THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

Uli Hesse on the fraught play-offs to reach the Second Bundesliga in 1991

icon japanball4 June ~ Twenty-five years ago Hansa Rostock won the last-ever East German cup final, but that wasn’t the end of football in the GDR. After the German reunification, East German teams were distributed into the West German league pyramid. When the Bundesliga was formed in 1963 the clubs were admitted base on a ranking calculated over the previous 12 years, yet for the teams in the GDR’s Oberliga, it came down to how they performed over just one season.

Hansa Rostock and Dynamo Dresden took the two spots in the Bundesliga, but for two of the six places in the Second Bundesliga the mid-table Oberliga teams were involved in a play-off and, as Uli Hesse writes for DW, "those few games made the difference between remaining a professional club and sinking into the abyss that was amateur football". You can read about how the final days of East German football played out here.

Related articles

Braunschweig look to upset odds and local rivals Wolfsburg in play-off
Embed from Getty Images The tie pitches two former Bundesliga champions against each other for a place in the top flight, with public support...
Kaiserslautern accept life as a second-tier club as financial woes grow
Embed from Getty Images The Fritz-Walter-Stadion, feared by visiting teams for its atmosphere, has been a financial millstone for the club and...
Bayern: Creating a global superclub
by Uli Hesse Yellow Jersey Press, £14.99Reviewed by John Van LaerFrom WSC 358, December 2016Buy this book Even early in this new...