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December 5, 2017

Germany/2nd division: 2. Bundesliga, location-map for 2017-18 season, with: 16/17 attendance data, seasons-in-1st-division-by-club & major titles listed./+The top two teams in 2. Bundesliga as of 5 December 2017 (Holstein Kiel and Fortuna Düsseldorf).

Filed under: Germany — admin @ 3:10 pm

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Germany/2nd division: 2. Bundesliga, location-map for 2017-18 season, with: 16/17 attendance data, seasons-in-1st-division-by-club & major titles listed



By Bill Turianski on 5 December 2017; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.
Links…
-Teams, etc…2017-18 2. Bundesliga (en.wikipedia.org).
-English-speaking Bundesliga coverage…bundesligafanatic.com.
-Official site of the Bundesliga in English (offizielle webseite der Bundesliga)…bundesliga.com/en/.
-2. Bundesliga site (in German)…bundesliga.com/de/2bundesliga.
-Table, fixtures, results, stats, etc…2. Bundesliga [2016-17] Summary (us.soccerway.com/national/germany/2-bundesliga).

-From The Set Pieces.com, Doing It Their Own Way – the Union Berlin Story (by Daniel Rossback on 2 May 2017 at thesetpieces.com).

-From bundesliga.com/en, here is an informative illustrated article, Fan-friendly Bundesliga the best attended league in Europe.

2. Bundesliga, the second division of German football, was instituted in 1974-75. 2. Bundesliga replaced the five Regionalligas that comprised the German 2nd level, from 1963 to 1974. Like the German 1st division (the Bundesliga), there are 18 teams in 2. Bundesliga. The top two teams win automatic promotion to the Bundesliga each season, while the 3rd place finishers in the second division play in a two-legged Relegation play-off with the 16th-place-finisher in the 1st division. But usually, the 16th place finisher from the Bundesliga wins that play-off, and only 2 teams get promoted (which is what has happened for the last 5 seasons). As for relegation, the same format described above also applies between the 2nd division and the 3rd division (which is called 3. Liga).

2. Bundesliga is one of the two the highest-drawing second divisions in the world. In terms of drawing power, only the English Football League Championship is comparable. There really are no other second tier leagues – anywhere – that even come close. (The next closest are drawing about 10-K-per-game less: Spain’s 2nd tier and France’s 2nd tier both draw in the 7-K-range.) Both the English 2nd division and the German 2nd division draw in the 17-to-21-K range, depending on the precise make-up of the clubs in the two leagues each season. The two alternate as the top-drawing second division, with the amount of big clubs stuck down in the 2nd tier in any given season being the difference. So when Newcastle (as well as Aston Villa) were stuck in the 2nd tier in 2016-17, the Championship drew 20.0 K overall. And meanwhile, last season saw two big-and-high-drawing German clubs also stuck in the 2nd tier (Stuttgart and Hannover), and so in 2016-17, the German second division’s overall average attendance was a staggering 21.7 K. That was higher than the French 1st division! This season, the EFL Championship is on pace to draw in the 20.1 K range; while 2. Bundesliga is on pace to draw in the 17.1 K range. The reason for the ~4.6-K-drop in overall average attendance in the German second tier this season is because there are a whole bunch of smallish clubs now in 2. Bundesliga that don’t draw above 11 K, yet are punching above their weight, such as Holstein Kiel and Jahn Regensburg and Sandhausen and Heidenheim. Plus, last season, 1860 Munich imploded and were relegated [and then were further relegated down to the 4th division for financial reasons], thus putting even more of a dent in the overall average attendance of the German second tier (for now). (Three seasons ago, in 2015-16, when there were fewer large clubs down in both of these 2nd tiers (and fewer minnows), the German 2nd division drew 19.7 K overall, while the English 2nd division drew 17.5 K overall, and one could look at those figures as a sort of crowd-size-baseline for the two leagues.)
{Sources for attendance figures: european-football-statistics.co.uk/attn; en.wikipedia/[17/18 EFL C'ship]; en.wikipedia/[17/18 2.Bund.].}

The promotion race in 2. Bundesliga…Last season in the German second division, both teams that won promotion were large clubs, both of which bounced straight back to the Bundesliga (the aforementioned Stuttgart and Hannover). But so far in 2017-18, among the promotion contenders in 2. Bundesliga, there is an interesting mix of a few would-be-Bundesliga-newcomers (Kiel, Union Berlin, and Jahn Regensburg), several clubs that have had multiple stints in the 1st division (Düsseldorf, Nürnberg, Bielefeld, and Duisburg), and one newish club with a recent-two-season-spell in the top flight (Ingolstadt). And it bears mentioning that one of those that I just listed above is a club that was in the 4th tier two seasons ago…Bavarian side Jahn Regensburg, who have currently won 13 points out of a possible 15, and have now moved up to 7th place, 7 points off the play-off place. And the 6th through 3rd places have been gaining on the automatic promotion spots. So, in other words, this season’s 2. Bundesliga promotion race is shaping up to be a compelling one. Below are short profiles of the top 2 teams as of the second week of December 2017.

