Bundesliga

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Bundesliga
Bundesliga logo (2017).svg
Organising body Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL)
Founded1963;56 years ago (1963)
CountryGermany
Confederation UEFA
Number of teams 18
Level on pyramid 1
Relegation to 2. Bundesliga
Domestic cup(s)
International cup(s)
Current champions Bayern Munich (28th title)
(2018–19)
Most championships Bayern Munich (28 titles)
Most appearances Karl-Heinz Körbel (602)
Top goalscorer Gerd Müller (365)
TV partners List of broadcasters
Website bundesliga.de
Soccerball current event.svg 2018–19 Bundesliga

The Bundesliga (German: [ˈbʊndəsˌliːɡa] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ); lit. English: "Federal League", sometimes referred to as the Fußball-Bundesliga [ˌfuːsbal-] or 1. Bundesliga [ˌʔeːɐ̯stə-]) is a professional association football league in Germany and the football league with the highest average stadium attendance worldwide. At the top of the German football league system, the Bundesliga is Germany's primary football competition. The Bundesliga comprises 18 teams and operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the 2. Bundesliga. Seasons run from August to May. Most games are played on Saturdays and Sundays, with a few games played on weekdays. All of the Bundesliga clubs qualify for the DFB-Pokal. The winner of the Bundesliga qualifies for the DFL-Supercup.

Association football Team field sport

Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.

The German football league system, or league pyramid, refers to the hierarchically interconnected league system for association football in Germany that in the 2016–17 season consists of 2,235 divisions having 31,645 teams, in which all divisions are bound together by the principle of promotion and relegation. The top three professional levels contain one division each. Below this, the semi-professional and amateur levels have progressively more parallel divisions, which each cover progressively smaller geographic areas. Teams that finish at the top of their division at the end of each season can rise higher in the pyramid, while those that finish at the bottom find themselves sinking further down. In theory it is possible for even the lowest local amateur club to rise to the top of the system and become German football champions one day. The number of teams promoted and relegated between the divisions varies, and promotion to the upper levels of the pyramid is usually contingent on meeting additional criteria, especially concerning appropriate facilities and finances.

Promotion and relegation Process where teams are transferred between divisions

In sports leagues, promotion and relegation is a process where teams are transferred between multiple divisions based on their performance for the completed season. The best-ranked team(s) in the lower division are promoted to the higher division for the next season, and the worst-ranked team(s) in the higher division are relegated to the lower division for the next season. In some leagues, playoffs or qualifying rounds are also used to determine rankings. This process can continue through several levels of divisions, with teams being exchanged between levels 1 and 2, levels 2 and 3, levels 3 and 4, and so on. During the season, teams that are high enough in the league table that they would qualify for promotion are sometimes said to be in the promotion zone, and those at the bottom are in the relegation zone.

Contents

54 clubs have competed in the Bundesliga since its founding. Bayern Munich has won the Bundesliga the most, winning the title 28 times. However, the Bundesliga has seen other champions with Borussia Dortmund, Hamburger SV, Werder Bremen, Borussia Mönchengladbach and VfB Stuttgart most prominent among them. The Bundesliga is one of the top national leagues, ranked fourth in Europe according to UEFA's league coefficient ranking for the 2017–18 season, based on performances in European competitions over the past five seasons. [1] The Bundesliga is the number-one football league in the world in terms of average attendance; out of all sports, its average of 45,134 fans per game during the 2011–12 season was the second highest of any sports league in the world after the American National Football League. [2] The Bundesliga is broadcast on television in over 200 countries. [3]

FC Bayern Munich German multi-sport club, noted for its association football team

Fußball-Club Bayern München e.V., commonly known as FC Bayern München, FCB, Bayern Munich, or FC Bayern, is a German sports club based in Munich, Bavaria. It is best known for its professional football team, which plays in the Bundesliga, the top tier of the German football league system, and is the most successful club in German football history, having won a record 29 national titles and 18 national cups.

Borussia Dortmund German association football club

Ballspielverein Borussia 09 e.V. Dortmund, commonly known as Borussia Dortmund[boˈʁʊsi̯aː ˈdɔʁtmʊnt], BVB, or simply Dortmund, is a German sports club based in Dortmund, North Rhine-Westphalia. Founded in 1909 by eighteen football players from Dortmund, the football team is part of a large membership-based sports club with more than 145,000 members, making BVB the second largest sports club by membership in Germany. Dortmund plays in the Bundesliga, the top tier of the German football league system.

Hamburger SV sports club in Hamburg, Germany

Hamburger Sport-Verein e.V.[hamˈbʊʁɡɐ ˌʃpɔʁt fɛɐ̯ˈʔaɪ̯n], commonly known as Hamburger SV, Hamburg or HSV[haː ʔɛs ˈfaʊ̯], is a German sport club based in Hamburg, its largest branch being its football department. Although the current HSV was founded in June 1919 from a merger of three earlier clubs, it officially traces its origin to 29 September 1887 when the first of the predecessors, SC Germania, was founded. HSV's football team had the distinction of being the only team that had played continuously in the top tier of the German football league system since the founding of the club at the end of World War I. It was the only team that played in every season of the Bundesliga since its foundation in 1963, until 2018 when the team were relegated for the first time in history.

