proved to be the glory years for Nürnberg, as they quickly made their name as the most powerful team in Germany. They won the title 5 times in that decade, and then added additional titles in 1936 and 1948.

In the modern era, they won a championship in 1961, breaking the tie with Schalke on 7 titles with their 8th, and then won a record 9th in 1968. However, the following year proved to be the worst disaster in german soccer history, as the Bundesliga champions were relegated! This was a result of the policies of their tin-pot-dictator coach, Max Merkel. He decided after winning the championship that his team was too old, so he fired the veterans and went with "talent". It took 10 years to get back to the Bundesliga. This also started the unstoppable rise of of their old rival, Bayern München, to the pinnacle of German soccer, leaving der Club in the dust.

The 1970's were largely trying years for Nürnberg. After a few attempts to force their way back with high priced stars, they were almost relegated back to the Bayernliga. Gradually they did come back, with a completely new team and outlook, but by the middle 1990s, were back to their old tricks. Bankruptcy loomed, and financial shenanigans led to point penalties imposed by the DFB. Sound management got them back on top and initiated a quick rise, like the Phoenix from the ashes.

1998-99 ended in disaster. Der Club looked relatively safe, as they only needed a draw at home against Freiburg, who also only needed a point to assure staying up. Instead, FCN stunningly lost, and Frankfurt crushed their opponent, to even out the standings on points and goal difference. However, Frankfurt scored more goals, and Nuernberg were relegated! Fans expected der Club to be back in top flight relatively soon, but they barely missed out re-promotion in 2000. The next season saw a decent start, and the 2nd division title. But as is wont with their status as an elevator team, after a two season spell, they were back in the Zweite Liga. The 2003 season was supposed to be difficult, but "der Club" put things together and won promotion again to the top for 2004. Survival was rough, and it took an amazing season from midifelder Marek Mintal, who scored 24 to lead the league. 2007 proved to be one of the best years in the last decase, as der Club scrambled to 6th place, and also ended up winning their first DFB Cup in 45 years. Then, the next season, after making noises about qualifying for Europe directly, they sucked royally, and got relegated again.

In the modern day Bundesliga, der Club seems destined to be an elevator club, but given how badly things looked less than 10 years ago, maybe that's not too bad.

In 2010, der Club benefitted from yet another rule change where the 3rd bottom club was no longer automatically relegated, but instead played-off against the 3rd top 2.Liga club. They got their act together and defeated the challengers Augsburg to stay up.

Fullname 1.Fußball-Club Nürnberg - Verein für Leibesübungen e.V.
City Nürnberg (Bayern). Pop: 491,000 (2002).
Address Valznerweiherstraße 200, 90480 Nürnberg. Phone: (09 11) 94 07 90
Colors The red shirt, black shorts is famed through Germany.
Nickname Der Club
Stadium Frankenstadion. Capacity 46,700 (34,700 seats).
The stadium was built in 1928, with about 40,000 capacity. In 1965, it was expanded to 65,000, but was refurbished for the World Cup in 1974. It was known as Stadion der Hitler-Jugend from 1933-45. Another renovation is underway for the 2006 WorldCup, which will leave FCN with a 45,000 all-seater.
Tickets Depends on whether they're up or down. Prices ranged from 8.50-39.50 euros in 2004 (2.Liga), 11-42 in 2007 (Bundesliga).
Supporters FCN is popular. There are about 380 recognized clubs with over 10,000 members. Averaged 16,000+ in 2004 (2.Liga), about 30,000 in Bundesliga.
Friends There is an official fan friendship with Schalke, the longest standing in Germany.
Foes Bayern München obviously. Neighbor SpVgg Fürth.
Heroes About 40 German internationals, but few superstars. Max Morlock (26 caps, 1950-56) scored Germany's first in the 1954 Cup final. Keeper Andy Köpke had 14 caps for FCN, and another 45 elsewhere (1990-98). Luitpold Popp was a star from the 1920s.
Zeroes Certainly Max Merkel has to rank. After winning the title in 1968, he decided to get rid of the oldies (e.g. Franz Brungs, whose 25 goals had weighed heavily to the championship.) Instead he wanted to bring in youngsters and new blood, 12 of them. Instead FCN became the first ever reigning champion to be relegated!!
Beer Kulmbacher is current sponsor. Tucher-Pils is a widespread local brew, available in US.
Further comments:
"Best place to have a beer: The best place is a picnic/party setup outside the stadium called the "Gartla". Once you get off the train at the stadium, you will hear the party coming from there. Finnegan's Harp in the city center right across from the main train station is the second best place. Believe it or not, the next best place to have a beer after Finnegan's is in the main train station with the fans that are lingering most of the day before the match!!
Best Beer: Besides the Irish Beer at Finnegan's, my suggestion for local beer would be Zirndorfer. However, Zirndorfer is usually served in bottles, so it might be hard to find. The Tucher beer is served at the stadium and in my opinion it thoroughly SUCKS!! If you are at the train station, pick up on of the national brands like Bitburger or Warsteiner. You can't go wrong there. If you don't want to go German at the train station, a couple of places sell the real deal Czech Budweiser." - K.Richardson
Grub and Pub "Stadium Grub: Without a doubt, Frankenstadion has the best stadium grub I have had in the Bundesliga so far. They serve a grilled steak sandwich and a grilled Nuernberger Bratwurst sandwich that are second to none. There are also a couple of stands that serve a frikadelle second only to Kaiserslautern's." - K.Richardson
The Net The official one is at www.fcn.de
English speakers might want to turn first to www.1fcnuk.com , the 1.FCN UK Supporters Club, which is quite outstanding!

