Austrian Football Bundesliga
Media Prediction: 9th
SK Admira Vienna was formed in the Vienna district of Jedlesee as a merger between two football clubs named Burschenschaft Einigkeit and Sportklub Vindobona in 1905. In 1919, Admira were promoted to the first tier of the Austrian league system for the first time in their history. The club soon became one of the more successful teams during the inter-war period, capturing seven Austrian national championship and three Austrian Cup titles. Several Admira players were also regulars in the Austrian national football team at this time.
After the Anschluss in 1938, Admira played for several seasons in the Gauliga Ostmark, one of the top-flight regional leagues created through the reorganization of German football under the Third Reich. Their win of the 1938–39 Gauliga Ostmark qualified them for the 1939 German football championship, in which Admira made their way to the final against Schalke 04, which was the dominant German football team of the era. They lost overwhelmingly by a score of 0–9. This effort marked the last major success for Vienna before the end of World War II.
The post-war period led to a slow, but steady decline due to lack of funds to buy more competitive players. It eventually culminated into the first brief relegation from the top tier after forty years in 1960. The club underwent two name changes in that period, playing as ESV Admira Vienna after a merger with the railroad sports club ESV Vienna in 1953 before changing to ESV Admira-NÖ Energie Vienna in 1960 due to a sponsorship agreement with regional energy suppliers NEWAG/NIOGAS. Soon thereafter, Admira (or Admira Energie, as it was called in most media during the time) regained some of its earlier strength, winning the Austrian Cup in 1964 and the Double of league and cup titles in 1966.
The revelation of financial scandals within NEWAG/NIOGAS in the late 1960s led to an abrupt end of the steady flow of funds and brought the club onto the brink of administration, which would narrowly be avoided. Nevertheless, Admira began looking for a merger partner, and particularly targeted Austria Vienna. However, after the creation of Admira-Austria was declined twice, Admira eventually began talks with SC Wacker Vienna, which were successfully concluded in 1971.
In 1997, after a financial crisis, VfB Mödling and Admira Wacker merged. In 2004 Iranian Majid Pishyar purchased the club. His stewardship of the club led to on-field and off-field difficulties. The club was relegated after the 2005–06 season. With further financial trouble, Pishyar sold the club to Richard Trenkwalder in 2008. Trenkwalder made a series of changes to the club, including changing the club’s name to FC Trenkwalder Admira. His changes eventually paid off, with the club gaining promotion back to the Austrian first division following the 2010–11 season. (Majid Pishyar, meanwhile, notably also caused similar financial problems at a Swiss club, Servette, in the 2011–12 season.)
Club Website: http://flyeralarmadmira.at/ueber-die-admira/
Media Prediction: 6th
The club was founded on 26 December 1929 as the football section of the gymnastics and sports club Turnerbund Altach. In 1930, they started to compete in the Vorarlberger B-Klasse as FA Turnerbund Altach, but the club temporarily ceased to exist in 1937 and was not re-organised until the foundation of the Sportvereinigung Altach sports society on 1 March 1946. The sports society ceased to exist in 1949, with its football section becoming independent on 5 March 1949 and renaming itself to Sportclub Rheindorf Altach.
They finished first in the third-division Regionalliga West three times to be promoted to the second-division 1st League, but were twice relegated back to the third division. After their third promotion in the 2003–04 season, the club managed to establish itself in the second division and was eventually promoted to the first-division Bundesliga after finishing first in the second-division 1st League in the 2005–06 season, securing the promotion with a 1–0 win over Austria Lustenau in the penultimate match of the season. Rheindorf Altach stayed in top level until relegation in 2008–09 season. They finished 1st league as 3rd in 2009–10, as 2nd in 2010–11, 2011–12 and 2012–13 seasons. They finally promoted to top level in 2013–14 season.
In the 2014–15 Bundesliga season, Rheindorf Altach finished 3rd in and qualified to UEFA European League. In the 2015-16 season they struggled most of the season, but finished 8th and avoided relegation by five points. In the 2016-17 season they are placed first in the standings after 20 matches.
The club is currently also known as CASHPOINT SCR Altach due to sponsorship of Austrian sports betting company Cashpoint.
