FSV Zwickau

FSV Zwickau

Football club infobox
clubname = FSV Zwickau

fullname = Fußball-Sport-Verein Zwickau e.V.
nickname = Die Schwäne (The Swans)
founded = 1912
ground = Westsachsenstadion
capacity = 4,999
chairman = Ingo Heinicke
manager = Peter Keller
league = NOFV-Oberliga Süd (V)
season = 2007-08
position = NOFV-Oberliga Süd (IV), 14th

FSV Zwickau is a German football club located in Zwickau, Saxony. Today's club claims as part of its complex heritage sides that were East Germany's first champions: 1948 Ostzone winners "SG Planitz" and 1950 DDR-Oberliga champions "ZSG Horch Zwickau".



In addition to the earliest East German championship sides, current day club "FSV Zwickau" can name a long list of other local associations among its predecessors.

Planitzer Sportclub

"Fußball-Club Planitz" was established 27 April 1912 in a village of that name located south of Zwickau. On 28 August that year the team adopted the name "Planitzer Sportclub" and in 1918 was briefly known as "Sportvereinigung Planitz", before again becoming "SC" on 2 February 1919. The club's first notable appearance was in the playoffs of the regional Mitteldeutschland (en:Central German) league in 1931 that saw them advance as far as the semi-finals.

Under the Third Reich German football was reorganized in 1933 into sixteen top-flight divisions known as Gauligen. "Planitz" played in the Gauliga Sachsen where they struggled early on, but improved steadily until in the early 40s they regularly duelled rivals "Dresdner SC" for the division title, taking the prize in 1942. They advanced to the national level quarter finals where they were put out 2:3 by eventual vice-champions "Vienna Wien". Through the late 30s and early 40s, "SC" made several early round appearances in play for the Tschammerpokal, predecessor of today's DFB-Pokal (German Cup).

Ostzone winners in divided Germany

In the aftermath of World War II most German organizations, including sports and football clubs, were dissolved by the occupying Allied authorities. In 1945, the club became part of "Sportgruppe Planitz", an association made up of several area clubs. Football competition quickly resumed throughout the country and "SG" emerged as champions of the Soviet-contolled Ostzone (en:East Zone) through a 1:0 victory over "SG Freiimfelde Halle" on 4 July 1948 in Leipzig. The club was scheduled to represent the eastern region of the country in the national playoffs in a preliminary round match versus "1. FC Nürnberg", but were denied permission to travel to Stuttgart to play the match as a result of early Cold War tensions between the Soviets and the Western Allies. "Nürnberg" went on to claim the national title in a playoff staged under the authority of the DFB (Deutscher Fußball Bund or German Football Association) and made up entirely of Westzonen (en:Western Zones) teams. The following year "Planitz" had a poor season and failed to qualify for the playoffs.

In 1950 the club became part of "BSG Aktivist Steinkohle Zwickau" another postwar side which had been formed 14 June 1949. Sometime in 1951 part of this club broke away to become "BSG Fortschritt Planitz" which would in 1990 re-adopt the name "SV Planitz". The remainder of "Aktivist Steinkohle Zwickau" was re-christened "BSG Aktivist Karl-Marx Zwickau".

BSG Aktivist Karl-Marx Zwickau

This club also claimed the 1948 Ostzone champions as part of its lineage. They slipped to lower level local competition until re-appearing in the third tier 2. DDR-Liga, Staffel 4 in 1958. They captured that division in 1962 were promoted to the DDR-Liga, Staffel Süd (II). After a string of undistinguished campaigns, they became part of "BSG Motor Zwickau" in 1968 which was re-named "BSG Sachsenring Zwickau" on 1 May that year.

East Germany's first champions

Like many other teams in Soviet-occupied East Germany, "Planitz" would undergo a number of name changes associating the club with the "socialist work force" in various sectors of the economy in a commonly used propaganda device. They were re-named "ZSG Horch Zwickau" in 1949 and became part of East Germany's new top-flight circuit, the DDR-Oberliga, for the inaugural 1949-50 season. They emerged as the league's first champions with a disputed victory over "Dresden Friedrichstadt" on the last day of the season.