Recent History:

1963-64	(I)	Bundesliga		9th
1964-65	(I)	Bundesliga		6th
1965-66	(I)	Bundesliga		6th
1966-67	(I)	Bundesliga		10th
1967-68	(I)	Bundesliga		1st	CHAMPIONS
1968-69	(I)	Bundesliga		17th
1969-70	(II)	Regionalliga Süd	3rd
1970-71	(II)	Regionalliga Süd	1st
1971-72	(II)	Regionalliga Süd	9th
1972-73	(II)	Regionalliga Süd	5th
1973-74	(II)	Regionalliga Süd	2nd
1974-75	(II)	2.Bundesliga Süd	6th
1975-76	(II)	2.Bundesliga Süd	2nd
1976-77	(II)	2.Bundesliga Süd	5th
1977-78	(II)	2.Bundesliga Süd	2nd
1978-79	(I)	Bundesliga		17th
1979-80	(II)	2.Bundesliga Süd	1st
1980-81	(I)	Bundesliga		14th
1981-82	(I)	Bundesliga		13th
1982-83	(I)	Bundesliga		14th
1983-84	(I)	Bundesliga		18th
1984-85	(I)	2.Bundesliga		18th
1985-86	(I)	Bundesliga		12th
1986-87	(I)	Bundesliga		9th
1987-88	(I)	Bundesliga		5th
1988-89	(I)	Bundesliga		14th
1989-90	(I)	Bundesliga		8th
1990-91	(I)	Bundesliga		15th
1991-92	(I)	Bundesliga		7th
1992-93	(I)	Bundesliga		13th
1993-94	(I)	Bundesliga		16th
1994-95	(II)	2.Bundesliga		15th
1995-96	(II)	2.Bundesliga		17th
1996-97	(III)	Regionaliga Süd		1st
1997-98	(II)	2.Bundesliga		3rd
1998-99	(I)	Bundesliga		16th
1999-00	(II)	2.Bundesliga		4th
2000-01	(II)	2.Bundesliga		1st
2001-02	(I)	Bundesliga		15th
2002-03	(I)	Bundesliga		17th
2003-04 (II)	2.Bundesliga		1st
2004-05	(I)	Bundesliga		14th
2005-06	(I)	Bundesliga		8th
2006-07	(I)	Bundesliga		6th
2007-08 (I)     Bundesliga		16th
2008-09 (II)    2.Bundesliga		3rd
2009-10 (I)     Bundesliga		16th	Beat Augsburg in relegation playoff
2010-11 (I)     Bundesliga		6th
2011-12 (I)     Bundesliga

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