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1. FC Magdeburg: A Rising In The East

Once the fleeting jewel in the crown of East German football, political change and the reorganisation of German football left this once triumphant club languishing in the depths of German football. Now they are on their way back!
Started on 23 October 2017 by mgriffin2012
Latest Reply on 13 February 2018 by Plumps
mgriffin2012's avatar Group mgriffin2012
4 yearsEdited


1. FC Magdeburg


Club Information

Year Founded: 1965
Nickname: FCM, Der Club
Division: 3. Liga
Stadium: MDCC Arena
Capacity: 25,910
Training Facilities: Average
Youth Facilities: Average
Corporate Facilities: Average
President: Georg Krimphove
Manager: Christopher Steegmann
Rivals: Hallescher FC, Dynamo Dresden, Chemnitzer FC, Hansa Rostock, RB Leipzig
Derbies: Saschen-Anhalt Derby (Vs. Hallescher FC), Elbclasico Derby (Vs. Dynamo Dresden)



1. FC Magdeburg: The Story So Far Part I
1. FC Magdeburg: The Story So Far Part II



European Cup Winners Cup: 1973/74 (1)
DDR Oberliga: 1971/72, 1973/74, 1974/75 (3)
DDR Liga: 1966/67 (1)
Regionalliga Nordost: 2014/15 (1)
NOFV-Oberliga Sud: 1996/97, 2000/01, 2005/06 (3)
FDGB-Pokal: 1963/64, 1964/65, 1968/69, 1972/73, 1977/78, 1978/79, 1982/83 (7)



Interesting club! Looking forward to this mate if it lives up to your previous stories.
2017-10-23 11:36#246468 ScottT : Interesting club! Looking forward to this mate if it lives up to your previous stories.

Really cool club that before a few months back I'd never heard of! I'm hopeful it will, this has been a long time in the making and a long time coming!
mgriffin2012's avatar Group mgriffin2012
4 yearsEdited

FC Magdeburg: The Story So Far – Part I

Located just 97 miles from Berlin, Magdeburg is the capital city of the Saxony-Anhalt region of Germany, and since 1965 has been home to one of German football’s forgotten clubs. The club in question is FC Magdeburg, who now play their football in the third tier of German football, will forever hold their place in the record books of football as one of the most successful sides to have originally hailed from the former East Germany or the German Democratic Republic (GDR). Through the clubs relatively short history, having only been officially formed in 1965, the team has experienced massive highs and massive lows and here we will take a look at the first part of Magdeburg’s intriguing story.

The 1960’s: Formation and the Road to Success

Between 1957 and 1965, Magdeburg’s biggest football club was SC Aufbau Magdeburg, who would eventually become 1. FC Magdeburg.

1. FC Magdeburg were officially formed in 1965 as a result of a movement by the GDR to establish football only clubs, with football being granted status amongst the elite sports in the Communist State, with the granting of the status of football club establishing Magdeburg amongst the elite clubs in the GDR. Magdeburg replaced SC Aufbau as part of this movement, with Aufbau Magdeburg having only been formed in 1957 and 1. FC Magdeburg became the biggest side in the city of Magdeburg with the club aiming to establish itself as one of the top clubs on the continent. In Aufbau Magdeburg’s final season in that iteration, the club defended its FDGB-Pokal title, becoming the first East German club to achieve this feat.

However, FC Magdeburg’s first ‘official’ season ended in disaster as the club went from competing in European football as SC Aufbau, to being relegated from the DDR-Oberliga. The 1965-66 season did have its positive moments though as Magdeburg reached the Quarter Finals of the European Cup Winners’ Cup, before being eliminated by a West Ham United side containing eventual World Cup winners Bobby Moore and Sir Geoff Hurst. After beating CA Spora Luxembourg and FC Sion to reach the Quarter Finals, and having lost the first leg of the tie 1-0 at Upton Park, Joachim Walter’s 78th minute goal gave the East German’s hope of taking the tie into extra time, but John Sissons immediate reply condemned Magdeburg to a 2-1 defeat on aggregate and elimination from the competition. The relative success in continental competition though wasn’t enough to erase the painful memory of relegation with Gunter Weitkuhn, the then manager, losing his job as a result of the abysmal domestic showing.

In one of Magdeburg’s most famous European nights, the club hosted a star studded West Ham United in the second leg of their Cup Winners Cup Quarter Final.

