THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

Notable kits of yesteryear

Innsbruck25 April ~ FC Tirol Innsbruck's turbulent nine-year existence is symptomatic of the impact of commercialism on Austrian football. Founded in 1915, five-times Austrian champions FC Wacker Innsbruck had a professional and amateur football section. In 1993, the federal state of Tyrol, who wanted their name to be more prominent, pressurised Wacker's professional team to declare independence and become a separate entity. With the arrival of a local dairy company as sponsors in 1995, the new team was renamed FC Tirol Milch Innsbruck and their shirts henceforth either advertised Tirol Milch yoghurt or their fruit juice Lattella.

Inspired by trainer Kurt Jara, the club won back-to-back Austrian championships in 2000 and 2001. When Jara left to join Hamburg, current German national coach Joachim Löw took over and guided the team to their third Austrian title in a row in 2002. Yet severe financial mismanagement meant that FC Tirol had accrued crippling debts, with players not being paid for six months. The reigning champions were refused a licence for the 2002-03 season and went into insolvency with debts of €50 million (£43m).

A relaunched FC Wacker Innsbruck are now back in the Austrian Bundesliga and have resolved not to allow sponsors to change the club's name again. Paul Joyce

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