The overall budget in the 2008/09 season was 8, 9 million euros, with some clubs reaching as high as over 13 million euros. FSV Frankfurt on the other hand, had to make do with 5, 4 million euros, and still managed to stay up. FSV reached as high as a fourth place finish in 2014, despite taking part in what some say is the “strongest second division in the world”, without a lot of money to spend.

The club was one of the founding members of the Nordkreis-Liga in 1909, when football started to become more organised in Southern Germany. With the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, this league came to a halt but a championship for the region was still held, which FSV won in 1917.[1]

Well, it wasn’t. FSV Frankfurt could live on after a long fight to save the club, led by Bernd Reisig. The Frankfurt-native was FSV’s right-hand man for many years, and he led the club to salvation as the executive director, a position he remained at until 2010.

Liverpool have paid around £400,000 for Awoniyi's services, according to the Press Association.

FSV Frankfurt of today is the result of a lost battle against a local rival, amateur football, financial difficulties, bad management and a lack of luck. If you put the pieces together, it’s really not that weird that the club can’t attract more than 4,000 people to the stadium on a sunny Saturday when SC Paderborn comes visiting. Not even Fortuna Düsseldorf would be able to do that under FSV Frankfurt’s circumstances.

First, the most significant reason is that the club technically isn’t even from the city of Frankfurt. Rather, the club was founded in 1899 in the Bornheim district of Frankfurt, a small area with around 48,000 inhabitants. You don’t really have much of a reason to support FSV if you’re from downtown Frankfurt since your closest team in that case is one of the biggest clubs in Germany.

Event details: NAME: FSV Frankfurt - Arminia Bielefeld DATE: December 18, 2015 TIME: 17:30 UTC VENUE: Frankfurter Volksbank Stadion, Frankfurt , Germany

This series and piece is about a football club, not a massive, commercialized, empire from Spain or England that can spend an entire developing country’s GDP on a striker. This is about a very small football club that fought long and hard to establish themselves in the second division. A football club that most people don’t care about, but a limited amount of people would die for.

FSV Frankfurt had the worse of luck in the early 60’s when the Bundesliga was formed since the club, with a bit of luck, could have been one of the teams in the first edition of the greatest league in the world, but missed out due to their first ever relegation. In 2008, however, the fortunes turned for the better.

Well, don’t you want to know how it came to be that almost the entire city of Frankfurt at some point decided to support Eintracht, rather than FSV? (Yes, there’s a story here.) Or don’t you want to know how the introduction of the Bundesliga as we know it in 1963 affected FSV Frankfurt?

On March 9, 1957, FSV Frankfurt managed to defeat their local rival at home in front of only 10, 000 spectators by scoring four goals, and conceding “only” three. That is until this day the last time FSV Frankfurt won a competitive fixture against Eintracht Frankfurt.

The Regionalliga as we know it today is the fourth tier of German football, and it’s very hard to win promotion from it since the league winner moves on to a playoff, rather than a promotion.

Second, the club has mostly never been successful. FSV reached the top group of the Northern District League in the 1909/10 season, and won it seven years later. The club clinched another title in 1933 when they won the Süddeutsche Football Championship, two years after moving to their current stadium. They also reached the German championship final in 1925, but lost to 1. FC Nürnberg.

It was not easy for FSV Frankfurt to adapt to life as an amateur club, and it wasn’t enough to attract the locals to their home games. FSV was once again hit with debt in the early 80’s and not more than around 700 people followed the club’s home games from the stands. FSV’s future didn’t look too bright at the time, but the club never gave up the hope of once again reaching the 2. Bundesliga.

So if you’re younger than 90, you have probably not lived to see FSV Frankfurt win anything at all.

The men couldn’t reach the same heights though, and it took FSV Frankfurt eleven years to leave the days as an amateur club behind, at least temporarily. FSV performed well during the 1993/94 season and reached the playoff round to the 2. Bundesliga. FSV locked horn with SSV Ulm, Eintracht Trier and Kickers Emden in the playoff, and the club could eventually celebrate another promotion after ending the playoff in an impressive fashion.

This year hasn’t been easy on FSV Frankfurt and they are involved in the 2. Bundesliga’s relegation battle. The club is one point above relegation with two games left on the calendar.

But … there is no way a club that can’t even fill a 12, 000 capacity stadium can have an interesting story to tell! They are not even interesting enough to attract the locals to their games!

The third tier of German football was reformed into a single league instead of multiple Regionalligas, and FSV Frankfurt was one of many teams thought to be in the first edition of the new third division. FSV took many by surprise during the 2007/08 season, though, and won the Regionalliga Süd and thus qualified to the 2. Bundesliga – again.