The unfortunate Dresdners had run afoul of communist authorities which regarded the club as being too bourgeoisie. "Zwickau" played a viciously physical game and, abetted by the referee who refused the homeside substitutions and eventually reduced "Friedrichstadt" to an 8-man squad, "won" the match 5:1. Unhappy "Dresden Friedrichstadt" fans invaded the field several times, and at game's end, badly beat a "Zwickau" player. Mounted police were called in to restore order. Within weeks the "Dresden" side was dismantled and the players scattered to other teams: most eventually fled to the west, many to play for "Hertha BSC Berlin". What occurred in this match foreshadowed what would become commonplace in East German football as highly placed politicians or bureaucrats manipulated clubs and matches for various purposes.

"ZSG" merged with "BSG Aktivist Steinkohle Zwickau" (established 14 June 1949) in 1950 becoming "Betriebbsportgemeinschaft Horch Zwickau". In 1951 the club was re-christened "BSG Aktivist Karl-Marx Zwickau". They remained competitive through the early 50s but were unable to claim another national championship as in the following decades they settled into the role of a mid- or lower-table side. "Zwickau" enjoyed a measure of success in play for the FDGB-Pokal, or East German Cup. After a losing cup final appearance in 1954 they enjoyed victories in 1963, 1967, and 1975.

Internationally, the club had a good European Cup run in 1975, advancing to the semi-finals with wins over Panathinaikos, AC Fiorentina, and Celtic F.C. before going out against eventual cup winner RSC Anderlecht. By the early 80s they had descended to play in the second tier DDR-Liga, making just intermittent re-appearances in the DDR-Oberliga.

In 1968 the club merged with "Aktivist Karl Marx Zwickau" to become "BSG Sachsenring Zwickau". They finally took on their current name in 1990.

German re-unification

After German re-unification in 1990 the club found itself in the NOFV-Oberliga Süd(III) and in 1994 won promotion to the 2.Bundesliga where they would play four seasons. The team then descended through the third division to play in the fourth tier NOFV-Oberliga Süd. Financial problems in 2005 saw "Zwickau" sent down to the Landesliga Sachsen (V), but a successful campaign in 2005-06 earned them promotion yet again to the Oberliga.


*Ostzone champions: 1948
*East German Champions: 1950
*East German Cup winners: 1963, 1967, 1975
*Gauliga Sachsen champions: 1942

Team trivia

* "FSV" was briefly known as "BSG Horch Zwickau" honoring local the autoworks founded by August Horch. The company went on to become Audi – that name being a Latinized version of Horch.
* The club was renamed "BSG Sachsenring Zwickau" in 1968 after the VEB Sachsenring autoworks in the city, where the infamous Trabant was built. The factory was named after the Sachsenring race track.
* The team logo shows three swans taken from the crest of the city of Zwickau. The swans appeared in the city crest based on the belief that the name of the city was derived from the Latin word "Cygnea", or swan. The city has a long tradition of maintaining a swan pond in a municipal park.

Notable players

*Jürgen Croy, one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, spent 17 seasons at Zwickau until retiring in 1981, and then went on to coach the club from 1984 to 1988
*Heinz Satrapa won the DDR-Oberliga scoring title as part of the 1950 championship side before going on to enjoy a long career as a player and coach with various clubs
*Dwayne De Rosario is now a very famous and successful player in Major League Soccer for Houston Dynamo.

Current squad


"FSV Zwickau" plays in the Westsachsenstadion built in 1942 in Zwickau's Schedewitz quarter. Originally constructed to hold more than 25,000 spectators, it has a capacity of 14,200 (~11,000 seats) today. The city is currently (January 2006) looking for a buyer to take over the facility.D

External links

* [http://www.fsv-zwickau.de/ Official team site]
* [http://www.abseits-soccer.com/clubs/zwickau.html The Abseits Guide to German Soccer]

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