The Bundesliga was founded in 1962 in Dortmund and the first season started in 1963. The structure and organisation of the Bundesliga along with Germany's other football leagues have undergone frequent changes. The Bundesliga was founded by the Deutscher Fußball-Bund (English: German Football Association), but is now operated by the Deutsche Fußball Liga (English: German Football League).

Dortmund Place in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Dortmund is, with a population of 586,600 (2017), the third largest city of Germany's most populous federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia after Cologne and Düsseldorf, and Germany's eighth largest city. It is the largest city of the Ruhr, Germany's largest urban area with some 5.1 million (2011) inhabitants, as well as the largest city of Westphalia. On the Emscher and Ruhr rivers, it lies in the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Region and is considered the administrative, commercial and cultural centre of the eastern Ruhr.

German Football Association governing body of association football in Germany

The German Football Association is the governing body of football in Germany. A founding member of both FIFA and UEFA, the DFB has jurisdiction for the German football league system and is in charge of the men's and women's national teams. The DFB headquarters are in Frankfurt am Main. Sole members of the DFB are the German Football League, organising the professional Bundesliga and the 2. Bundesliga, along with five regional and 21 state associations, organising the semi-professional and amateur levels. The 21 state associations of the DFB have a combined number of more than 25,000 clubs with more than 6.8 million members, making the DFB the single largest sports federation in the world.

Deutsche Fußball Liga Responsible for the entire operation, licensing, and marketing business of Die Liga – Fußballverband.

The DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga GmbH, or simply Deutsche Fußball Liga, and often shortened to DFL, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Die Liga – Fußballverband. The DFL is responsible for entire operating business of the Ligaverband, including the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga leagues. The chairman of supervisory board of the DFL is Reinhard Rauball. Christian Seifert is CEO of the DFL.

Overview

The winner of the Bundesliga receives the "Meisterschale" (English: "champions shield") Borusseum Dortmund 2012-04-04 11-38-19.jpg
The winner of the Bundesliga receives the "Meisterschale" (English: "champions shield")

The Bundesliga is composed of two divisions: the 1. Bundesliga (although it is rarely referred to with the First prefix), and, below that, the 2. Bundesliga (2nd Bundesliga), which has been the second tier of German football since 1974. The Bundesligen (plural) are professional leagues. Since 2008, the 3. Liga (3rd League) in Germany has also been a professional league, but may not be called Bundesliga because the league is run by the German Football Association (DFB) and not, as are the two Bundesligen, by the German Football League (Deutsche Fußball-Liga or DFL).

The Introduction of the 2. Bundesliga was the step of establishing a professional second tier association football league in Germany in 1974. The new league, the 2. Bundesliga, played its first season in 1974–75 and continues to be the second-highest league in the country. Its introduction reduced the number of second divisions in Germany from five to two and the number of teams at this level from 83 to 40. It eliminated the necessity of having a promotion round at the end of the season to determine the two teams promoted to the Bundesliga.

3. Liga association football league

The 3. Liga, is the third division of football in Germany. The league started with the beginning of the 2008–09 season, when it replaced the Regionalliga as the third tier football league in Germany. In the German football league system, it is positioned between the 2. Bundesliga and the semi-professional Regionalliga, which became the fourth division and initially consisted of three groups of 18 clubs playing separately. In Germany, the 3. Liga is the highest division that a football club's reserve team can play in.

Below the level of the 3. Liga, leagues are generally subdivided on a regional basis. For example, the Regionalligen are currently made up of Nord (North), Nordost (Northeast), Süd (South), Südwest (Southwest) and West divisions. Below this are thirteen parallel divisions, most of which are called Oberligen (upper leagues) which represent federal states or large urban and geographical areas. The levels below the Oberligen differ between the local areas. The league structure has changed frequently and typically reflects the degree of participation in the sport in various parts of the country. In the early 1990s, changes were driven by the reunification of Germany and the subsequent integration of the national league of East Germany.

Oberliga (football)

The Oberliga is currently the name of the fifth tier of the German football league system. Before the introduction of the 3. Liga in 2008, it was the fourth tier. At the end of the 2011–12 season the number of Oberligas was increased from eleven to fourteen.

German reunification Process in 1990 in which East and West Germany once again became one country

The German reunification was the process in 1990 in which the German Democratic Republic became part of the Federal Republic of Germany to form the reunited nation of Germany, and when Berlin reunited into a single city, as provided by its then Grundgesetz (constitution) Article 23. The end of the unification process is officially referred to as German unity, celebrated on 3 October. Following German reunification, Berlin was once again designated as the capital of united Germany.

