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Grazer AK, founded 18 August 1902 as Grazer Athletiksport Klub (in Austria the abbreviation GAK is more common), is an Austrian sports club, from the city of Graz in the federal state of Styria (Steiermark). The football section used to be one of the most popular Austrian clubs, mostly 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 folded in 2012. It has since been revived and plays in the amateur divisions of Austrian football. The club has a big rivalry with neighbours Sturm Graz.

Grazer AK
GAK 1902 Logo.svg
Full nameGrazer Athletiksport Klub
Nickname(s)Die Roten (The Reds)

Rotjacken (The Red Jackets)
Die Roten Teufel (The Red Devils)

Athletiker (Athletics)
Short nameGAK
Founded18 August 1902; 116 years ago (1902-08-18)
20 December 2012; 5 years ago (2012-12-20) (Re-founding football section)
14 March 2014; 4 years ago (2014-03-14) (Integration into the Stammverein)
GroundSportzentrum Graz-Weinzödl
Capacity2,500
ChairmanHarald Rannegger
CoachDavid Preiß
LeagueRegionalliga Mitte (III)
2017–18Landesliga Steiermark, 1st (promoted)
WebsiteClub website

Contents

HistoryEdit

 
Historical chart of GAK league performance

The BeginningEdit

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 millenniumEdit

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 1980s, 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 2000s, 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 bankruptcyEdit

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 startEdit

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 14 March 2014 Grazer AC at an extraordinary meeting was considered to be a continuation of the original "GAK" in agreement with its umbrella association. Currently they are in the 3rd tier of the football pyramid.

SupportersEdit

The first fan club of the GAK is the 1985 created 1.AHC-GAK. The highest attendance average reached the red jackets in the championship season 2003/2004. This season, an average of 9234 pilgrimage to the home games of the Graz athletes. The average attendance since the forced descent had settled at "only" 3500, but the quality of the organized support had risen. The "curve" was in sector 22, before relegation to the Regionalliga in sector 25. Despite the third-rate fate pilgrimage several hundred fans to the away games of the traditional club. The most famous ultra-fan groups are the Red Firm, the Society Graz, the Tifosi Rosso Bianco and the Everreds. Parts of the Grazer fan scene maintain a fan friendship to the German regional league KFC Uerdingen 05. A big rivalry was the city rivals SK Sturm Graz.

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.

Graz DerbyEdit

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 (including one final that was won by the GAK in 2002); 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.

Past seasonsEdit

These are the seasons that the team has done since it was re-founded at the end of the year 2012.

Season League Level Place Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Austrian Cup
2013–14 1. Klasse Mitte A (VIII) 8 1 22 20 2 0 124 12 112 62 not qualified
2014–15 Gebietsliga Mitte (VII) 7 1 26 23 1 2 107 29 78 70 not qualified
2015–16 Unterliga Mitte (VI) 6 1 26 22 3 1 88 19 69 69 not qualified
2016–17 Oberliga Mitte/West (V) 5 1 26 14 9 3 65 29 36 51 not qualified
2017–18 Landesliga Steiermark (IV) 4 1 30 21 5 4 61 24 37 68 not qualified
2018–19 Regionalliga Mitte (III) 3 1 30
Green marks a season followed by promotion