However, the following season, Magdeburg were repromoted, after appointing Heinz Krugel, returning to the DDR-Oberliga at the first time of asking. The club continued to improve it’s fortunes on the pitch after promotion as they finished second and third in their first two seasons back in the top flight of East German football, with Krugel turning his side into a footballing power in East Germany. In 1969, the club secured their third FDGB-Pokal title by beating FC Karl-Marx-Stadt 4-0 in the showpiece final at the Rudolf-Harbig-Stadion in Dresden, securing their first piece of silverware under Krugel and a return to European football, with the trophy seeing Magdeburg establish themselves as one of the leading clubs in the German Democratic Republic at last. The next decade would usher in the greatest age of Der Club, as the battle for dominance in the GDR’s football scene heating up.

The 1970’s: The Golden Times

The 1970s swung into action with a great rivalry forming between two of the GDR’s biggest clubs as tensions simmered between 1. FC Magdeburg and Dynamo Dresden with the two sides battling it out for trophies throughout the decade. However it was the former that had the greatest impact on the East German national team as the Magdeburg academy, churned out 9 internationals between 1969 and 1974, with four players going on to represent East Germany at the 1974 FIFA World Cup in their Western neighbours. The two nations would clash in the Group Stages of the competition, with one of the four Magdeburg players in the squad, Jurgen Sparwasser scoring the winning goal in front of 60,200 fans at the Volksparkstadion in Hamburg.

Jurgen Sparwasser celebrates scoring the winning goal as East Germany beat West Germany in Hamburg.

Back on a domestic front, it was Dynamo Dresden that drew first blood in the rivalry between the two sides as they lifted the 1970-71 Oberliga title. However, Magdeburg would have their time as they sealed their first Oberliga title in 1972, with the youngest squad in history. The Golden Age had begun, with Magdeburg competing in the European Cup for the first time as Champions of East Germany, but were eventually eliminated by one of the giants of European football as Juventus beat Magdeburg 1-0 in both legs of their second leg tie to progress 2-0 on aggregate. The European heartbreak was forgotten soon though as the club sealed another FDGB-Pokal title by beating Lokomotiv Leipzig 3-2 in the final to ensure their participation in the 1973-74 European Cup Winners Cup.

The 1973-74 season marked the most successful campaign in Magdeburg’s history, as they went on to claim a second Oberliga title, beating Carl-Zeiss Jena to the title by 3 points. The crowning moment on a great season for Magdeburg though was their 2-0 victory over AC Milan in the Cup Winners Cup Final at De Kuip in Rotterdam, a defining moment in the clubs history as they would be the only club representing the German Democratic Republic to ever win a European competition. By winning the Cup Winners Cup, Magdeburg gained a place in the UEFA Super Cup, against the holders of the European Cup, which were none other than Bavarian giants Bayern Munich. The tie though was never played, with the ‘official’ line being that neither side could fit it into their schedules, but with the game due to be played at the height of the Cold War and both the East and West of Germany being highly suspicious of the other, a political reasoning has been suggested for the failure to play the match.

Success in the 1974 Cup Winners Cup against Italian giants AC Milan completed Magdeburg’s most successful season as they won both the Oberliga and their first European trophy.

More success followed in the 1974-75 season as Magdeburg retained their Oberliga title, but their progress in the European Cup was halted by none other than supposed Super Cup opponents Bayern Munich, with the Champions of Europe winning both legs to eliminate their East German rivals from the competition. It wasn’t the last high profile match up for Magdeburg in the coming years however, in 1976, the wheels started to come off the machine as Krugel, the mastermind behind Magdeburg’s rise to prominence and success was relieved from his duties by the Socialist Unity Party of Germany who questioned his political agenda and it appeared the golden age of FC Magdeburg was coming to an end.

Heinz Krugel was Magdeburg’s most successful manager, guiding the club through their golden era, winning 7 trophies during his tenure, including 3 league titles and the European Cup Winners Cup.

Krugel’s successor, Klaus Urbanczyk, did enjoy relative success with the club, keeping Magdeburg in the top four of the Oberliga for the remainder of the decade, and presiding over high profile ties in Europe against Juventus and Schalke, in the UEFA Cup, with a win over the latter making Magdeburg the first ever team to beat Schalke at the Parkstadion in 1977-78 season. They later crashed out of the competition to eventual winners PSV Eindhoven in the Quarter Finals, with the deciding goal being scored with less than 90 seconds left on the clock. Two more FDGB-Pokal titles were also won in 1978 and 1979, but after Krugel’s departure, the ability to win the Oberliga and the attractiveness and youthful exuberance of Magdeburg’s play under Krugel had been lost and Magdeburg’s fortunes would change for the worse, before too long.