Club Website: https://www.scra.at/
Media Prediction: 3rd
Austria Wien has won the most national titles of any Austrian club from the top flight. It has won 24 Austrian Bundesliga titles and is one of only two sides that have never been relegated from the Austrian top flight. With 27 victories in the Austrian Cup and six in the Austrian Supercup, Austria Wien is also the most successful club in each of those tournaments. The club reached the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup final in 1978, and the semi-finals of the European Cup the season after. The club plays at the Franz Horr Stadium, known as the Generali Arena since a 2010 naming rights deal with an Italian insurance company.
FK Austria Wien has its roots in Wiener Cricketer, established on 20 October 1910 in Vienna. The club was renamed Wiener Amateur-SV in December of that year and adopted the name Fußballklub Austria Wienon 28 November 1926.
The team claimed its first championship title in 1924. Wiener Amateur changed its name to Austria Wien in 1926 as the amateurs became professionals. The club won its second league title that year.
The 1930s, one of Austria Wien’s most successful eras, brought two titles (1933 and 1936) in the Mitropa Cup, a tournament for champions in Central Europe. The star of that side was forward Matthias Sindelar, who was voted in 1998 as the greatest Austrian footballer.
The club’s success was interrupted by the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany in 1938, with Austria taunted as “Judenklub“. While Jewish players and staff at the club were killed or fled the country, Sindelar died under unresolved circumstances on 23 January 1939 of carbon monoxide poisoning in his apartment. He had refused to play for the combined Germany–Austria national team, citing injury (bad knees) and retirement from international matches. The club was part of the top-flight regional Gauliga Ostmark in German competition from 1938–45, but never finished higher than fourth. They participated in the Tschammerpokal (the predecessor to the modern-day DFB-Pokal) in 1938 and 1941. Nazi sports authorities directed that the team change its name to Sportclub Ostmark Wien in an attempt to Germanize it on 12 April 1938, but the club re-adopted its historical identity almost immediately on 14 July 1938.
Club Website: http://www.fk-austria.at/en/
Media Prediction: 12th
The club was founded on 29 April 1946. They finished in 7th position in the 2007–2008 season while playing in the Third level Regionalliga. On the last day of the 2008–09 season, TSV Hartberg finished in first position of the Austrian Regionalliga East (third division). They won the eastern title and gained promotion to the 2009–10 Second Division. In the 2010–11 season they finished at 10th and bottom position but survived by winning the relegation play-off, and in the 2014–15 season they were relegated to the third division for finishing at the same bottom position.
Stadion Hartberg is based in the Styria Hartberg district capital. It is a multipurpose sports facility, both for football matches and it is also suitable for athletics events. In addition, the stadium for other events such as music concerts. In 2006, the stadium of TSV Hartberg was expanded to that it could seat both home and away visitors with a capacity of 6,000 increasing from 4,500.
Club Website: http://www.tsv-hartberg-fussball.at/
Media Prediction: 5th
In the winter of 1908, Albert Siems, head of the royal post-office garage at Linz, who had already been a member of an 1899-founded club for heavy athletics, Linzer Athletik Sportklub Siegfried, decided to establish a football club. At that time, the side already played in the black-and-white lengthwise-touched shirts.
The club’s first name was Linzer Sportclub. During an extraordinary general meeting on 14 September 1919, the final change of name, to Linzer Athletik Sport-Klub (short form Linzer ASK) took place, its forerunner setting the example. Nevertheless, the public denomination of the team was largely Lask. The club first appeared in top-flight competition in the Gauliga Ostmark in 1940–41, coming last and being relegated.
LASK achieved its greatest success, in winning the Austrian League in 1965. No club outside Vienna had ever won before. Additionally, the club won the domestic cup that same year.
In 1985-86’s UEFA Cup, the side managed to beat European giants Internazionale Milan at home (1–0), on 23 October 1985, eventually bowing out 4–1 on aggregate (second round).
In 1995, the official name became LASK Linz, as officials wanted to bring out the city’s name as a complement to the LASK designation, which had constituted itself as a brand name. It is one of the few clubs of the country’s higher divisions that, since coming in existence, never exhibited a sponsor in the official club name.
In 1997, due to public pressure, LASK Linz officially merged with city rivals FC Linz (formerly known as SK VOEST Linz) which, however, resulted in the cancellation of the latter. Club name, colours, chairmen and members remained the same.