European competitionEdit

ResultsEdit

Season Competition Round Opponent Aggregate 1st leg 2nd leg
1962-63 UEFA Cup Winners Cup Round 2   B 1909 Odense 4:6 1:1 (H) 3:5 (A)
1964-65 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup Round 1   NK Zagreb 2:9 2:3 (A) 0:6 (H)
1968-69 UEFA Cup Winners Cup Round 1   ADO Den Haag 1:6 1:4 (A) 0:2 (H)
1973-74 UEFA Cup Round 1   Panachaiki Patras 1:3 0:1 (H) 1:2 (A)
1981-82 UEFA Cup Winners Cup Round 1   Dinamo Tbilisi 2:4 0:2 (A) 2:2 (H)
1982-83 UEFA Cup Round 1   Corvinul Hunedoara 1:4 1:1 (H) 0:3 (A)
1996-97 UEFA Cup Qualification   FK Vojvodina Novi Sad 7:1 2:0 (H) 5:1 (A)
Round 1   Germinal Ekeren (a) 3:3 1:3 (A) 2:0 (H)
Round 2   Inter Milan 1:1
(3:5 p)
0:1 (A) 1:0 a.e.t.
(3:5 p) (H)
1997 UEFA Intertoto Cup Group Stage   Silkeborg IF 5:4 2:0 (H)
  Ebbw Vale AFC 0:0 (A)
  NK Hrvatski Dragovoljac 1:3 (H)
  SC Bastia 2:1 (A)
1998-99 UEFA Cup Qualifying Round 2   Vaasan PS 3:0 0:0 (A) 3:0 (H)
Round 1   Litex Lovech 3:1 1:1 (A) 2:0 (H)
Round 2   AS Monaco 3:7 3:3 (H) 0:4 (A)
1999-00 UEFA Cup Qualifying Round 2   KÍ Klaksvík 9:0 5:0 (A) 4:0 (H)
Round 1   FC Spartak Trnava 4:2 3:0 (H) 1:2 (A)
Round 2   Panathinaikos Athens (a) 2:2 2:1 (H) 0:1 (A)
2000-01 UEFA Cup Round 1   1. FC Košice 3:2 3:2 (A) 0:0 (H)
Round 2   Espanyol Barcelona 1:4 0:4 (A) 1:0 (H)
2001-02 UEFA Cup Qualifikation   HB Tórshavn 6:2 2:2 (A) 4:0 (H)
Round 2   FC Utrecht 3:6 0:3 (A) 3:3 (H)
2002-03 UEFA Champions League Qualifying Round 2   Sheriff Tiraspol 6:1 4:1 (A) 2:0 (H)
Qualifying Round 3   Lokomotiv Moscow 3:5 0:2 (H) 3:3 (A)
2002-03 UEFA Cup Round 1   APOEL Nicosia 1:3 0:2 (A) 1:1 (H)
2003-04 UEFA Champions League Qualifying Round 2   SK Tirana 7:2 5:1 (A) 2:1 (H)
Qualifying Round 3   Ajax Amsterdam 2:3 1:1 (H) 1:2 (s.g.) (A)
2003-04 UEFA Cup Round 1   Vålerenga IF 1:1 (a) 0:0 (A) 1:1 (H)
2004-05 UEFA Champions League Qualifying Round 3   Liverpool F.C. 1:2 0:2 (H) 1:0 (A)
2004-05 UEFA Cup Round 1   Litex Lovech 5:1 5:0 (H) 0:1 (A)
Group Stage   AJ Auxerre 5:4 0:0 (A)
  Amica Wronki 3:1 (H)
  Rangers 0:3 (A)
  AZ Alkmaar 2:0 (H)
1/16 finals   Middlesbrough F.C. 3:4 2:2 (H) 1:2 (A)
2005-06 UEFA Cup Qualifying Round 2   Nistru Otaci 3:0 2:0 (A) 1:0 (H)
Round 1   Racing Strasbourg 0:7 0:2 (H) 0:5 (A)

Derby statistics vs. SK Sturm GrazEdit

(as of 23.8.2005) Total (in 1st Austrian League):

  • 46 Won
  • 42 Drawn
  • 42 Lost

(Goals: 174:168)

Managerial historyEdit

HonoursEdit

 
GAK celebrates its Austrian Championship 2004 on Hauptplatz in Graz.

Austrian Bundesliga (I)

  • Winners (1): 2003–04
  • Runners-up (2): 2002–03, 2004–05

Austrian Cup

  • Winners (4): 1980–81, 1999–2000, 2001–02, 2003–04
  • Runners-up (2): 1961–62, 1967–68

Austrian Supercup

  • Winners (2): 2000, 2002
  • Runners-up (1): 2004

Austrian First League (II)

  • Winners (3): 1974–75, 1992–93, 1994–95

Austrian Regionalliga Mitte (III)

Landesliga Steiermark (IV)

  • Winners (1): 2017–18

Oberliga Mitte/West (V)

  • Winners (1): 2016–17

Unterliga Mitte (VI)

  • Winners (1): 2015–16

Gebietsliga Mitte (VII)

  • Winners (1): 2014–15

1. Klasse Mitte A (VIII)

  • Winners (1): 2013–14

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Austria's GAK agree to leave top flight". FIFA. 11 April 2005. Archived from the original on 18 September 2007. Retrieved 15 May 2006.
  2. ^ Rijavec, Matej (25 June 2010). "Mura išče novega trenerja: Šimundža skočil čez mejo" (in Slovenian). RTV Slovenija. Retrieved 25 June 2012.

External linksEdit