Every team in the two Bundesligen must have a licence to play in the league, or else they are relegated into the regional leagues. To obtain a licence, teams must be financially healthy and meet certain standards of conduct as organisations.

As in other national leagues, there are significant benefits to being in the top division:

The 1. Bundesliga is financially strong, and the 2. Bundesliga has begun to evolve in a similar direction, becoming more stable organizationally and financially, and reflecting an increasingly higher standard of professional play.

Borussia Dortmund against rivals Schalke, known as the Revierderby, in the Bundesliga in 2009 Arena Auf Schalke hosting Schalke 04 vs Dortmund in 2009.jpg
Borussia Dortmund against rivals Schalke, known as the Revierderby, in the Bundesliga in 2009

Internationally, the most well-known German clubs include Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Schalke 04, Hamburger SV, VfB Stuttgart, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Werder Bremen and Bayer Leverkusen. Hamburger SV was the only club to have played continuously in the Bundesliga since its foundation until 12 May 2018, when the club was relegated for the first time.

FC Schalke 04 German association-football club

Fußballclub Gelsenkirchen-Schalke 04 e. V., commonly known as FC Schalke 04, Schalke or abbreviated as S04, is a professional German football and multi-sports club originally from the Schalke district of Gelsenkirchen, North Rhine-Westphalia. The "04" in the club's name derives from its formation in 1904. Schalke has long been one of the most popular professional football teams and multi-sports club in Germany, even though the club's heyday was in the 1930s and 1940s. Schalke play in the Bundesliga, the top tier of the German football league system. As of June 2018, the club has 155,000 members, making it the second-largest sports club in Germany and the fourth-largest sports club in the world in terms of membership. Other activities offered by the club include athletics, basketball, handball, table tennis, winter sports and eSports.

VfB Stuttgart German sports club

Verein für Bewegungsspiele Stuttgart 1893 e. V., commonly known as VfB Stuttgart, is a German sports club based in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg. The club is best known for its football team which is part of Germany's first division Bundesliga. VfB Stuttgart has won the national championship five times, most recently in 2006–07; the DFB-Pokal three times; and the UEFA Intertoto Cup a record three times.

Borussia Mönchengladbach association football club in Mönchengladbach, Germany

Borussia VfL 1900 Mönchengladbach e.V., commonly known as Borussia Mönchengladbach, Mönchengladbach or Gladbach, is a professional football club based in Mönchengladbach, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, that plays in the Bundesliga, the top flight of German football. The club has won five League titles, three DFB-Pokals, and two UEFA Europa League titles.

In the 2008–09 season, the Bundesliga reinstated an earlier German system of promotion and relegation, which had been in use from 1981 until 1991:

From 1992 until 2008, a different system had been used in which the bottom three finishers of the Bundesliga had been automatically relegated, to be replaced by the top three finishers in the 2. Bundesliga. From 1963 until 1981 two, or later three, teams had been relegated from the Bundesliga automatically, while promotion had been decided either completely or partially in promotion play-offs.

The season starts in early August [4] and lasts until late May, with a winter break of six weeks (mid-December through to the end of January). In recent years, games have been played on Saturdays (five games beginning at 3:30 pm and one game beginning at 6:30 pm) and Sundays (one game beginning at 3:30 pm and one game at 5:30 pm). A new television deal in 2006 reintroduced a Friday game (beginning at 8:30 pm).

History

Origins

Prior to the formation of the Bundesliga, German football was played at an amateur level in a large number of sub-regional leagues until, in 1949, part-time (semi-) professionalism was introduced and only five regional Oberligen (Premier Leagues) remained. Regional champions and runners-up played a series of playoff matches for the right to compete in a final game for the national championship. On 28 January 1900, a national association, the Deutscher Fußball Bund (DFB) had been founded in Leipzig with 86 member clubs. The first recognised national championship team was VfB Leipzig, who beat DFC Prague 7–2 in a game played at Altona on 31 May 1903.

Through the 1950s, there were continued calls for the formation of a central professional league, especially as professional leagues in other countries began to draw Germany's best players away from the semi-professional domestic leagues. At the international level the German game began to falter as German teams often fared poorly against professional teams from other countries. A key supporter of the central league concept was national team head coach Sepp Herberger who said, “If we want to remain competitive internationally, we have to raise our expectations at the national level.”

Meanwhile, in East Germany, a separate league was established with the formation of the DS-Oberliga (Deutscher Sportausschuss Oberliga) in 1950. The league was renamed the Football Oberliga DFV in 1958 and was generally referred to simply as the DDR-Liga or DDR-Oberliga. The league fielded 14 teams with two relegation spots.

