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50 years in the Bundesliga

Promotion series, part 2: FC Bayern 1964/65

26 June 1965, 17:42, full time at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, FC Bayern beat Tennis Borussia Berlin 8-0 - done and dusted: FC Bayern are finally promoted to the Bundesliga.

Next Friday is the fiftieth anniversary of that promotion. Looking back at that great achievement, fcbayern.de brings you a five-part series on the rise of FC Bayern as they set out on the road to conquering the world of football, in Germany and across the globe.

Promotion series, part 2: FC Bayern 1964/65

Today’s FC Bayern HQ on Säbener Strasse did not exist in the middle of the 1960s. The offices at the time were in the city centre on Landwehrstrasse. There was no club house. The corporation district sports facilities on Säbener Strasse were used for training. A “ramshackle shed” served as a dressing room as defender Peter Kupferschmidt recalled: “We had to bring our own boots and clean them as well.”

In Peter’s day FC Bayern played at the Grünwalder Stadium. The club was in the Regional League South, the second tier of German football when the Bundesliga was introduced in 1963. The Regional League was split into five  sections with the champions and runners-up playing off for two promotion spots to the national Bundesliga.

The FC Bayern Regional League home games attracted an average crowd of 13,000 in the 1964/65 campaign. The three home fixtures in the play-offs brought in nearly three times as many fans (35,666). The Grünwalder Stadium was sold out for one game that season when the visit of Saarbrücken was watched by a capacity crowd of 45,000. 1965 also marked the establishment of the first official FCB fan club: The Steinsberg fan club was set up in Regenstauf in September of that year.

Wilhelm Neudecker had been FC Bayern president since 1962  - a stroke of luck for the club. The building contractor from Straubing not only helped keep the (still cash-strapped) club together but also had a golden touch. Stability finally came to FCB after ten different presidents in 17 years after the war.

Neudecker brought in Robert Schwan in the mid sixties as the first paid general manager in German football. “It’s thanks to Robert Schwan that the team didn’t fall apart after missing out on promotion in 1964. Several players had offers from Bundesliga clubs.” reported the later FCB captain Werner Olk.

Neudecker also succeeded in tempting Zlatko Tschik Cajkovski to move to Munich as head coach in the Regional League just one year after winning the German league title with FC Köln. The former world class Yugoslavia star brought an attractive and attacking style of football to Bayern that certainly caused a stir.

“Tschik was the right man at the right time for us young lads. He let us play football,” explained Olk. Franz Beckenbauer added, “Tschik Cajkovski had a unique way of promoting talent.” And there was no shortage of that in the Bayern squad at the time.

Catch up with part three of the promotion series on Wednesday: the promotion side.