FC Wacker Innsbruck – founded in 1913 – is one of the most successful clubs in Austria. The Tyrolean traditional club has won 7 national cups and 10 Austrian championships, the last one in 2002. But that one meant a disaster.
The board wanted to bring the club into the Champions League since 2000 and spent much more than they should have. Wacker won the league in 2000, 2001 and 2002 but failed to qualify for the Champions League.
That missing source of income meant that the club had a huge gap in their budget – Wacker Innsbruck was bankrupt!
The club failed to fulfil the licence standards and got relegated into the third division.
Since then, Wacker Innsbruck is an elevator club.
They started a run after they had to go down! Wacker Innsbruck got relegated 2 times in a row and found themselves back in the Austrian Bundesliga just 3 years after bankruptcy.
Following going down again in 2008, the club was back in first division in 2010. Wacker played an impressive first season but failed to qualify for Europe due to their bad run at the end of the season. After that, relegation fighting seasons followed.
The fans saw their team moving down again in 2014.
But they weren’t able to believe their eyes when they looked at the following season in the second division. The club haven’t only failed to reach their aim of direct re-promotion, they secured to stay in the 2nd division in their last game of the season in a face-off with their direct opponent.
After the reliving celebrations after the game, the fans look now in a promising future.
The clubs’ president Josef Gunsch announced that the club finally got over their negative equity. With that being sad, Gunsch signed a new Director of Football, Alfred Hörtnagl, a man that played for the club in their glory days. The former fans-favourite signed a couple of quality players and announced a plan – Wacker 2020.
The plan includes the relegation into the first division until 2017. After that, the club have to look to maintain their place in Austrian’s top division and get back to european football – until the year 2020.
„Wacker Innsbruck should not be an elevator club in the future – we come to stay!“
Director of Football Alfred Hörtnagl mentioned that the networking between the youth and the senior area should be strengthened. That shall lead to a better permeability of youth players into the first team.
“The mission 'Wacker 2020' is understand as an assignment to the club and to all of us. We want a holistic development in every area – is it the sport, the youth, the ladies, the marketing, the PR work or the infrastructure. To be able to follow a lasting way and our aim, to reach the top of Austrian football, we will permanently enhance all this areas.”
Hörtnagl added: “We carry the fire of the tradition further in an hopeful and glory future”