Foundation

The Bundesliga was founded at the annual DFB convention at the Westfalenhallen in Dortmund on 28 July 1962 Westfalenhalle 1 Dortmund.JPG
The Bundesliga was founded at the annual DFB convention at the Westfalenhallen in Dortmund on 28 July 1962

The defeat of the national team by Yugoslavia (0–1) in a 1962 World Cup quarter-final game in Chile was one impetus (of many) towards the formation of a national league. At the annual DFB convention under new DFB president Hermann Gösmann (elected that very day) the Bundesliga was created in Dortmund at the Westfalenhallen on 28 July 1962 to begin play starting with the 1963–64 season. [5]

At the time, there were five Oberligen (Premier Leagues) in place representing West Germany's North, South, West, Southwest, and Berlin. East Germany, behind the Iron Curtain, maintained its separate league structure. 46 clubs applied for admission to the new league. 16 teams were selected based on their success on the field, economic criteria and representation of the various Oberligen.

The first Bundesliga games were played on 24 August 1963. Early favourite 1. FC Köln was the first Bundesliga champion (with 45:15 points) over second place clubs Meidericher SV and Eintracht Frankfurt (both 39:21).

Reunification

Following German reunification, the East German leagues were merged into the West German system. Dynamo Dresden and F.C. Hansa Rostock were seeded into the top-tier Bundesliga division, with other clubs being sorted into lower tiers.

Competition format

Heung-Min Son of Hamburg against Eljero Elia of Werder Bremen in the Nordderby Elia son.JPG
Heung-Min Son of Hamburg against Eljero Elia of Werder Bremen in the Nordderby

The German football champion is decided strictly by play in the Bundesliga. Each club plays every other club once at home and once away. Originally, a victory was worth two points, with one point for a draw and none for a loss. Since the 1995–96 season, a victory has been worth three points, while a draw remains worth a single point, and zero points are given for a loss. The club with the most points at the end of the season becomes German champion. Currently, the top three clubs in the table qualify automatically for the group phase of the UEFA Champions League, while the fourth-place team enters the Champions League at the third qualifying round (see overview). The two teams at the bottom of the table are relegated into the 2. Bundesliga, while the top two teams in the 2. Bundesliga are promoted. The 16th-placed team (third-last), and the third-placed team in the 2. Bundesliga play a two-leg play-off match. The winner of this match plays the next season in the Bundesliga, and the loser in the 2. Bundesliga.

If teams are level on points, tie-breakers are applied in the following order:

  1. Goal difference for the entire season
  2. Total goals scored for the entire season
  3. Head-to-head results (total points)
  4. Head-to-head goals scored
  5. Head-to-head away goals scored
  6. Total away goals scored for the entire season

If two clubs are still tied after all of these tie-breakers have been applied, a single match is held at a neutral site to determine the placement. However, this has never been necessary in the history of the Bundesliga.

In terms of team selection, matchday squads must have no more than five non-EU representatives. Seven substitutes are permitted to be selected, from which three can be used in the duration of the game.

Changes in league structure

Qualification for European competitions

The number of German clubs which may participate in UEFA competitions is determined by UEFA coefficients, which take into account the results of a particular nation's clubs in UEFA competitions over the preceding five years.

History of European qualification

Clubs

ClubPosition in 2018–19 First Bundesliga seasonNumber of seasons in BundesligaFirst season of current spellNumber of seasons of current spellBundesliga titlesNational titlesLast title
FC Augsburg b152011–1282011–12700
Bayer Leverkusen b41979–80401979–804000
Bayern Munich b11965–66541965–665428292019
Borussia Dortmund a21963–64521976–7743582012
Borussia Mönchengladbach 51965–66512008–0911551977
Eintracht Frankfurt a71963–64502012–137011959
Fortuna Düsseldorf 101966–67242018–191011933
SC Freiburg 131993–94192016–17300
Hertha BSC a111963–64362013–146021931
TSG 1899 Hoffenheim b92008–09112008–091100
Hannover 96 171964–65302017–182021954
RB Leipzig b32016–1732016–17300
1. FSV Mainz 05 122004–05132009–101000
1. FC Nürnberg a181963–64332018–191191968
Schalke 04 a141963–64511991–9228071958
VfB Stuttgart a161963–64532017–182352007
Werder Bremen a81963–64551981–8238442004
VfL Wolfsburg b61997–98221997–9822112009

a Founding member of the Bundesliga
b Never been relegated from the Bundesliga

TeamLocationStadiumCapacityRef.
FC Augsburg Augsburg WWK ARENA 30,660
Bayer Leverkusen Leverkusen BayArena 30,210
Bayern Munich Munich Allianz Arena 75,000
Borussia Dortmund Dortmund Signal Iduna Park 81,359 [6]
Borussia Mönchengladbach Mönchengladbach Stadion im Borussia-Park 59,724
Eintracht Frankfurt Frankfurt Commerzbank-Arena 51,500
Fortuna Düsseldorf Düsseldorf Merkur Spiel-Arena 54,600
SC Freiburg Freiburg im Breisgau Schwarzwald-Stadion 24,000
Hannover 96 Hanover HDI-Arena 49,000
Hertha BSC Berlin Olympiastadion 74,649
TSG Hoffenheim Sinsheim Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena 30,164 [7]
RB Leipzig Leipzig Red Bull Arena 42,558 [8]
Mainz 05 Mainz Coface Arena 34,000
1. FC Nürnberg Nuremberg Max-Morlock-Stadion 49,923
Schalke 04 Gelsenkirchen Veltins-Arena 62,271 [9]
VfB Stuttgart Stuttgart Mercedes-Benz Arena 60,441 [10]
Werder Bremen Bremen Weserstadion 42,354 [11]
VfL Wolfsburg Wolfsburg Volkswagen Arena 30,000

