The incredible decline of 1860 Munich

1860 Munich face demotion to Germany’s fourth or fifth tier amateur divisions next season after failing to meet a deadline to pay for a third division license in the last few days. 

The former first division side, who lost a relegation playoff game against Jahn Regensburg last week, sealed their relegation to Germany’s third tier for next season.

1860, who currently ground share with arch rivals Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena, were due to make a payment of reportedly between £5m – £10m to the German FA for the licence by Friday afternoon, but their financial backer Hasan Ismaik said through his company HAM that he was not prepared to pay it, citing a refusal to “make necessary changes to solve the many issues facing the club. Ismaik, who is a Jordanian billionaire and owns 60% of the club, was the club’s only hope of meeting the payment deadline.

Despite refusing to purchase the license for the third division, securing their demotion to an even lower league, Ismaik said he will continue to support the club and “push forward necessary changes”. The statement also added “his emotional ties to 1860 and his loyalty to the fans remain strong”

1860’s play-off loss at home was marred by violence from angry fans. Around 1,000 riot police lined up to prevent the situation escalating as the game was held up for 15 minutes.

1860 had the third most expensive squad in the second division after Stuttgart and Hannover, who both secured their return to the Bundesliga. The Munich club finished third from bottom, leading to the play-off against the third division’s third-place finisher. Players such as Ivica Olic, the ex-Bayern Munich, Wolfsburg and Hamburg striker who was seen by many to be a coup for the club at the beginning of the summer struggled all year and only managed 5 goals in what was a torrid season from start to finish for the club.

However, instead of planning for a promotion push to get the club back to Germany’s top tier, the club and fans will be planning for a season in uncharted territory next season and will need to essentially start again with a new set of players and coaching staff. The upheaval has also started at boardroom level, with ex-Liverpool executive Ian Ayre leaving the club just hours after 1860 lost their relegation playoff to seal their fate.

1860, who won the Bundesliga in 1966 and played in the top flight as recently as 2004, returned to the third level for the first time in 24 years, but Friday’s missed deadline means they will drop even further. 1860’s under-21, under-19, under-17 and under-16 teams were also relegated this season.


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