2. Bundesliga North (1974–81)
|Folded||1981 (7 seasons)|
|Replaced by||2. Bundesliga|
|Level on pyramid||Level 2|
|Last champions||SV Werder Bremen
The 2. Bundesliga North was the second-highest level of the German football league system in the north of Germany from its introduction in 1974 until the formation of the single-division 2. Bundesliga in 1981. It covered the northern states of North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony, Bremen, Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein and the city of West Berlin.
The league was established in 1974 to reduce the number of second divisions in Germany from five to two and thereby allow direct promotion to the league winners. Along with the foundation of the 2. Bundesliga Nord, formed from clubs of the three former Regionalligas of Nord, Berlin and West, went the foundation of the 2. Bundesliga Süd, which was created from clubs of the other two Regionalligas, Süd and Südwest.
The league was created from twelve clubs from the West, seven from the North and one from Berlin, reflecting the playing strength of the old Regionalligas.
The winner of the 2. Bundesliga Nord was directly promoted to the Bundesliga, the runners-up played a home-and-away series versus the southern runners-up for the third promotion spot.
The bottom four teams were relegated to the Amateurligas, after 1978 to the new Oberligas. In 1979 only three teams were relegated. The winners of the Amateurligas/Oberligas had to determind the promoted teams by the way of a promotion play-off.
The league operated with 20 teams in its first six seasons, expanding to 22 in its last in 1981.
Until 1978, below the 2. Bundesliga Nord ranked the following Verbandsligas and Oberligas:
- Oberliga Nord
- Oberliga Berlin
- Verbandsliga Mittelrhein
- Verbandsliga Niederrhein
- Verbandsliga Westfalen 1
- Verbandsliga Westfalen 2
In 1978 these leagues were reduced to four:
In 1981, the two 2. Bundesligas merged into one, country-wide division. Nine clubs from the south and eight from the north plus the three relegated teams from the Bundesliga were admitted into the new league, the 2. Bundesliga.
Disbanding of the 2. Bundesliga Nord
The league was dissolved in 1981. Eight clubs of the league went to the new 2. Bundesliga while the champion and runners-up were promoted to the Bundesliga. The twelve remaining clubs were relegated to the Amateurligas.
The teams admitted to the 2. Bundesliga were:
- Hertha BSC
- Hannover 96
- Alemannia Aachen
- VfL Osnabrück
- Union Solingen
- Rot-Weiss Essen
- SC Fortuna Köln
- SG Wattenscheid 09
Relegated to the Oberligas were:
- to Oberliga Nordrhein: Viktoria Köln, 1. FC Bocholt, Rot-Weiss Oberhausen
- to Oberliga Westfalen: SC Preußen Münster, SC Herford, Rot-Weiß Lüdenscheid, SpVgg Erkenschwick
- to Oberliga Nord: VfB Oldenburg, SC Göttingen 05, Holstein Kiel, OSV Hannover
- to Oberliga Berlin: Tennis Borussia Berlin
Winners and runners-up
The winners and runners-up of the league were:
|1974–75||Hannover 96||Bayer Uerdingen|
|1975–76||Tennis Borussia Berlin||Borussia Dortmund|
|1976–77||FC St. Pauli||Arminia Bielefeld|
|1977–78||Arminia Bielefeld||Rot-Weiss Essen|
|1978–79||Bayer 04 Leverkusen||Bayer Uerdingen|
|1979–80||Arminia Bielefeld||Rot-Weiss Essen|
|1980–81||SV Werder Bremen||Eintracht Braunschweig|
- Promoted teams in bold.
Play-offs for Bundesliga promotion
The third promotion spot to the Bundesliga was decided through a play-off round of the runners-up of the two 2nd Bundesligas. Here are the results of this round:
|1975||FK Pirmasens||Bayer Uerdingen||4–4 / 0–6|
|1976||1. FC Nuremberg||Borussia Dortmund||0–1 / 2–3|
|1977||TSV 1860 München||Arminia Bielefeld||4–0 / 0–4 / 2–0|
|1978||1. FC Nuremberg||RW Essen||1–0 / 2–2|
|1979||SpVgg Bayreuth||Bayer Uerdingen||1–1 / 1–2|
|1980||Karlsruher SC||RW Essen||5–1 / 1–3|
|1981||Kickers Offenbach||Eintracht Braunschweig||1–0 / 0–2|
- Bold denotes promotion-winner.
Placings in the 2. Bundesliga Nord 1974–1981
The league placings from 1974 to 1981:
|Blank||Played at a league level below this league|
- The Wetsfalia Herne withdrew from the league in 1979 for financial reasons.
- The FC St. Pauli was refused a licence in 1979 and relegated.
- The DSC Wanne-Eickel withdrew from the league in 1980 for financial reasons.
- "Kicker Almanach" The Football Yearbook on German football from Bundesliga to Oberliga, since 1937, published by the Kicker Sports Magazine
- Das deutsche Fußball-Archiv (German) Historical German domestic league tables
- Deutschlands Fußball in Zahlen, (German) An annual publication with tables and results from the Bundesliga to Verbandsliga/Landesliga, publisher: DSFS
- Kicker Almanach, (German) The yearbook on German football from Bundesliga to Oberliga, since 1937, published by the Kicker Sports Magazine
- Die Deutsche Liga-Chronik 1945–2005 (German) History of German football from 1945 to 2005 in tables, publisher: DSFS, published: 2006
- Das deutsche Fußball-Archiv
- The 2nd Bundesliga Nord at Weltfussball.de (with round-by-round results and tables)