Posted: 5/31/2017


               TSV MUNICH 1860 were one of the original members of The Bundesliga in 1963,  and chosen over FC Bayern Munchen. They won the title in 1966 and in 1965 had played West Ham United at Wembley Stadium in front of 97,950 fans in the Cup Winners Cup Final, and lost 2-.0. Until Olympiastadion was opened in 1972 for the Olympic Games, they both shared Grunwalder stadion, within walking distance of both clubs training headquarters,  and a few tram stops from the city centre.

               They both had equal shares in the new Allianz Arena, built for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, but it went down hill for the Light Bues, and up, and up for The Reds after that. The 1860 owner was jailed for bribes in the construction, and FC Bayern bought out their city rivals share but still allowed them to play there despite Die Lowen being way behind with the rent. They are known as Die Lowen (the Lions) after their badge or SECHZER (sixties) after their founding. In fact 1860 was mainly a gymnastics club and did not have a football section until March 6. 1899 and played their first ever match 3 years later. The translucent Allianz Arena roof lights up white when The national team plays there, red when FC Bayern are at home, and,  NOT ANY MORE....light blue, when TSV 1860 were at home.

              There was a pitch invasion with 72,000 fans in Allianz and a stoppage for 15 minutes as seats and other missiles rained down on the pitch and unhappy home fans tried to  battle the well armed police and invade and cause havoc. I have supported them for many years and they have had a good youth system until recently at their HQ on Grunwalder Strasse, 4 blocks from their rivals on Sabener Strasse. The manager is Vitor Pereira.  The chairman.. for how much Jordanian Hasan Abdullah Ismaik.  To make matters worse 5 of their youth teams, from u21s down to u 16s also suffered relegation. One journalist, former EPL player Jan Aage Fjortoft called them THE WORST RUN CLUB EVER. Their budget was only smaller than Vfb Stuttgart and Hannover who were both promoted.

               They had finished third from last in Bundesliga 2 so had to play the Bundesliga 3 third place finisher SSVJahn Regensburg who were in an even lower regional league 2 seasons ago. I went to watch a game at their stadium a few seasons ago and received a very friendly welcome. The first leg was tied 1-1 at Continental Arena (capacity 15,000) opened in 2015 to replace Jahnstadion, and surely 1860,  with massive home support , would win the second leg. They lost 2-0 and 3-1 on aggregate. They will now play in B 3 at their old home Grunwalder Stadion with a capacity of 12,000. Many fans welcome the return to their traditional neighbourhood, but there is almost no parking, although the McDonalds nearby serves beer.

              One guy who missed the match was Ian Ayre, recently CEO of Liverpool FC who arrived in February with big plans,  and resigned the morning of the return match. Hopefully his massive salary stopped abruptly. 

               A very, very long way from Munich another promotion is of interest. SKA-Khabarovsk have reached the Russian Premier League which means an 11,000 mile round trip for the team and fans when they play in Moscow. Based about 15 miles from the Chinese border they beat FC Orenburg 5 -3 on a  penalty shoot-out after both matches finished 0-0 in a promotion-relegation play-off at the Lenin Stadium.   Orensburg is 'only' 1750 miles from Moscow in the Urals. Moscow clubs in the Russian Premier league include CSKA, Lokomotiv, and Spartak. Zenit St. Petersburg is much further.

               In 1964 I actually visited Khabarovsk, on the Amur River, after travelling on the Trans-Siberian Railway to Irkutsk in Siberia and then by plane to this Far Eastern city. We passengers, including the Polish Olympic team, were given a sightseeing tour before taking an overnight train to Nahodka on the Pacific and then 3 1/2 days by ship to Yokahama prior to the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

              Moscow is 8 hours by air and St. Petersburg even further.. Go all the way by train for 6-7 days, and on return you might miss the next home match !! .Their official website, in russian,  is ..which is easily translated into english.and is quite informative. I checked on round trip air fares to Moscow from KHV and they  ranged from $660.00 to $860.00. Hopefully the club has a good sponsor.