Don't be fooled by the current crap performance and mediocre standings in the Regionalliga. Once you become a fan of WSV, you'll never give it up!
OK enough of the crap from a long time fan. The reality is that this club has been going nowehere for several years, and a city of 400,000 has failed to get behind their team.
Soccer in Wuppertal tended to follow regional lines, as the city itself was only founded in 1929, as a merger between several independent towns, such as Elberfeld, Barmen, Vohwinkel, Cronenburg, Ronsdorf etc. All these towns had their own clubs, although Barmen tended to emerge as the strongest in the 1930s.
Many of the clubs perished in WWII, and after the restart, several mergers took place. Eventually, with encouragement of the mayor, the two leading clubs decided to form WSV: In 1954, the members of district clubs TSG Vohwinkel and SSV Wuppertal voted to band together as Wuppertaler Sport Verein.
WSV was a decent 2nd division club in the 1950s and 1960s. They often played in the top flight regional league, the Oberliga West. In the early 1970s, the club made it's legendary climb to the Bundesliga, finishing 4th in it's inaugural season of 72-73 and entering the UEFA Cup. In this period, their most famous player was Günter "Meister" Pröpper, who scored a record 52 goals in the 1972 campaign. Things looked bright for the future, but basically the squad got old and only crap players were brought in to replace the veterans. After 3 years, WSV was relegated back to the 2nd division, where they remained competitive for a while before dropping again.
Subsequent history has been less than glorious, as the club barely missed bankruptcy in 1998, and was merely trying to hang on in the 3rd division inthe hope of sneaking into the merged 3rd division structure that the DFB imposed before 2000.
After the bankruptcy fiasco, the 98-99 season was again one of "promises" of management and bold statements that were not kept. The team continued to stink up the joint half the time, and occasionally play brilliantly. However, the last laugh was when the league voted to kick WSV's ass out and forcibly relegate them for not paying required dues. WSV dutifully won the Oberliga the next season, and after more financial shenanigans, was finally allowed to play in the promotion playoffs. Here they failed, just another in a seemingly unending series of disasters. In the first year, WSV won the title, but crashed in the promotion playoffs. The next two years saw them finishing 2nd to the "amateur" squads of Bundesliga teams, before they finally secured automatic promotion in 2003.
WSV has basically bummed around, mostly disappointing their zillions of fans around the world. Every now and then, the club throws the fan a bone, like in the 2007/08 DFB Cup, when they knocked out Hertha BSC 2-0 and then faced Bayern München. Such was the demand for tickets, that the match was moved to Schalke. A sell out crowd of 61,000 saw WSV hold off Bayern 2-2 at half, before getting rolled 2-5.
The initial 3.Liga season was pathetic. 35 years removed from the Bundesliga, it certainly looks like another 35 is needed to go back up.
Things actually got worse. In 2013, WSV was bankrupt, and members were feuding with management. A fan initiative called "WSV 2.0" brought together interested parties that basically intended to kick out the long running control of Friedhelm Runge, which had seen the club continue to sink. It was successful, and the first step was to go into administration and voluntarily drop down the 5th division, the lowest in club history.
|Fullname||Wuppertaler Sport-Verein e.V.
(Nordrhein-Westfalen). Pop: 365,000 (2002).
Hubertusallee 4, 42117 Wuppertal
Phone: (0202) 74 12 85
Red/Blue vertical stripes, blue pants. Road uniform
varies, sometimes yellow shirt. In 2000, they also occasionally
played in white.
Zoo-Stadion, Capacity: some 28,000. |
It is basically a decripit facility, that has the goofy bicycle track around the field. Wooden benches, could give you a case of Bankholzsplinterimarschverletzung. There have been some additions, such as an electronic scoreboard.
7-12 euros (2014). Kids under 11 are free in standing room, 5 euros in the Tribune. Walkup to ticket booth on game
day. No need to scramble, as usually only about 2,000 loyal fans show up.
In the good old days, it would
overflow capacity, maybe 35,000. Now Wuppertal is disgracefully one of
Germany's largest cities without full professional soccer.
About 2,000 in the 5th division Oberliga in 2014, which was actually pretty decent, similar to some of their 4th division years.