Club Website: http://www.lask.at/
Media Prediction: 8th
SV Mattersburg; from Mattersburg, Burgenland. For sponsorship reasons, the club is currently also known as SV Bauwelt Koch Mattersburg.
The club was formed in 1922 and currently plays its home games at the 17,100 capacity Pappelstadion. The club has played in the Bundesliga since the 2003–04 season. SV Mattersburg draws large crowds, with the average crowd for the 2004–05 season being the second highest in Austria, even though the town of Mattersburg has only 6,300 inhabitants. In the 2006–07 season, Mattersburg finished third in the Bundesliga, the highest position in their history.
Club Website: http://web.svm-fan.net/
Media Prediction: 2nd
Sportklub Rapid Wien commonly known as Rapid Vienna, is an Austrian football club playing in the country’s capital city of Vienna. Rapid is the most successful Austrian club football club, having won 32 Austrian championship titles, including the first ever title in the season 1911–12, as well as a German championship in 1941 during Nazi rule. Rapid twice reached the final of the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1985 and 1996, losing on both occasions.
The club is often known as Die Grün-Weißen (The Green-whites) for its team colours or as Hütteldorfer, in reference to the location of the Gerhard Hanappi Stadium, which is in Hütteldorf, part of the city’s 14th district, Penzing.
The club was founded in 1897 as Erster Wiener Arbeiter-Fußball-Club (First Viennese Workers’ Football Club). The team’s original colours were red and blue, which are still often used in away matches. On 8 January 1899, the club was renamed, taking on its present name of Sportklub Rapid Wien, following the example of Rapide Berlin. In 1904, the team colours were changed to green and white. The club won Austria’s first ever national championship in 1911–12 by a single point, and retained the title the following season.
Rapid Wien contest the Wien derby with their local Vienna rival Austria Wien. The two clubs are the most supported and successful football teams in the entire country. Both teams originate from Hietzing, the 13th district in the west of the city, but have since moved into different districts. While Austria Wien is seen as a middle-class club, Rapid traditionally hold the support of the capital’s working class. The two clubs first met in a league championship match on 8 September 1911, a 4–1 victory for Rapid. The fixture is the most-played derby in European football after the Old Firm in Glasgow between Rangers and Celtic.
Club Website: https://www.skrapid.at/
Media Prediction: 1st
FC Red Bull Salzburg is an Austrian football club in Wals-Siezenheim. Their home ground is the Red Bull Arena. Due to sponsorship restrictions, the club is known as FC Salzburg and wears a modified crest when playing in UEFA competitions.
The club was known as SV Austria Salzburg, and had several sponsored names, before being bought by Red Bull GmbH in 2005 who renamed the club and changed its colours from its traditional violet and white to red and white. The change resulted in some of the team’s fans forming a new club, SV Austria Salzburg.
Founded in 1933, and refounded in 2005 as Red Bull Salzburg, the club won its first Bundesliga title in 1994, which was the first of three in the span of four seasons which also saw them reach the 1994 UEFA Cup final. The club has won twelve league titles and five Austrian Cups, all five of which came as doubles.
The Red Bull company purchased the club on 6 April 2005 and rebranded it. After the takeover, Red Bull changed the club’s name, management and staff, declaring “this is a new club with no history”. Red Bull initially claimed on the club website that the club was founded in 2005, but was ordered to remove this claim by the Austrian Football Association. The new authority removed all trace of violet from the club logo and the team now play in the colours of red and white, to the consternation of much of the club’s traditional support. A small pair of wings form the motif of the new club crest, displayed on the team jersey, in accordance with Red Bull’s commercial slogan at the time: “gives you wings”. This complete re-branding of the team proved very similar to Red Bull’s treatment of its two Formula One racing teams, Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso. Red Bull, however, would not completely follow this precedent when it acquired the MetroStars club in Major League Soccer (MLS) in the United States; while it rebranded the team as the New York Red Bulls, it chose to recognise the MetroStars’ history.