    The top two teams in 2. Bundesliga as of 5 December 2017 (Holstein Kiel and Fortuna Düsseldorf)…
    Holstein Kiel.

Seasons in German top flight: 0.
Major Titles: 1 German title (1912).
Average attendance [as of 5 Dec. 2017]: 10.4 K (at 78%-capacity).
Manager of Holstein Kiel, Markus Anfang (age 43, born in Cologne, W Germany). After running Bayer Leverkusen’s youth team and then their U-17 team, Anfang was hired by Holstein Kiel in the summer of 2016. In 2016-17, Anfang’s Kiel had the best defense and the second-best scoring rate in the third tier, and won promotion to the second division.

The biggest surprise of the German second division this season is Holstein Kiel.
Holstein Kiel won a German title a little over a century ago, in 1912, beating Karlsruher 1-0. (This was back when the German title was decided by the regional winners playing in a round-robin format.) Kiel regularly made the national playoffs in the 1920s. In 1930, Kiel almost won their second national title, losing in the final 5-4 to Hertha Berlin. But since the Bundesliga was instituted in 1963-64 and the lower leagues were re-organized, Kiel has been primarily a third-or-fourth-tier side, with only one 3-season-spell in 2. Bundesliga (1978-81), and zero appearances in the top flight. Kiel were in the 3rd division for 36 seasons before winning promotion from 3. Liga in May 2017 (as 2nd-place-finishers behind MSV Duisburg).

Now, in their first season back in the second division since 1980-81, Holstein Kiel have come out of nowhere to lead the German second division, with 47% of the season played (16 of 34 matches played). Kiel leads the second division in scoring, with 2.25 goals per game (36 goals). The team has been propelled to the top of the 2. Bundesliga table with the help of two players: 23-year-old FW Marvin Ducksch, who is on loan from FC St Pauli, and 27-year-old FW Dominick Drexler (see photos and captions further below). Ducksch has scored 10 goals (2nd-best) and has made 2 assists, while Drexler has netted 8 times plus made 4 assists. Both players had been instrumental in Holstein Kiel’s successful promotion campaign in the 3rd division in 2016-17, and now both are doing it again in the second tier. The only problem is, should Kiel win an unexpected second consecutive promotion, Marvin Ducksch will not be part of Kiel’s Bundesliga debut, as FC St Pauli intends on re-calling him back for the 18/19 season.

Holstein Kiel are from Kiel, which is a port-city on the Baltic Sea. Kiel is the largest city within the German portion of the Jutland Peninsula. Kiel has a city-population of around 246,000 and a metro-area population of around 643,000 {2015 figures}, making it about the 29th-largest city in Germany {source}. Kiel is, by road, 60 miles (97 km) north of Hamburg, and Kiel is about 60 miles south of the border with Denmark. Kiel is the largest city of the northern-most state of Germany, Schleswig-Holstein.

The area around Kiel was first settled by Vikings or Normans, and Kiel was founded as a city in 1233. Kiel was a member of the Hanseatic League for over two centuries (1284-1518). Kiel was capital of the duchy of Holstein, which was the northern-most territory of the Holy Roman Empire (up to the late 18th century). Kiel was situated only a few miles south of the Danish border then, and the duchy to the north, Shleswig, was part of Denmark back then. But from 1773 to 1864, Kiel and all of Holstein, though comprised of a German-speaking majority, was owned by (but not administered by) the Danish crown, in a complex arrangement {see this: Schleswig-Holstein Question}. This was only resolved by the two Schleswig wars of the mid-1800s (1848-51: Denmark v Prussia; 1864: Denmark v Prussia/Austria). Kiel and its larger region (duchies of Shleswig and of Holstein, as well as a northern part of Lower Saxony) was won in 1864 by the German Confederation, in the Second Schleswig War, and became part of the Kingdom of Prussia.

