There have been many clubs which have experienced the dizzying heights of success, but for every club that can sustain its success, there are others who can not. Financial mismanagement coupled with high expectations force many clubs into making poor investment decisions., resulting in relegation, administration and bankruptcy.
You may be familiar with some of the following clubs that I will be discussing, either through supporting the club, hearing past stories of their success, or witnessing it first hand.
It is worth noting that the below clubs are back on the rise to their respective first divisions football leagues, but have all experienced the struggle for survival.
TSV 1860 Munich
Known as ‘Die Lowen,’ (The Lions), 1860 Munich were one of the founding members of the German Bundesliga. 1860s main rivals are none other than the most successful club in Germany, Bayern Munich. But it was 1860 Munich who were the first team from the german capital to win the Bundesliga, all those years ago, in 1965/66 season.
With a large supporter base, 1860 Munich has spent majority of its life in either the first or second divisions of German football, but more recently have come under financial hardship due to poor management of the club by their owner HAMG Group.
At the end of the 2016/17 season, 1860 lost their relegation play off game and were subsequently relegated to 3. Liga, Germany’s third tier football league. More drama followed the relegation, as the current owners were not willing to pay the license fee for 3.Liga, meaning the club suffered further relegation to Bavaria’s Regionalliga Bayern Amateur football League, and fourth tier.
It has definitely been a rough ride for the fans of 1860 Munich.
Portsmouth FC, commonly referred to as ‘Pompey’, have experienced a very topsy turvy existence. But more recently, the club have suffered extreme financial hardship which has seen the popular Hampshire based club on the brink of being lost into England’s non-league football system.
Rich with English football history, the modern day Portsmouth found themselves with many high paid players but did not have the sustained success to remain in England’s Premier League. The club was also experiencing a merry go round of ownership during the early 2000’s, finally ending up under the possession of Balram Chainrai, who understood that the only way out of Pompeys mountain of debt, (Get it haha ) was to place the club into administration.
Thus began Portsmouth’s downfall, with the lowest point being a 16th placed finish in England’s League two competition, the fourth tier on the football pyramid.
Parma Calcio 1913
From the Beginning of the 1990’s Parma became a permanent fixture in Italy’s Serie A with consistent finishes within the top 10 and multiple qualifications and success in european football, the historic club of Parma were beginning to cement themselves as one of the strongest clubs in Italy.
In 2004 the club suffered a financial meltdown and was declared insolvent. Parma was placed into special administration for the next three years until it was purchased by Tommaso Ghirardi who brought the club out of administration.
‘I Crociati’, (The Crusaders), suffered relegation to Serie B once during its successful period but otherwise became a mainstay in Serie A. Unfortunately in 2015, the club declared bankruptcy after amounting €218 million in liabilities including a large amount of unpaid salaries. A result of poor ownership and management.
Thankfully, later that year, the club was reformed under Article 52 of N.O.I.F, (the Italian Football Federation regulations for internal organisation). Comma 10 of the article states, “a new company could be admit to Serie D to replace the old football club that not admitted to professional leagues.” And thus began the rebirth of Parma Football Club.
The sudden downfalls of 1860 Munich, Portsmouth FC and Parma Calcio remind us that, even though our beloved football clubs may look like they’re being managed well with consistent results, in an instant they can disappear into footballing obscurity.