The traditional supporters tried to resist the radical changes and formed their own movement in order to regain some of the tradition. Several fan-clubs throughout Europe voiced their support in what they saw as a fight against the growing commercialisation of football. However, after five months of protests and talks between the club owners and traditional fans, no compromise was reached. On 15 September 2005, the “violet” supporters stated that the talks had irreversibly broken down and efforts to reach an agreement would be terminated.
This gave rise to two separate fan groups: the “Red-Whites”, who support “Red Bull Salzburg” and the “Violet-Whites”, who want to preserve the 72-year-old tradition and refuse to support the rebranded club. The Violet-Whites ultimately formed a new club, Austria Salzburg after viewing Red Bull’s offer to maintain the original colours only for the goalkeeper’s socks at away games as an insult.
The club’s history going back to 1933 was later restored on the club website.
Club Website: http://www.redbullsalzburg.at/en
Media Prediction: 10th
SKN St. Pölten were formed after the dissolution of their unofficial predecessor FCN St. Pölten (formerly VSE St. Pölten) in June 2000. The new club took over all FCN St. Pölten infrastructure, including the stadium and the Bundesliga junior center. Although the normal rules state that new clubs must start in the lowest possible division, due to the acquisition of the Academy system, SKN St. Pölten were allowed to participate in the 2nd League West, the fifth level of Austrian football.
In their first season in existence (the 2000–01 season), the team won the 2nd League championship, and were therefore promoted to the fourth tier. In the 2001–02 season, SKN St. Pölten won their second successive title and hence were promoted into the Regional League East. In the same year, they also appeared in the final of the Lower Austria Cup, but were beaten by Theresienfeld.
In the 2002–03 season, the team finished twelfth, but improved the following year to finish in fourth. In the 2004–05 season the club attained sixth place in the league and had a run in the ÖFB Cup which included victories over SV Wörgl (3–0), SW Bregenz (2–1) and a sensational 5–1 victory against Austria Salzburg in the third round. In the quarter-finals, St. Pölten, were soundly beaten by Austria Wien 6–0.
St. Pölten finally achieved their third promotion in the 2007–08 season, going 24 games unbeaten during one period of the season. They have since remained in the Austrian Football First League, finishing four times in 5th (2008–09, 2010–11, 2011–12 and 2014–15) and three times in 4th (2009–2010, 2012–13, 2013–14).
During the 2013–14 season the club reached the final of the Austrian Cup for the first time in their history. In the final, St. Pölten played Red Bull Salzburg but failed to repeat their stunning third round victory from 2002–03, losing 4–2. However, they qualified for the 2014–15 UEFA Europa League as Red Bull Salzburg had already qualified for the 2014–15 UEFA Champions League by virtue of winning the Austrian Football Bundesliga. In the second qualifying round they played Botev Plovdiv of Bulgaria, winning 3–2 on aggregate after losing the first leg 2–1. In the third qualifying round they played PSV Eindhoven, losing 2–4 on aggregate, thus ending their first foray into a continental competition.
St. Pölten achieved promotion into the Austrian Bundesliga by winning the First League in 2015–16.
Club Website: https://www.skn-stpoelten.at/
Media Prediction: 4th
SK Sturm Graz was founded in 1909 as a workers team, as opposed to its neighbours Grazer AK, founded in 1902. Between 1921 and 1949, the team enjoyed considerable success in winning the regional Styrian championship 11 times.
The Anschluss in 1938 made Austria part of the German Third Reich and Austrian clubs became part of German football competition. Sturm played in the opening round of the 1940 Tschammerpokal, predecessor to the modern-day DFB-Pokal. They then qualified to play in the Gauliga Ostmark, one of Germany’s top-flight regional leagues, in 1941. The team withdrew part way through the 1941–42 season and was relegated after an 11th-place result in the following campaign.
In 1949, Sturm entered the Austrian national league as the first non-Vienna-based team.
In its history, Sturm Graz has won the Austrian football championship three times, in 1998, 1999 and 2011, and participated several times in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League. Their biggest rivals are Graz neighbours Grazer AK.
Club Website: https://www.sksturm.at/en/
Media Prediction: 11th
The club was formed in June 2002 as FC Wacker Tirol, and plays their home games at Tivoli-Neu. The club regard themselves as the spiritual continuation of the team FC Tirol Innsbruck, which went bankrupt in 2002 as well as the original FC Wacker Innsbruck which had been founded in 1913. In honour of this heritage, FC Wacker Tirol was renamed FC Wacker Innsbruck in 2007. However, legally it is a distinct and separate club, and is not entitled to claim the honours won by its predecessors.