Holstein Kiel wear Royal-Blue-and-White with Red trim, and wear a blue circular badge that features the coat of arms of Kiel, which is a stylized nettle [the symbol of Holstein] (the outer red-white-jagged-edge badge-shape), and a curved Viking ship (the black crescent-shape in centre: “the boat refers to the name of the town, kiel being German for keel” {-excerpt from crwflags.com}). You can see the coat of arms of Kiel in the illustration below.

Holstein Kiel, as befitting a club that has just been promoted after more than three decades in the 3rd tier, are not that big of a club, and play in a small-but-well-maintained 13,400-capacity venue, called Holstein-Stadion (see below). Kiel are currently drawing just 15th-best in the second tier, at 10.4 K (78-percent-capacity). Nevertheless, locals have responded to Kiel’s great form this season, and average attendance is up by 4.7 K, meaning that Holstein Kiel have almost doubled their crowd-size this season (Kiel drew 5.7 K in 2016-17).

Holstein Kiel’s last match, on Saturday the 2nd of December, was a battle between 1st and 2nd place, and Kiel ended up drawing with Fortuna Düsseldorf, 2-2, in front of 11.7 K at Holstein Stadion. So Kiel, as of 5 December, have a 3-point lead on 3rd place and a 6-point lead on 4th. Of course there is much more to be contested in the German second tier this season, but Holstein Kiel have an excellent chance to finally win promotion to the top flight, and bring Bundesliga football to the Jutland Peninsula for the first time ever.

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Photo and Image credits above – Holstein Kiel 17/18 jersey, photo by holstein-kiel.de/fanshop jpg. Aerial shot of Kiel, photo by Klaas Ole Kürtz at File:KielerStadtzentrumLuftaufnahme.jpg (commons.wikimedia.org). Holstein-Stadion, photo by Ulf Dahl via kn-online.de. Holstein Kiel fans with banners, photo by groundhopping.se/HolsteinKiel. Marvin Ducksch, photo from fcstpauli.com. Dominick Drexler, photo by Oliver Hardt/Bongarts via zimbio.com.

    Fortuna Düsseldorf.

Seasons in German top flight: 23 (last: a one-season spell in Bundesliga in 2012-13).
Major Titles: 1 German title (1933). 2 DFB-Pokal titles (1980).
Average attendance [as of 5 Dec. 2017]: 26. K (at 48%-capacity).
Manager of Fortuna Düsseldorf, Friedhelm Funkel (age 64, born in Neuss in the Rhine-Ruhr metro-area of North Rhine-Westphalia). Funkel is a well-traveled manager who has had stints leading several top flight and second-tier clubs (KFC Uerdingen, Duisburg, Hansa Rostock, Köln, Eintracht Frankfurt, Hertha Berlin, Bochum, Alemannia Aachen, and 1860 Munich). He has been managing Fortuna Düsseldorf since March of 2016. Düsseldorf finished in 11th place in 2. Bundesliga in his first full season at the helm, in 16/17.

Currently [5 Dec. 2017], Fortuna Düsseldorf are in second place, but the team has not won in 5 matches (3 draws and 2 losses). And meanwhile, Nürnberg, Union Berlin, Arminia Bielefeld, Ingolstadt, Jahn Regensburg, Duisburg, and Braunschweig are all gaining on them. And cause for alarm can seen in Fortuna’s home loss in the last week of November to Dynamo Dresden, by a 1-3 score, with the then-relegation-threatened Dynamo Dresden scoring three times in the first 10 minutes.
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Photo and Image credits above – Fortuna Düsseldorf 17/18 jersey, photo by otto.de jpg. Esprit Arena, aerial shot, photo unattributed at pinterest.com. Esprit Arena, exterior photo by Jörg Wiegels at File:ESPRIT arena in Duesseldorf-Stockum, von Sueden.jpg (en.wikipedia.org). Esprit Arena, close-up exterior photo, by groundhopping.se/[Dusseldorf]. Fortuna Düsseldorf fans, photo unattributed at footballtripper.com.
___
Thanks to all at the links below…
-Blank map of Germany by NordNordWest, File:Germany location map.svg (en.wikipedia.org).
-Attendances from E-F-S site, european-football-statistics.co.uk/attn.htm.
-2016-17 stadium capacities (for league matches) from Fußball-Bundesliga 2016/17 (de.wikipedia.org).
-List of German football champions (en.wikipedia.org).
-Seasons-in-1st-division data from All-time Bundesliga table (en.wikipedia.org).

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