Business model

In the 2009–10 season, the Bundesliga's turnover was €1.7bn, broken down into match-day revenue (€424m), sponsorship receipts (€573m) and broadcast income (€594m). That year it was the only European football league where clubs collectively made a profit. Bundesliga clubs paid less than 50% of revenue in players wages, the lowest percentage out of the European leagues. The Bundesliga has the lowest ticket prices and the highest average attendance out of Europe's five major leagues. [12]

The Allianz Arena, home venue of Bayern Munich, was the first stadium in the world with a full colour changing exterior. Allianzarenacombo.jpg
The Allianz Arena, home venue of Bayern Munich, was the first stadium in the world with a full colour changing exterior.

Bundesliga clubs tend to form close associations with local firms, several of which have since grown to big global companies; in a comparison of the leading Bundesliga and Premiership clubs, Bayern Munich received 55% of its revenue from company sponsorship deals, while Manchester United got 37%. [12] [13] [14] [15]

Bundesliga clubs are required to be majority-owned by German club members (known as the 50+1 rule  [ de ] to discourage control by a single entity) and operate under tight restrictions on the use of debt for acquisitions (a team only receives an operating license if it has solid financials), as a result 11 of the 18 clubs were profitable after the 2008–09 season. By contrast, in the other major European leagues, numerous high-profile teams have come under ownership of foreign billionaires, and a significant number of clubs have high levels of debt. [14] [15]

Exceptions to the 50+1 rule allow Bayer Leverkusen, 1899 Hoffenheim, and VfL Wolfsburg to be owned by corporations or individual investors. In the cases of Bayer Leverkusen and Wolfsburg, the clubs were founded by major corporations (respectively Bayer AG and Volkswagen) as sports clubs for their employees, while Hoffenheim has long received its primary support from SAP co-founder Dietmar Hopp, who played in the club's youth system. [16]

After 2000 the German Football Association and the Bundesliga mandated that all clubs run a youth academy, with the aim of bolstering the stream of local talent for the club and national team. As of 2010 the Bundesliga and second Bundesliga spend €75m a year on these youth academies, that train five thousand players aged 12–18, increasing the under-23-year-olds in the Bundesliga from 6% in 2000 to 15% in 2010. This allows more money to be spent on the players that are bought, and there is a greater chance to buy better instead of average players. [12] [14] [15]

In the first decade of the third millennium (2000s), the Bundesliga was regarded as competitive, as five teams have won the league title. This contrasted with Spain's La Liga, dominated by the "Big Two" of Barcelona and Real Madrid, the English Premier League dominated by a "Big Four" (Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, and Arsenal), as well as France's Ligue 1, won seven consecutive years by Lyon. [17] In the second decade, however, a resurgent Bayern Munich has won each year from 2012–13 onward as the Bavarian side is able to outspend its rivals to purchase the league's best players. [18] [19]

Financial regulations

For a number of years, the clubs in the Bundesliga have been subject to regulations not unlike the UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations agreed upon in September 2009.

At the end of each season, clubs in the Bundesliga must apply to the German Football Federation (DFB) for a licence to participate again the following year; only when the DFB, who have access to all transfer documents and accounts, are satisfied that there is no threat of insolvency do they give approval. [20] The DFB have a system of fines and points deductions for clubs who flout rules and those who go into the red can only buy a player after selling one for at least the same amount. In addition, no individual is allowed to own more than 49 percent of any Bundesliga club, the only exceptions being VfL Wolfsburg, Bayer Leverkusen and current Regionalliga Nordost member FC Carl Zeiss Jena should they ever be promoted to the Bundesliga as they were each founded as factory teams. [13]

The Commerzbank Arena, is the home ground of Eintracht Frankfurt. MJL Waldstadion 2006 3.jpg
The Commerzbank Arena, is the home ground of Eintracht Frankfurt.