The 1980’s: A Steady Decline

After the highs of the 1970s and the Golden Era of Magdeburg, the 1980s marked a sharp downturn in fortunes, with attendances dropping significantly as a result of the clubs failure to compete for the Oberliga title. League performances dropped, although a seventh FDGB-Pokal title in 1983, after beating Karl-Marx Stadt in Berlin, saw a brief return to the glory days for the club. However their rapid decline after the end of Krugel’s end as manager, was further evidenced by a 7-1 thumping by Barcelona in the European Cup Winners’ Cup.

Magdeburg took 25,000 fans to Berlin to witness their side beat Karl-Marx Stadt in the FDGB Pokal title and secure their seventh cup triumph in the club’s last big triumph.

It had become clear that Magdeburg had lost their place amongst the elite in European football and instead of regularly competing for a place in the European Cup, priorities had shifted towards ensuring qualification for the UEFA Cup, which was still the third tier competition in Europe. By the mid 1980’s attendances had shrunk to below an average of 10,000 after several disappointing performances in the UEFA Cup, although Magdeburg were eliminated by established ‘big’ clubs in Borussia Monchengladbach, Athletic Club and a certain Diego Maradona inspired Barcelona who again thumped the side in a 5-1 triumph.

After Magdeburg’s decline in the 1980’s, the fall of the Berlin Wall would usher in a period of political change that would massively shape the future of both Magdeburg and German football.

In the club’s final shot at major silverware in 1989-1990, Magdeburg ran Karl-Marx Stadt all the way for the title, before losing a decisive game against said opposition which handed the title to their title rivals, highlighting how far Magdeburg’s star had fallen. Away from football though, there was massive change in the political world brewing which would massively influence how Magdeburg and the rest of German football’s futures would shape up.

Strangely I didn't know anything about Madgeburg before today! Looks a real challenge though, not just with the stature of Madgeburg but German football as a whole being mainly dominated by Bayern (possibly Leipzig & Dortmund too). Good luck mate, good to see you back writing in FM18!
2017-10-24 19:42#246486 Jack : Strangely I didn't know anything about Madgeburg before today! Looks a real challenge though, not just with the stature of Madgeburg but German football as a whole being mainly dominated by Bayern (possibly Leipzig & Dortmund too). Good luck mate, good to see you back writing in FM18!

To be honest, neither did I until a few months back when I saw an article about the 3. Liga being in the new FIFA and saw them mentioned there and from there my interest spiralled.

It won't be easy at all, and it will be a real challenge especially since there's not a lot of money in many of the East German clubs so will take us a while to rival the big clubs I'd imagine.

Thanks man, is good to be back!
mgriffin2012's avatar Group mgriffin2012
4 yearsEdited

FC Magdeburg: The Story So Far – Part II

Located just 97 miles from Berlin, Magdeburg is the capital city of the Saxony-Anhalt region of Germany, and since 1965 has been home to one of German football’s forgotten clubs. The club in question is FC Magdeburg, who now play their football in the third tier of German football, will forever hold their place in the record books of football as one of the most successful sides to have originally hailed from the former East Germany or the German Democratic Republic (GDR). Through the clubs relatively short history, having only been officially formed in 1965, the team has experienced massive highs and massive lows and here we will look at how a massive political change in Europe shaped the story of the next 20 years of Magdeburg’s history.

The 1990’s: German Reunification

Wolfgang Steinbach (fourth from left, bottom row) was just one of a few key departures that contributed to Magdeburg slipping down the DDR Oberliga table, meaning they would play in the third tier in the DFB’s unified German league system.

When Germany once again reunified after years of being torn in two, the football pyramid was thrown into chaos, with the DFB, the governing body in the former West Germany, was left with the problem of needing to integrate the clubs from East Germany into it’s football structure. The 1990/91 DDR Oberliga was the last in the East German structure, with the league’s clubs being integrated into the Bundesliga and the Regionalliga system depending on their finish in the competition. However the loss of manager Joachim Streich and key players such as Dirk Schuster and Wolfgang Steinbach meant that Magdeburg would finish 10th in the Oberliga and would subsequently play in the third tier of German football, the NOFV-Oberliga, with Magdeburg finishing second in their regional district.

With Magdeburg’s league finishes slowly worsening, the club’s fanbase started to decline too meaning the Ernst-Grube Stadion began to look emptier and emptier.

