Grazer AK

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Grazer AK
GAK Logo 2009.jpg
Full name Grazer Athletik-Klub
Nickname(s)

Die Roten (The reds)
Rotjacken (the red-jackets)
Die roten Teufel (the red devils)

Athletiker (Athletics)
Founded 1902
Ground UPC Arena Graz- Liebenau
Ground Capacity 16,000

Grazer AK, founded 18 August 1902 as Grazer Athletik-Sport Klub (in Austria the abbreviation GAK is more common), was an Austrian sports club, from the city of Graz in the federal state of Styria (Steiermark). The football section is one of the most traditional Austrian clubs, most successful in the decade 1995–2005. The other sections are basketball, diving and tennis, which however all act as separate legal entities. The "GAK" football section was dissolved in 2012, however it has since been revived and now plays in the amateur divisions of Austrian football. The club has a big rivalry with neighbours Sturm Graz.

History[edit]

The Beginning[edit]

The club arose from an informal association of local academics around the medical student Georg August Wagner from Prague, later a professor at the Charles University and the Charité in Berlin. Acquainted with football from his hometown, he organised the first public match in present-day Austria on 18 March 1894 in the Graz municipal park. The Grazer Athletik-Sport-Club – modeled after the Wiener AC – was established eight years later on the 72nd birthday of Emperor Francis Joseph.

European football and the Golden Start to the New Millennium[edit]

Between 1962–1983 GAK has been involved in European competitions. Their first match was against Odense BK in the Cup Winners Cup in 1962. The club has made regular appearances in European cups ever since, with regular UEFA Cup appearances since the 1980's, but the highlight came on the domestic scene in 1981 when they won the Austrian Cup. The Golden years arrived in the first half of the 2000's, when they won the Austrian Cup two more times in 2000 and 2002. Their biggest success was in 2004 where they did "the double" - they managed to win the cup yet again but also the Austrian title. Their last appearance in Europe was a disappointing 5-0 away defeat to RC Strasbourg in 2005 in Round 1 of the UEFA Cup.

Financial Troubles and Bankruptcy[edit]

During the 2006–2007 season, 'Grazer AK' went into administration. The club was docked 28 points as a result. In the 2007–2008 season, the club was not allowed to participate in the professional leagues and was relegated to the Austrian Regional League Central.[1] After a second bankruptcy, the club managed to achieve a settlement and accommodation with its creditors in September 2008, ensuring its survival. Soon after, the club started having difficulties again after it never recovered for its relegation to the Regionalliga Mitte and eventually was dissolved in 2012.

New start[edit]

A phoenix club was set up by the fans soon after the club was dissolved in 2012 called Grazer AC and started from the bottom tier. On the 14th March 2014 Grazer AC at an extraordinary meeting was considered to be a continuation of the original "GAK".[2] Currently they are in the 7th tier of the football pyramid.

Fans and the Graz Derby[edit]

The organised fan movement at GAK started in 1985. Since then several fan groups have been created, the most well-known currently are the Red Firm, Society Graz, Tifosi Rosso Bianco and the Everreds.

GAK have a big rivalry with cross-town rivals Sturm Graz with whom they compete the Graz Derby. In 1974 there was big opposition from both sets of fans against a proposed merger to become FC Graz. Since 1920, excluding the friendly matches (especially before the first official Styrian Cup in 1920), 197 matches have been played between the two, of which there were: 185 encounters in the league (130 at the professional level and 55 at amateur level in the Styrian League); an additional 5 encounters in Austrian Cup; 1 match in Austrian Supercup; 2 meetings in the Tschammerpokal and 4 games in the Styrian Cup. The very first Derby took place in 1911, the last was dated 17 May 2007. So far Sturm Graz have won more derby matches than GAK. Due to the recent financial troubles and subsequent relegations GAK is more likely to revive the derby with Sturm's reserve squad as they begin to climb up the football pyramid.

Achievements[edit]

GAK celebrates its Austrian Championship 2004 on Hauptplatz in Graz.

