|Number of teams||18|
|Level on pyramid||Level 5|
|Promotion to||Regionalliga Nord|
|Current champions||TuS Dassendorf
The Oberliga Hamburg, sometimes referred to as Hamburg-Liga, is the highest league in the German state of Hamburg, incorporating some of its surrounding districts. It is one of fourteen Oberligas in German football, the fifth tier of the German football league system.
The league was re-formed in 1945 as Stadtliga Hamburg (English: Hamburg City League) by thirteen clubs, in the newly recreated state of Hamburg which was then part of the British occupation zone in Germany. The very first league in the Hamburg & Altona area had been inaugurated as early as 1895.
From 1947, the Hamburgliga was a feeder league to the Oberliga Nord which its champion had the option of promotion to. Promotion had to be archived through a play-off with teams from the Amateurligen of Niedersachsen, Bremen and Schleswig-Holstein. As such, the league was now the second tier of the northern German league system. The league was renamed Verbandsliga Hamburg (English:Hamburg FA League), and split into two groups of ten teams, the Alsterstaffel and Elbestaffel, named after the two main rivers in Hamburg. The top four clubs of the 1946-47 season left the league for the new Oberliga Nord, those clubs being the Hamburger SV, FC St. Pauli, Concordia Hamburg and Victoria Hamburg. Traditionally, the league also accommodated clubs from neighboring Niedersachsen and Schleswig-Holstein (which it still does today), like Lüneburger SK and VfL Stade.
The two divisions were increased in strength to twelve clubs each in 1949. The year after, the league was reunited in one single division with sixteen clubs. It received the new name of Amateurliga Hamburg. The league operated on a strength of sixteen for most of the coming seasons.
In 1963, with the introduction of the Bundesliga, the disbanding of the Oberliga Nord and the formation of the Regionalliga Nord, the league fell to tier three and was again renamed, now Landesliga Hamburg (English:Hamburg State League), but remained unchanged otherwise, with sixteen clubs as its strength. The champion of Hamburg continued to have to play-off for promotion, now to the Regionalliga, with the same opposition as before.
From 1970, the number of leagues below the Hamburgliga was reduced from three to two, resulting in the Hammonia-Staffel and Hansa-Staffel which still exist today, first at the name of Verbandsliga, then, from 1978, as Landesliga.
After the 1973-74 season, the Regionalliga Nord was disbanded in favor of the 2nd Bundesliga Nord. The new Oberliga Nord was now introduced in northern Germany, as the third tier of the league system, below the 2nd Bundesliga. This meant for the Landesliga a slip to tier four. The top two teams of the league were however promoted to the new Oberliga. The system for promotion from the league remained mostly unchanged with an ongoing play-off system that saw the top two teams from Hamburg qualified for it.
In 1978, the league went through another name change, this time reverting to Verbandsliga Hamburg.
In 1994, the Regionalliga Nord was re-established, now as the third tier of the league system. The Oberliga Nord was in turn replaced by two parallel Oberligen, Niedersachsen/Bremen and Hamburg/Schleswig-Holstein. For the Verbandsliga Hamburg, this meant a further slip, now to tier five, but also, for the first time in its history, direct promotion for the league champion. Along with its champion being promoted to the new Regionalliga, the league also saw the clubs placed two to eight elevated to the Oberliga.
The 1999-2000 season saw another league system change with the reduction of numbers of Regionalligen, this however had only one effect on the Verbandsliga, no promotion was available this year.
In 2004, it was decided to restore the Oberliga Nord in favor of the two separate Oberligen.
At the end of the 2007-08 season, the new 3rd Liga was established and the Oberliga Nord disbanded, again. The four northern German states were then the only region without an Oberliga and the five Verbandsligen sit right below the Regionalliga Nord, parallel to the two NOFV-Oberligas. At the end of this season, the five winners of the northern Verbandsligas played with the sixth placed team from the Oberliga Nord for one last spot in the Regionalliga. In the future seasons, promotion for the Hamburg champion will only be available through a set of play-off matches with the league winners from Bremen and Schleswig-Holstein. These three teams will compete for one promotion spot to the Regionalliga.