An 8th and 7th placed finish in the next two seasons followed, but with the DFB ringing the changes once again, the NOFV-Oberliga was reorganised to become the fourth tier of German football with Magdeburg dropping down a level as a result. However in 1996/97, moderate success returned to Magdeburg as the team managed to win the NOFV-Oberliga Sud title, meaning a return to the third tier followed and things began to look up again for Magdeburg as their attentions turned to securing promotion to the 2. Bundesliga. It was a slight ray of hope for a rapidly declining fanbase, which over the last decade had been left to rest their hopes of success on infrequent runs in the DFB-Pokal.

As the 1990’s began to draw to a close, a respectable mid table finish followed in the Nordost Regional Table before Magdeburg challenged for promotion to the 2. Bundesliga, but just missed out as they finished third in the table. However things were starting to look up again for a club that had hit such high’s and had suffered under the collapse of a regime that had maintained their country for so long.

The 2000’s: Signs Of Recovery

The start of the 21st century saw Magdeburg’s fortunes improve as they won promotion and reached the Quarter Finals of the DFB-Pokal beating Bayern Munich on the way.

A start of a new century and the hope of a new dawn of success for Magdeburg, started with the disaster of relegation back to the fourth tier of German football. However, the clubs return to the fourth tier marked a stunning campaign for the club, as they went on to win the regional division in style, before brushing aside former East German rivals BFC Dynamo 5-2 in the Play Offs. The club also went on a remarkable run in the DFB-Pokal reaching the Quarter Finals where they beat the likes of FC. Koln, Karlsruhe and a European giant in Bayern Munich.

Despite promotion back to the third tier, away from the football, gross mismanagement of the club left Magdeburg in dire financial trouble and the men running the club were forced to take loans from two banks to finance a season in the third tier. In 2002 the bubble burst and Magdeburg were left with the situation of needing to raise 5 million Deutsche marks in a matter of days. It meant that Magdeburg entered administration and failed to secure a license and the team were relegated back to the fourth tier of German football, and on the pitch Magdeburg were left with a reliance on youth team and reserve players for the following season.

The middle of the 2000’s saw the city of Magdeburg invest and open the new purpose built football stadium in Magdeburg, with the Stadion Magdeburg capable of holding 25,000 people.

After the financial collapse of the club, the board took the decision to reorganise the club with the city of Magdeburg resolving to build a new stadium, which saw the club move into the smaller Heinrich Germer Stadium temporarily and in 2006 Magdeburg were once again promoted to the third tier of German football. Despite aiming for safety from relegation in the 2006/07 season, Magdeburg surprisingly challenged for promotion, ultimately finishing third, inspired by the improved atmosphere at the newly opened 25,000 purpose built Stadion Magdeburg.

An 11th finished place in the 2007/08 season meant that Magdeburg unfortunately finished the club outside the necessary position to ensure they secured a place in the new third tier of German football which had been rebranded as the 3. Liga and Magdeburg were left in the fourth tier once again, having tied on points with Eintracht Braunschweig but trailing by only 3 goals. Over the next few seasons, Magdeburg’s hopes of promotion continuously slipped and by the end of the first decade of the 21st century, Magdeburg were facing the prospect of relegation to the fifth tier.

The 2010’s: An Upward Trajectory

After a of finishes that saw Magdeburg slip down the table, the 2011/12 season saw Magdeburg finish bottom of their regional division. However the club was spared from slipping into the fifth tier of German football by the DFB’s planned expansion of the Regionalliga, giving Magdeburg the chance to turn their fortunes around once and for all.

Off the pitch, a lucrative stadium sponsorship deal saw Stadion Magdeburg be renamed the MDCC Arena as the clubs finances began to improve.

Off the pitch Magdeburg had started to build from the ground upwards. Stadion Magdeburg was renamed the MDCC Arena as the clubs board announced a stadium sponsorship deal with the Cable company MDCC giving the firm the rights to name the stadium. It was a lucrative deal for a fourth tier club with a steady rebuilding process beginning with the deal as Magdeburg began to look towards progressing up the German football pyramid once more.

Under Jens Hartel, Magdeburg secured their return to the third tier and the 3. Liga and missed out on the Promotion Play Offs in their first two campaigns by 8 points and then 3.

The 2012/13 season which saw RB Leipzig secure their promotion to the third tier also saw Magdeburg turn their fortunes around for the better at last as they finished sixth. Within two seasons, the former European Cup Winners Cup Champions were promoted back into the third tier after beating FSV Zwickau to the Nordost Regionalliga title by only three points under Jens Hartel. In Magdeburg’s first season in the 3. Liga and the third tier since 2008, Magdeburg finished fourth, narrowly missing out on a Play Off spot by 8 points but it was a finish that showed that for Magdeburg things were starting to come good again and the fans could begin dreaming of a rise up the divisions.