Managers[edit]

Before 1990[edit]

1918-1945: Johann Kowanda, Johann Ehrlich, Josef Haist 1948-1951: Karl Mütsch 1951-1952: Josef Pojar 1952: Engelbert Smutny 1953-1954: Karl Mütsch 1954-1957: Alfred Pestitschek 1957-1960: János Szép 1960-1962: Ferdinand Fritsch 1962-1963: Juan Schwanner 1963-1964: Fritz Pimperl 1964: Milan Zeković 1964-1965: Karl Durspekt 1965-1967: Karl Kowanz 1967-1969: Fritz Kominek 1969-1970: Vlado Šimunić 1970-1971: Karl Durspekt 1971-1973: Helmut Senekowitsch 1973-1974: Alfred Günthner 1974-1975: Hans Hipp 1975–1977: Hermann Steßl 1977 (Interim.): Hermann Repitsch 1977-1978: Gerd Springer 1978 (Interim.): Walter Koleznik 1978-1981: Václav Halama 1981-1982: Zlatko Čajkovski 1982-1984: August Starek 1984-1985: Helmut Senekowitsch 1985-1986: Gernot Fraydl 1986-1987: Adolf Blutsch 1987-1988: Adi Pinter 1988-1989: Václav Halama 1989: Karl Philipp 1989–1990: Adi Pinter

Since 1990[edit]

Statistics[edit]

List of international games of GAK in UEFA-Cup, Champions League Qualification, Cupwinners' Cup and in Fairs' Cup:

1962/63:

  1. B 1909 Odense (CdCs – 1/8 Finale) 1:1 (H) 3:5 (A)

1964/65:

  1. NK Zagreb (MC R1) 0:6 (H) 2:3 (A)

1968/69:

  1. Ado Den Haag (CdCs R1) 0:2 (H) 1:4 (A)

1973/74:

  1. Panachaiki Patras (UC R1) 0:1 (H) 1:2 (A)

1981/82:

  1. Dinamo Tbilisi (CdCs – 1/16 Finale) 2:2 (H) 0:2 (A)

1982/83:

  1. Corvinul Hunedoara (UC R1) 1:1 (H) 0:3 (A)

1996/97:

  1. Vojvodina Novi Sad (UC Q2) 2:0 (H) 5:1 (A)
  2. Germinal Ekeren (UC R1) 2:0 (H) 1:3 (A)
  3. Inter Milan (UC R2) 1:0 (H) 0:1 (4:5 i.E.)(A)

1998/99:

  1. VPS Vaasa (UC Q2) 3:0 (H) 0:0 (A)
  2. Litex Lovech (UC R1) 2:0 (H) 1:1 (A)
  3. AS Monaco (UC R2) 3:3 (H) 0:4 (A)

1999/2000:

  1. KÍ Klaksvík (UC Q) 4:0 (H) 5:0 (A)
  2. Spartak Trnava (UC R1) 3:0 (H) 1:2 (A)
  3. Panathinaikos (UC R2) 2:1 (H) 0:1 (A)

2000/01:

  1. FC Kosice (UC R1) 0:0 (H) 3:2 (A)
  2. Espanyol Barcelona (UC R2) 1:0 (H) 0:4 (A)

2001/02:

  1. HB Tórshavn (UC Q) 4:0 (H) 2:2 (A)
  2. FC Utrecht (UC R1) 3:3 (H) 0:3 (A)

2002/03:

  1. FC Sheriff Tiraspol (CL Q2) 2:0 (H) 4:1 (A)
  2. Lokomotiv Moscow (CL Q3) 0:2 (H) 3:3 (A)
  3. APOEL Nicosia (UC R1) 1:1 (H) 0:2 (A)

2003/04:

  1. SK Tirana (CL Q2) 2:1 (H) 5:1 (A)
  2. Ajax Amsterdam (CL Q3) 1:1 (H) 1:2 (A)
  3. Vålerenga I.F. Fotball (UC R1) 1:1 (H) 0:0 (A)

2004/05:

  1. Liverpool F.C. (CL Q3) 0:2 (H) 1:0 (A)
  2. Litex Lovech (UC R1) 5:0 (H) 0:1 (A)
  3. AJ Auxerre (UC Gruppe F) 0:0 (A)
  4. Amica Wronki (UC Gruppe F) 3:1 (H)
  5. Rangers F.C. (UC Gruppe F) 0:3 (A)
  6. AZ Alkmaar (UC Gruppe F) 2:0 (H)
  7. Middlesbrough F.C. (UC 16tel-Finale) 2:2 (H) 1:2 (A)

2005/06:

  1. Nistru Otaci (UC Q) 2:0 (A) 1:0 (H)
  2. RC Strasbourg (UC R1) 0:2 (H) 0:5 (A)

Derby Statistics vs. SK Sturm Graz (as of 23.8.2005)[edit]

Total (in 1st Austrian League):

  • 46 Won
  • 42 Drawn
  • 42 Lost

(Goals: 174:168)

References[edit]

External links[edit]