Averaged 6,700 in 2004
(Regionalliga). There is a dedicated core of
supporters, but the city is not really
supporting the club. The biggest fan clubs are the Schwebende
Jonges and the WSV-Szene-Westerwald. WSV has a bad reputation because of a hard-core of troublemakers. Several matches in the 2014
Oberliga season were postponed due to police fear of crowds showing up and overwhelming their villages.
|| Friends ||
Many WSV fans are also supporters of Schalke, which is not much of a
conflict of interest these days, as they will obviously never play each
other the way WSV is going. There is also a relationship with Hertha BSC
Berlin that goes back to the 2.Liga days. St.Pauli and VFB Leipzig have
also been mentioned in a positive light. As far as rivals are concerned,
Alemannia Aachen has generally drawn big interest and some good matches.
|| Foes ||
RW Essen, RW Oberhausen are pretty much despised. Bochum and
Düsseldorf, although there hasn't been much rivalry with them for a
|| Heroes ||
Horst Syzmaniak, a boy wonder from the late 1950s, who went on to
play in Italy. Famed for his exquisite skills, he was capped 43 times, 20
while playing for WSV. Another hero is Günter "Meister"
whose 52 goals in 1972 remains a 2nd division record.
|| Zeroes ||
Certainly Sven Christians would qualify. The club tried to fire
him, and he sued for breach of contract in 1996. Then in 1998 there was
the hilarious South African Benson Selea who was subbed in for
about 5 minutes and then subbed out in 1998. Apparently the club thought
they were signing a polished pro, but I guess he was just a fraud...
Wicküler Pils. It was defunct for a while, but now back,
albeit brewed in Köln, but headquarters in Wuppertal. Somehow that
is very fitting. Dortmunder brews, especially Kronen and
Union also popular. I know a
few that like Küppers Kölsch, but they were
ex-Kölners. Schwelm-Pils has also been mentioned.
||Pub Grub ||
The stadium has the Gastätte am Zoo, which overlooks the
stadium. The Bratwürste are supposedly good. New management
has been brought in.
Official site: www.wuppertalersv.com
As befits a legendary club, WSV has a strong presence on the web. The first place to start is at the original WSV page, the Wuppertaler SV Pacific Edition , published in English. There are also several German pages linked there. In fact, if you were to take the ratio of web pages to fans, WSV probably has the most dedicated cyberfans. For example, Bayern München would have to have about 12,000 web sites to be in the same league.
Recent History: -------------- 2013-14 (V) Oberliga Niederhein 3rd 2012-13 (IV) Regionalliga West 15th 2011-12 (IV) Regionalliga West 5th 2010-11 (IV) Regionalliga West 8th 2009-10 (III) 3.Liga 20th 2008-09 (III) 3.Liga 14th 2007-08 (III) Regionalliga Nord 6th 2006-07 (III) Regionalliga Nord 5th 2005-06 (III) Regionalliga Nord 8th 2004-05 (III) Regionalliga Nord 5th 2003-04 (III) Regionalliga Nord 4th 2002-03 (IV) Oberliga Nordrhein 1st 2001-02 (IV) Oberliga Nordrhein 2nd 2000-01 (IV) Oberliga Nordrhein 2nd 1999-00 (IV) Oberliga Nordrhein 1st 1998-99 (III) Regionalliga West/SW 8th 1997-98 (III) Regionalliga West/SW 12th 1996-97 (III) Regionalliga West/SW 6th 1995-96 (III) Regionalliga West/SW 4th 1994-95 (III) Regionalliga West/SW 5th 1993-94 (II) 2.Bundesliga 18th 1992-93 (II) 2.Bundesliga 13th 1991-92 (III) Am.Oberliga Nordrhein 1st 1990-91 (III) Am.Oberliga Nordrhein 3rd 1989-90 (III) Am.Oberliga Nordrhein 1st 1988-89 (III) Am.Oberliga Nordrhein 3rd 1987-88 (III) Am.Oberliga Nordrhein 3rd 1986-87 (III) Am.Oberliga Nordrhein 11th 1985-86 (III) Am.Oberliga Nordrhein 12th 1984-85 (III) Am.Oberliga Nordrhein 6th 1983-84 (III) Am.Oberliga Nordrhein 3rd 1982-83 (III) Am.Oberliga Nordrhein 9th 1981-82 (III) Am.Oberliga Nordrhein 6th 1980-81 (III) Am.Oberliga Nordrhein 3rd 1979-80 (II) 2.Bundesliga Nord 20th 1978-79 (II) 2.Bundesliga Nord 17th 1977-78 (II) 2.Bundesliga Nord 11th 1976-77 (II) 2.Bundesliga Nord 3rd 1975-76 (II) 2.Bundesliga Nord 5th 1974-75 (I) Bundesliga 18th 1973-74 (I) Bundesliga 16th 1972-73 (I) Bundesliga 4th 1971-72 (II) Regionalliga West 1st 1970-71 (II) Regionalliga West 3rd 1969-70 (II) Regionalliga West 3rd 1968-69 (II) Regionalliga West 5th 1967-68 (II) Regionalliga West 15th 1966-67 (II) Regionalliga West 7th 1965-66 (II) Regionalliga West 6th 1964-65 (II) Regionalliga West 5th 1963-64 (II) Regionalliga West 2nd
(c) Abseits Guide to Germany : www.abseits-soccer.com