Nonetheless, FSV Frankfurt is still struggling to attract big crowds even eight years after their promotion, and the Bornheimer Hang is more often than not taken over by the away supporters. FSV’s average attendance, 6,049 spectators, would have been lower if it wasn’t for the big away followings that frequently makes the trip to Frankfurt.

If you’re looking for another tale about how FC Barcelona won their first La Liga title you’re looking for, or how much money Manchester United had to spend to expand the Old Trafford, then you can stop reading now.

They played in the Regionalliga Süd (III) in 2007–08 after seven seasons in the Amateur Oberliga Hessen (IV). Winning the championship of the Regionalliga Süd (III), the club has been promoted to the 2. Bundesliga for the 2008–09 season, where it has played for eight seasons with moderate success before relegation to the 3. Liga at the end of the 2015–16 season.

First of all, Frankfurt itself has more 700,000 citizens with many millions in the greater metro area. When you put the numbers together, it looks like less than five percent of the town has any sympathies at all towards FSV Frankfurt. So if the Fortuna Düsseldorf is a small, but at the same time pretty big club, then FSV Frankfurt is smaller than the small clubs – in one of Germany’s biggest cities.

The following players who have played for Frankfurt have been capped for Germany at least 50 times:[9]

FSV Frankfurt has established a down to earth kind of culture the last couple of years and being a part of FSV is in many ways just like being a part of a family. The club’s budget is usually much lower than many of the other 2. Bundesliga clubs.

Movie entrepreneur Karl-Heinz Böllinghaus took over the team in 1964 and promised to lead the club to a finish in the first third of the table and, eventually, to the Bundesliga. Böllinghaus wasn’t able to live up to his words, however, and FSV could only secure mediocre positions in the table, and their attendance began to decline. In the end, FSV had to face relegation from the second division as well.

The 2011–12 season saw FSV Frankfurt play local rival Eintracht Frankfurt in a league match for the first time in almost 50 years. The last league game between the two had been played on 27 January 1962, then in the Oberliga Süd. For the first of the two matches, FSV's home game on 21 August 2011, the decision was made to move to Eintracht's stadium as FSV's Volksbankstadion only holds less than 11,000 spectators and in excess of 40,000 spectators are expected for the game.[3]

Another club with a history that is pretty interesting when you read about it is FSV Frankfurt. Believe it or not.

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The women's team won three championships and five cups, even completing a double in 1995, but was retired after the 2005–06 season due to financial weakness.[8] In its time FSV had many German top football players, including national record scorer Birgit Prinz, who left in 1998 for local rival 1. FFC Frankfurt.

Financial debts and only short stints back to the second division followed until 1975, when FSV finally managed to win promotion without being relegated immediately. FSV drew 2-2 in the final game against VfR Bürstadt in 1975, in front of a record crowd of 17, 000 people, and won promotion to the newly formed 2. Bundesliga. FSV Frankfurt remained a second division team until 1983, when a winless streak of five games led the club back to the amateur divisions once again.

But the club’s fan base is in fact is growing, and the club has around 3,000 regular visitors today, according to the club itself. It might not sound like much, but FSV’s average attendance during the 2006/07 season, in what today is the 3. Liga, was below 1,000. So they sure are moving in the right direction.

While Fortuna Düsseldorf can attract over 50,000 people to their home games at the Esprit Arena, a stadium that can hold 54,600 spectators, FSV Frankfurt have a hard time even attracting 10,000 people to the Bornheimer Hang on a sunny Saturday, despite being located in a big town.

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FSV Frankfurt

After the war, the club became part of the Kreisliga Nordmain, which it managed to win in 1922–23, qualifying for the Southern German championship, where it finished last out of five teams.[2]

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It’s hard not to wonder, however, what FSV Frankfurt would have become if they had performed better in the 60’s and gotten a place in the first ever edition of the Bundesliga. The road back to professional football has been long and hard on them ever since that year, and it wasn’t really until 2008 that they once and for all established themselves as a professional club, with a small but true and passionate, fan base.

After winning 2-0 in the Bundesliga, the Bavarians saw off Mirko Slomka's side by a 4-1 scoreline at the Allianz Arena.

Fußballsportverein Frankfurt 1899 e.V., commonly known as simply FSV Frankfurt, is a German association football club based in the Bornheim district of Frankfurt am Main, Hesse and founded in 1899. The club plays in the shadow of larger and much more successful Eintracht Frankfurt. FSV Frankfurt also fielded a highly successful women's team, which was disbanded in 2006.

Once again FSV Frankfurt had to settle with a place in the third tier, but this time they had less time than usual to get a team in place. FSV had practically no senior players at their disposal with two weeks left until the season opener due to the licenses.