The Verbandsliga Hamburg will however maintain its status as a tier five league, but now under the name of Oberliga Hamburg, reflecting the fact that its on the same level as the Oberligas. Breaking with a long tradition, the league now operates with eighteen clubs, not sixteen which it had throughout most of its history.
Position of the Hamburgliga in the league system
Source: "Verbandsliga Hamburg". Das deutsche Fussball-Archiv. Retrieved 2008-02-24.
Founding Members of the Stadtliga Hamburg
The league was formed in 1945 from thirteen clubs from Hamburg, these being:
- Hamburger SV
- FC St. Pauli
- FC Altona 93
- SpVgg Blankenese
- Union 03 Altona
- SC Concordia Hamburg
- Eimsbütteler TV
- SC Victoria Hamburg
- Post SV Hamburg
- Viktoria Wilhelmsburg
- TuS Finkenwärder (contemporary spelling)
- SV West-Eimsbüttel
- FV Wilhelmsburg 09
Source: "Stadtliga Hamburg". Das deutsche Fussball-Archiv. Retrieved 2008-02-24.
The league champions:
Source: "Verbandsliga Hamburg". Das deutsche Fussball–Archiv. Retrieved 2008-02-24.
- bold denotes club gained promotion.
- In 1951, the runner–up Lüneburger SK was also promoted.
- In 1952, the runner–up FC Altona 93 was also promoted.
- In 1963, the runner–up SC Victoria Hamburg was also promoted.
- In 1964, fourth–placed Rasensport Harburg gained promotion instead.
- In 1966, the runner–up SC Sperber Hamburg was also promoted.
- In 1970, the runner–up SC Sperber Hamburg gained promotion instead.
- In 1973, the runner–up SC Concordia Hamburg was also promoted.
- In 1974, the runner–up SC Poppenbüttel was also promoted.
- In 1984, the runner–up FC Altona 93 was also promoted.
- In 1987, the runner–up 1. SC Norderstedt gained promotion instead.
- In 1992, the runner–up VfL 93 Hamburg was also promoted.
- In 1994, clubs placed second to eighth also gained promotion.
- In 1995, the runner–up Meiendorfer SV was also promoted.
- In 1996, the runner–up Rasensport Elmshorn was also promoted.
- In 1997, the runner–up ASV Bergedorf 85 was also promoted.
- In 1999, the runner–up Eimsbütteler TV was also promoted.
- In 2001, the runner–up ASV Bergedorf 85 was also promoted.
- In 2002, the runner–up FC Altona 93 was also promoted.
- In 2003, the Harburger TB declined promotion, SC Victoria Hamburg, TSV Sasel and Wedeler TSV were promoted instead.
- In 2009, the fifth–placed FC St. Pauli II was promoted instead.
- In 2013, the fourth placed Eintracht Norderstedt successfully took part in the promotion round to the Regionalliga as champions FC Elmshorn declined.
- In 2014 and 2015 no club applied for a Regionalliga licence from the league or took part in the promotion round.
- In 2016 only sixth-placed Altona 93 applied for a Regionalliga licence.
The complete list of clubs and placings in the league since elevation to Oberliga status (2008–present):
|Blank||Played at a league level below this league|
- "Licence applications for the Oberliga Nord season 2007-08". Northern German FA. Retrieved 2008-03-04.
- "Regulations for the Oberliga Nord 2007-08" (PDF). Northern German FA. Retrieved 2008-03-04.[dead link]
- Hamburger Fussball Verband - Spielpläne Herren (German) accessed: 12 July 2008
- "Oberliga Hamburg - Spieltag / Tabelle" [Oberliga Hamburg - Match day / Table]. kicker (sports magazine) (in German). 2016-05-05. Retrieved 2016-05-05.
- 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