Despite the good economic governance, there have still been some instances of clubs getting into difficulties. In 2004, Borussia Dortmund reported a debt of €118.8 million (£83 million). [21] Having won the Champions League in 1997 and a number of Bundesliga titles, Dortmund had gambled to maintain their success with an expensive group of largely foreign players but failed, narrowly escaping liquidation in 2006. In subsequent years, the club went through extensive restructuring to return to financial health, largely with young home-grown players. In 2004 Hertha BSC reported debts of £24.7 million and were able to continue in the Bundesliga only after proving they had long term credit with their bank. [21]

The leading German club Bayern Munich made a net profit of just €2.5 million in 2008–09 season (group accounts, [22] while Schalke 04 made a net loss of €30.4 million in 2009 financial year. [23] Borussia Dortmund GmbH & Co. KGaA, made a net loss of just €2.9 million in 2008–09 season. [24]

Attendances

Based on its per-game average, the Bundesliga is the best-attended association football league in the world; out of all sports, its average of 45,116 fans per game during the 2011–12 season was the second highest of any professional sports league worldwide, behind only the National Football League of the United States. [2] Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund has the highest average attendance of any football club in the world. [25]

Out of Europe's five major football leagues (Premier League, La Liga, Ligue 1, and Serie A ), the Bundesliga has the lowest ticket prices and the highest average attendance. Many club stadia have large terraced areas for standing fans (by comparison, stadia in the English Premier League are all-seaters due to the Taylor Report). Teams limit the number of season tickets to ensure everyone has a chance to see the games live, and the away club has the right to 10% of the available capacity. Match tickets often double as free rail passes which encourages supporters to travel and celebrate in a relaxed atmosphere. According to Bundesliga chief executive Christian Seifert, tickets are inexpensive (especially for standing room) as "It is not in the clubs' culture so much [to raise prices]. They are very fan orientated". [12] [14] [15] Uli Hoeneß, president of Bayern Munich, was quoted as saying "We do not think the fans are like cows to be milked. Football has got to be for everybody." [13]

The Bundesliga has the highest average attendance of any football league in the world. Borussia Dortmund has the highest average attendance at Signal Iduna Park of any football club in the world. Borussia Dortmund Hannover 96.jpg
The Bundesliga has the highest average attendance of any football league in the world. Borussia Dortmund has the highest average attendance at Signal Iduna Park of any football club in the world.

The spectator figures for league for the last eleven seasons:

Bundesliga Spectator Statistics
SeasonOverallAverageBest supported clubAverage
2007–08 [26] 12,069,81339,444Borussia Dortmund72,510
2008–09 [27] 13,011,57842,521Borussia Dortmund74,851
2009–10 [28] 13,001,87142,490Borussia Dortmund77,246
2010–11 [29] 13,054,96042,663Borussia Dortmund79,151
2011–12 [30] 13,805,51445,116Borussia Dortmund80,521
2012–13 [31] 13,042,26342,622Borussia Dortmund80,520
2013–14 [32] 13,311,14543,500Borussia Dortmund80,297
2014–15 [33] 13,323,03143,539Borussia Dortmund80,463
2015–16 [34] 13,249,77843,300Borussia Dortmund81,178
2016–17 [35] 12,703,16741,514Borussia Dortmund79,653
2017–18 [36] 13,661,79644,646Borussia Dortmund79,496

Media coverage

Domestic

The Bundesliga TV, radio, internet, and mobile broadcast rights are distributed by DFL Sports Enterprises, a subsidiary of the Deutsche Fußball Liga. The Bundesliga broadcast rights are sold along with the broadcast rights to the Bundesliga Relegation Playoffs, 2. Bundesliga and DFL-Supercup. [37]

From 2017–18 to 2020–21, Bundesliga matches are broadcast on TV in Germany on Sky Germany and Eurosport. Three Friday night matches – the openers of the first and second halves of the season, and on the final matchday before the winter break – are broadcast to all Germans on ZDF.

DayTime (CET)Broadcaster
Friday20:30 Eurosport 2 Xtra
ZDF (1st, 17th, and 18th matchdays)
(1 match)
Saturday15:30 Sky Sport Bundesliga (5 matches)
Saturday18:30 Sky Sport Bundesliga (1 match)
Sunday13:30 Eurosport 2 Xtra (1 match on 5 matchdays)
Sunday15:30 Sky Sport Bundesliga(1 match)
Sunday18:00 Sky Sport Bundesliga (1 match)
Monday20:30 Eurosport 2 Xtra (1 match on 5 matchdays)

Radio coverage includes the national Konferenz (whip-around coverage) on the stations of ARD and full match coverage on local radio stations.

Global

The Bundesliga is broadcast on TV in over 200 countries SC Freiburg vs FSVMainz 17 aout 2013 60.jpg
The Bundesliga is broadcast on TV in over 200 countries

The Bundesliga is broadcast on TV in over 200 countries. In October 2013, 21st Century Fox, via the Fox Sports, Fox International Channels, and Sky plc divisions, acquired television and digital rights to the Bundesliga in 80 territories, including North America and Asia (outside of India and Oceania) for five years, and selected European territories for two years, beginning in the 2015–16 season. CEO James Murdoch explained that the deal was designed to "leverage our unrivaled global portfolio of sports channels to bolster the Bundesliga brand in every corner of the globe." [38] [39]