The ascent of Wacker Tirol into the Bundesliga took only two years from formation, with promotion to the top division achieved in 2004. This was possible because the club made an alliance with 3rd league club Wattens and thus avoided starting in the bottom league. After finishing first in Regionalliga West (2002–03), Wacker advanced to Red Zac Erste Liga, and only a season later (2003–04) was promoted to Bundesliga.
FC Wacker Tirol finished 6th out of 10 in their first Bundesliga season (2004/05) and 7th in their second (2005/06). In 2006–07 the Tyroleans avoided relegation only because Grazer AK went into administration and was docked 28 points as a result. One year the club, now named FC Wacker Innsbruck, finished last and was relegated to the Austrian Football First League (second tier).
After finishing runner-up in the 2008–09 season, FC Wacker Innsbruck won promotion back to the Austrian Bundesliga in 2010 in a tight run. About 5000 Tyrolean supporters had travelled to the final away game on 28 May 2010 in Pasching against Red Bull Juniors, which FC Wacker Innsbruck won 2–0.
As in 2004–05, FC Wacker Innsbruck finished their first Bundesliga season (2010/11) again 6th and then 7th in 2011–12 when they had been close to the Europa League spots for much of the season. After a disastrous start into the 2012–13 season (ten losses in eleven matches) it seemed unlikely that the club could avoid relegation. In a dramatic season finale against relegation which involved four teams, FC Wacker Innsbruck on 26 May 2013 managed to turn a 0–2 against Wolfsberger AC into a 3–2 victory within 10 minutes and, thanks to this miracle of Wolfsberg stayed in the league. With one-year delay FC Wacker Innsbruck finishing last in 2013/14, 8 points behind FC Admira Wacker Mödling which even had been docked 5 points due to financial problems.
In 2014/15 Wacker Innsbruck played in the First League but failed to gain promotion. Consequently, FC Wacker Innsbruck start the 2015/16 season on the First League.
Club Website: https://www.fc-wacker-innsbruck.at/
Media Prediction: 7th
Wolfsberger AC was founded by Adolf Ptazcowsky, Karl Weber, Hermann Maierhofer, Franz Hafner and Michael Schlacher in 1931. They are not in any way affiliated with the Bundesliga team VfL Wolfsburg. After spending the first thirty-seven years of its existence on lower tiers of the Austrian league pyramid, the club eventually achieved promotion to the Austrian Regional League, which was on the second tier of the pyramid at that time, in 1968. WAC stayed at this level, with one exception during the 1977–78 season, for the next seventeen years, establishing themselves as a middle table side.
At the end of the 1984–85 season, Wolfsberger AC eventually dropped back to the third level. The club returned for two further second-level appearances during the 1988–89 and 1990–91 seasons, but was immediately relegated each time. In 1994, the club was a founding member of the reactivated Regional League as the third tier of the pyramid. After being in the promotion race for the first few years in the new league, strength of the club gradually declined and eventually led to relegation at the end of the 2001–02 season.
In 2007, WAC and local neighbours SK St. Andrä decided to enter a cooperation. While both clubs remained as separate entities, they closely worked together at almost all aspects: “Central areas of both clubs like administration, management, economy, marketing, gastronomy, as well as the athletic section as the core (both the senior and junior teams) will be centrally administered from the newly created offices of WAC|ST.ANDRÄ at Wolfsberg. Since SK St. Andrä were playing at the Regional League, the corporation began at this level, from which it was promoted to the First League in 2010. At the end of the 2011–12 season, the cooperation secured promotion to the Bundesliga with one round of matches to go. Soon afterwards, the cooperation was dissolved; Wolfsberger AC thus competed as an independent club on the highest level of Austrian football for the first time in their history.
After their first year in the highest class they came in 5th. After the season manager Nenad Bjelica left the club and became manager of FK Austria Wien, the champion of the 2012/13 season. Slobodan Grubor replaced him but after weak performances in the new season he was replaced by Dietmar Kühbauer.
Club Website: https://www.rzpelletswac.at/