Last season, in 2016/17, Magdeburg missed out on the Play Offs in the 3. Liga by only 3 points, and now hope is renewed that Magdeburg can end their search for second tier football for the first time since German reunification and their first season of second tier football since 1996/67.

You've done your homework on this one mate, really impressive stuff!
Loving the history lessons at the moment, very insightful.
This has been a great start, I love the detail you've put into this so far! You got a follower, looking forward to see you progress to Bundesliga :P
Best of luck with this MG!
mgriffin2012's avatar Group mgriffin2012
4 yearsEdited


Christopher Steegmann Signs As New Manager

26 June 2017

- Christopher Steegmann signs one year deal as manager at MDCC Arena
- Former Schalke and FC Kaiserslautern defender excited by prospect
- Manager aiming for push for push for promotion to 2. Bundesliga

1. FC Magdeburg have today confirmed that Christopher Steegmann has been named as the successor to Jens Hartel, who left the managerial position at the MDCC Arena last week. Steegmann joins Magdeburg having never managed at club level before but the 38 year old has studied for his UEFA Continental A License as well as working under former Schalke manager Jens Keller at 2. Bundesliga side 1. FC Union Berlin. There Steegmann, says that he learnt his trade and developed his coaching philosophy and the ideologies that he will now look to implement at Magdeburg as the club looks to make it’s way out of the 3. Liga and reach the 2. Bundesliga for the first time in the club’s history.

Steegmann’s playing career spanned 15 years and saw the new manager turn out for Bundesliga clubs 1. FC Kaiserslautern and boyhood club FC Schalke 04, as well playing under Jurgen Klopp at Mainz briefly.

During a 15 year career, Steegmann achieved moderate success, playing for three Bundesliga sides in FC Kaiserslautern and FSV Mainz before ending his career in Gelsenkirchen at Schalke. Steegmann would go on to reach the UEFA Cup Semi Finals in 2001 with Kaislerslautern before moving on to play under one of Germany’s most charismatic coaches in Jurgen Klopp at Mainz. However the former centre back fell out of favour at what is now the Opel Arena, and was moved on to Schalke. The 7 times Bundesliga Champions though utilised Steegmann more favourably and the defender would become a mainstay of the defensive unit at the VELTINS-Arena during his 9 years at the club, helping them to win the DFB-Pokal in 2011, in what would be Steegmann’s only major honour of his playing career.

At his official unveiling with the cities media out in force, with excitement buzzing around the MDCC-Arena, Steegmann went on to reveal his hopes for his time at Magdeburg and spoke about how his playing career would influence his new role as manager at a club like Magdeburg:

26 June 2017, Christopher Steegmann: This is very exciting for my career as a manager and it is an opportunity to build up this once magical club to the levels that it desires to be at once again. It used to play at the very top and now I want to help them get back to where they want to be. They’re taking a chance on me because I’ve only ever been an assistant before, but I am confident in my ability to take this club forward and help this team achieve things. We’ve missed out on promotion narrowly over the last couple of seasons but now is the time to put an end to the near misses and go on and fight for that promotion to the 2. Bundesliga.

Alongside Steegmann at his official unveiling was club president Peter Fechner, who along with the press was excited by the club’s official announcement and went on to praise Steegmann, and declared his excitement at working with his new manager:

26 June 2017, Peter Fechner: For us to be able to announce this appointment is something very exciting for this club. From his playing days Christopher brings an awful lot of experience with him at the very highest level and he has worked extensively with a very good manager in Jens [Keller] for just over a year. We talked for a long time about what he wants to bring to this club and what he hopes to achieve and I am sure that this is going to mark the start of an exciting new era for this club. What we achieved under Jens [Hartel] was brilliant and the foundations are in place now for Christopher to go and build on that success.


Joshleedsfan: Yeah these posts took a long time to write, glad everyone seems to be digging them, can’t wait to get stuck in!

ScottT: Thanks mate, glad people are enjoying them, was fun to write to be honest

AaronHJFT96: Thanks mate, glad you’re enjoying it, hoping to make this my most detailed story yet! Thanks for the follow, I too am looking forward to competing in the Bundesliga

Griffo: Thanks man, awesome to have you back on board! :D

Previous Update: #2 1. FC Magdeburg: The Story So Far – Part II
Next Update: #4 Felix Lohkemper Becomes Steegmann's First Signing
Looking forward to this one. Good luck
Interesting managerial appointment, hopefully he can help lead Magdeburg to success this season and beyond.
he detail in this is beyond fascinating

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