As a result of this partnership, Fox Sports replaced GOL TV as United States rightsholder beginning in the 2015–16 season. Matches are broadcast by Fox, Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2, and Fox Soccer Plus in English, Spanish-language telecasts air on Fox Deportes and Univision Deportes [40] (from 2018/19 season). Matches stream online for subscribers to these channels on participating providers via Fox Sports Go, and are also available through the subscription service Fox Soccer Match Pass. [41] [42] In Canada, broadcast rights were sub-licensed to Sportsnet and Sportsnet World. [43]

In the United Kingdom and in Ireland, the Bundesliga is broadcast live on BT Sport. ITV4 broadcasts delayed highlights the following Monday. This arrangement lasts through the 2017 season. In Spain, the Bundesliga is broadcast live on Movistar+. [44]

In 2015, digital TV operator StarTimes acquired exclusive television rights for Sub-Saharan Africa for 5 years starting from 2015-2016 season. [45]

Champions

In total, 43 clubs have won the German championship, including titles won before the Bundesliga's inception and those in the East German Oberliga. The record champions are Bayern Munich with 27 titles, [46] ahead of BFC Dynamo Berlin with 10 (all in East Germany) and 1. FC Nürnberg with 9.

The following 12 clubs have won the Bundesliga: Bayern Munich (27 titles), Borussia Mönchengladbach and Borussia Dortmund (5), Werder Bremen (4), Hamburger SV and VfB Stuttgart (3), 1. FC Köln and FC Kaiserslautern (2), TSV 1860 Munich, Eintracht Braunschweig, 1. FC Nürnberg and VfL Wolfsburg (1). No club from former East Germany or Berlin has won the Bundesliga.

SeasonChampion [47]
1963–64 1. FC Köln
1964–65 Werder Bremen
1965–66 1860 Munich
1966–67 Eintracht Braunschweig
1967–68 1. FC Nürnberg
1968–69 Bayern Munich
1969–70 Borussia Mönchengladbach
1970–71 Borussia Mönchengladbach
1971–72 Bayern Munich
1972–73 Bayern Munich
1973–74 Bayern Munich
1974–75 Borussia Mönchengladbach
1975–76 Borussia Mönchengladbach
1976–77 Borussia Mönchengladbach
SeasonChampion
1977–78 1. FC Köln
1978–79 Hamburger SV
1979–80 Bayern Munich
1980–81 Bayern Munich
1981–82 Hamburger SV
1982–83 Hamburger SV
1983–84 VfB Stuttgart
1984–85 Bayern Munich
1985–86 Bayern Munich
1986–87 Bayern Munich
1987–88 Werder Bremen
1988–89 Bayern Munich
1989–90 Bayern Munich
1990–91 1. FC Kaiserslautern
SeasonChampion
1991–92 VfB Stuttgart
1992–93 Werder Bremen
1993–94 Bayern Munich
1994–95 Borussia Dortmund
1995–96 Borussia Dortmund
1996–97 Bayern Munich
1997–98 1. FC Kaiserslautern
1998–99 Bayern Munich
1999–2000 Bayern Munich
2000–01 Bayern Munich
2001–02 Borussia Dortmund
2002–03 Bayern Munich
2003–04 Werder Bremen
2004–05 Bayern Munich
SeasonChampion
2005–06 Bayern Munich
2006–07 VfB Stuttgart
2007–08 Bayern Munich
2008–09 VfL Wolfsburg
2009–10 Bayern Munich
2010–11 Borussia Dortmund
2011–12 Borussia Dortmund
2012–13 Bayern Munich
2013–14 Bayern Munich
2014–15 Bayern Munich
2015–16 Bayern Munich
2016–17 Bayern Munich
2017–18 Bayern Munich
2018–19 Bayern Munich

Honours

Oliver Kahn won eight Bundesliga championships Oliver Kahn of Munich, September 2, 2008.jpg
Oliver Kahn won eight Bundesliga championships

In 2004, the honour of "Verdiente Meistervereine" (roughly “distinguished champion clubs”) was introduced, following a custom first practised in Italy [48] to recognize sides that have won multiple championships or other honours by the display of gold stars on their team badges and jerseys. Each country's usage is unique and in Germany the practice is to award one star for three titles, two stars for five titles, three stars for 10 titles, and four stars for 20 titles.

The former East German side Dynamo Berlin laid claim to the three stars of a 10-time champion. They petitioned the league to have their DDR-Oberliga titles recognized, but received no reply. Dynamo eventually took matters into their own hands and emblazoned their jerseys with three stars. This caused some debate given what may be the tainted nature of their championships under the patronage of East Germany's secret police, the Stasi. The issue also affects other former East German and pre-Bundesliga champions. In November 2005, the DFB allowed all former champions to display a single star inscribed with the number of titles, including all German men's titles since 1903, women's titles since 1974 and East German titles. [49]

The DFB format only applies to teams playing below the Bundesliga (below the top two divisions), since the DFL conventions apply in the Bundesliga. BFC Dynamo Berlin have not followed this guideline and continue to wear three stars, rather than a single star inscribed with the number 10. Greuther Fürth unofficially display three (silver) stars for pre-war titles in spite of being in the Bundesliga second division. These stars are a permanent part of their crest. However, Fürth has to leave the stars out on their jersey.

Since June 2010, the following clubs have been officially allowed to wear stars while playing in the Bundesliga. The number in parentheses is for Bundesliga titles won.

In addition, a system of one star designation was adopted for use. This system is intended to take into account not only Bundesliga titles but also other (now defunct) national championships. As of July 2014, the following clubs are allowed to wear one star while playing outside the Bundesliga. The number in parentheses is for total league championships won over the course of German football history, and would be displayed within the star. Some teams listed here had different names while winning their respective championships, these names are also noted in parentheses.

*currently member of 1. Bundesliga
**currently member of 2. Bundesliga
***currently member of 3. Liga

Logo history

For the first time in 1996, the Bundesliga was given its own logo to distinguish itself. Six years later, the logo was revamped into a portrait orientation, which was used until 2010. A new logo was announced for the 2010–11 season in order to modernise the brand logo for all media platforms. [50] To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Bundesliga, a special logo was developed for the 2012–13 season, featuring a "50" and "1963–2013". [51] Following the season, the 2010 logo was restored. In December 2016, it was announced that a new logo would be used for the 2017–18 season, modified slightly for digitisation requirements, featuring a matte look. [52]

Records

Appearances

As of 1 June 2016 [53]
Karl-Heinz Korbel Pressekonferenz Tag der Legenden 2014 (32).jpg
Karl-Heinz Körbel
Top ten players with most appearances
PlayerPeriodClub(s)Games
1 Flag of Germany.svg Karl-Heinz Körbel 1972–1991 Eintracht Frankfurt 602602
2 Flag of Germany.svg Manfred Kaltz 1971–1991 Hamburger SV 581581
3 Flag of Germany.svg Oliver Kahn 1987–2008 Karlsruher SC 128, Bayern Munich 429557
4 Flag of Germany.svg Klaus Fichtel 1965–1988 Schalke 04 477, Werder Bremen 75552
5 Flag of Germany.svg Miroslav Votava 1976–1996 Borussia Dortmund 189, Werder Bremen 357546
6 Flag of Germany.svg Klaus Fischer 1968–1988 1860 Munich 60, Schalke 04 295, 1. FC Köln 96, VfL Bochum 84535
7 Flag of Germany.svg Eike Immel 1978–1995 Borussia Dortmund 247, VfB Stuttgart 287534
8 Flag of Germany.svg Willi Neuberger 1966–1983 Borussia Dortmund 148, Werder Bremen 63, Wuppertaler SV 42, Eintracht Frankfurt 267520
9 Flag of Germany.svg Michael Lameck 1972–1988 VfL Bochum 518518
10 Flag of Germany.svg Uli Stein 1978–1997 Arminia Bielefeld 60, Hamburger SV 228, Eintracht Frankfurt 224512

Top scorers

As of 4 May 2019 [54]
Gerd Muller Muller 1974.jpg
Gerd Müller
Top ten goalscorers
PlayerPeriodClub(s)Goals
1 Flag of Germany.svg Gerd Müller 1965–1979 Bayern Munich 365365 (Ø 0.85)
2 Flag of Germany.svg Klaus Fischer 1968–1988 1860 Munich 28, Schalke 04 182, 1. FC Köln 31, VfL Bochum 27268 (Ø 0.50)
3 Flag of Germany.svg Jupp Heynckes 1965–1978 Borussia Mönchengladbach 195, Hannover 96 25220 (Ø 0.60)
4 Flag of Germany.svg Manfred Burgsmüller 1969–1990 Rot-Weiss Essen 32, Borussia Dortmund 135, 1. FC Nürnberg 12, Werder Bremen 34213 (Ø 0.48)
5 Flag of Poland.svg Robert Lewandowski 2010– Borussia Dortmund 74, Bayern Munich 128202 (Ø 0.70)
6 Flag of Peru.svg Claudio Pizarro 1999– Werder Bremen 108, Bayern Munich 87, 1. FC Köln 1196 (Ø 0.42)
7 Flag of Germany.svg Ulf Kirsten 1990–2003 Bayer Leverkusen 181181 (Ø 0.52)
8 Flag of Germany.svg Stefan Kuntz 1983–1999 VfL Bochum 47, Bayer Uerdingen 32, 1. FC Kaiserslautern 75, Arminia Bielefeld 25179 (Ø 0.40)
9 Flag of Germany.svg Dieter Müller 1973–1986 1. FC Köln 159, VfB Stuttgart 14, 1.FC Saarbrücken 4177 (Ø 0.58)
Flag of Germany.svg Klaus Allofs 1975–1993 Fortuna Düsseldorf 71, 1. FC Köln 88, Werder Bremen 18177 (Ø 0.42)

Boldface indicates a player still active in the Bundesliga.

See also

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