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Bayer Leverkusen History, the Eternal Bridesmaids!

Sat 19 March 2022 | 17:30

History keeps long-lost secrets which can add a new dimension to stories we hear! Today, we will get into Bayer Leverkusen History in a nutshell and find as many secrets as we can.

Welcome to Sportmob's article about Bayer Leverkusen History! Bayer 04 Leverkusen which is often refered as Bayer Leverkusen, or simply Leverkusen, is a German football club headquartered in Leverkusen, North Rhine-Westphalia. The team competes in the Bundesliga, Germany's highest division, and plays its home games in the BayArena.

Employees of the German pharmaceutical business Bayer AG, whose headquarters are in Leverkusen and from which the team derives its name, created the club in 1904. It was previously the most well-known department of TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen, a sports club whose members also compete in athletics, gymnastics, basketball, and other sports such as the RTHC Bayer Leverkusen; rowing, tennis, and hockey.

The football department was separated from the sports club in 1999 and is now formally known as Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fußball GmbH. Bayer was promoted to the Bundesliga for the first time in 1979 and has been there ever since. The club's primary colors are red and black, which have both been utilized as the primary shirt colors, as well as red and black stripes as home colors.

Bayer Leverkusen has finished runner-up in the Bundesliga five times without winning the competition, a German football record. The club has one DFB-Pokal and one UEFA Cup to its name. Bayer also finished runner-up in the 2001–02 UEFA Champions League, losing the final 2–1 to

Real Madrid

. 1. FC Köln is their local rival. Of course, this is not all you can learn about

Bayer Leverkusen History

. So...

Let's start Sportmob's Bayer Leverkusen History in a nutshell 

Before we start to read the real story in our Bayer Leverkusen History, we will dive into some quick facts that can help us understand the article and find the unknown secrets that are lost in history.

  • Full name:

    Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fußball GmbH

  • Nickname:

    Die Werkself

  • Founded:

    1 July 1904

  • Ground:

    BayArena

  • Capacity of home stadium:

    30,210

  • Owner:

    Bayer AG

  • Administration:

    Fernando Carro

  • Head coach:

    Gerardo Seoane

  • League:

    Bundesliga

Bayer Leverkusen origin

Now that we know the basic info about

Bayer Leverkusen History

, It's time to dive into the story! On November 27, 1903, Wilhelm Hauschild addressed a letter to his employer, Friedrich Bayer, and Co., signed by 170 of his coworkers, requesting the company's assistance in establishing a sports club. Turn- und Spielverein Bayer 04 Leverkusen was created on July 1, 1904, after the corporation agreed to back the idea.

On May 31, 1907, the club established a distinct football department. There was great enmity between gymnasts and other types of athletes in German sports culture at the time. This eventually led to a split within the club: on June 8, 1928, the footballers founded a separate association – Sportvereinigung Bayer 04 Leverkusen – which also featured handball and fistball players, athletics, and boxing, while the gymnasts remained as TuS Bayer 04 Leverkusen. The gymnasts adopted the club's traditional colors of red and black, while SV Bayer 04 Leverkusen adopted blue and yellow.

SV Bayer 04 Leverkusen played third and fourth division football during this time and into the 1930s. In 1936, they were promoted to the second-highest level of play at the time. That was also the first year the club sported the well-known "Bayer" cross. They made their maiden appearance in the Oberliga West in 1951 and remained there until 1956 when they were relegated.

SV Bayer 04 Leverkusen would not return to the top flight until 1962, only one season before Germany's new professional league, the Bundesliga, was formed. The team was placed in the Regionalliga West, tier II, the following year, and their performances over the next few seasons saw them fall further down the league standings.

Bayer Leverkusen golden time

In 1968, SV Bayer 04 Leverkusen made a breakthrough by winning the division title, but they were unable to proceed through the playoff round to the first division. The club was demoted again in 1973 but returned to what was now known as the 2. Bundesliga after only one season in the third tier. Four years later, the team easily gained a place in the Bundesliga, where it began playing in the 1979–80 season.

By the mid-1980s, SV Bayer 04 Leverkusen had worked its way into the top half of the league standings, where it remained until the end of the decade. TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen e.V. was formed in 1984 when the two sides of the club that had split up over a half-century earlier were re-united as TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen e.V. The new club's colors were red and white.

In addition to becoming a well-established Bundesliga team, the club received its first honors with a thrilling UEFA Cup victory in 1988. After falling behind 0–3 to

Espanyol

in the first leg of the final, Bayer Leverkusen drew even in the second leg and then won on penalties, 3–2.

The next year, long-serving Bayer Leverkusen executive Reiner Calmund was appointed general manager of the club. This is widely regarded as one of the most significant transfers in the club's history, as Calmund ushered in a decade and a half of the club's best triumphs with astute, long-term player purchases

Bayer Leverkusen after Germany's rebirth

Reiner Calmund was fast to sign East German stars

Ulf Kirsten

, Andreas Thom, and Jens Melzig upon Germany's reunification in 1990. The three players would quickly become fan favorites and important contributors to the club.

Calmund also made groundbreaking contacts in Brazilian football, becoming friends with Juan Figer, one of the country's most important player agents. Over the next few years, rising players such as Jorginho and Paulo Sérgio, as well as Czech sensation Pavel Harpal, joined the team. The club also signed dynamic players such as

Bernd Schuster

and Rudi Völler, who contributed to the team's growing popularity and success.

On June 12, 1993, the club won the DFB-Pokal with a 1–0 victory over a surprising Hertha BSC amateur squad. In the following season, Bayer played

Eintracht Frankfurt

early in the season in a game also known for its 45 m "German Goal of the Year" by Schuster (a goal which was later also named "Goal of the Decade").

 Bayer played in its new third colors, which were old-fashioned red and black stripes, similar jerseys to those Frankfurt generally wore at the time, as both a "tip of the hat" to its own history as well as an attempt to possibly upset the Frankfurt team This was so popular with the fans that the team quickly reverted to its "vintage" colors of red and black, which have been used on all home shirts ever since.

Following a near-disaster in 1996, when the club faced relegation, Bayer Leverkusen established itself as a powerful side, offering a technically pleasing offensive style of play under new coach Christoph Daum, who was also aided by the signings of players such as Lcio, Emerson, Zé Roberto, and

Michael Ballack

.

Daum was later famously sacked for a cocaine scandal, which also cost him his position as Germany's national team coach. However dark days were approaching in

Bayer Leverkusen History

...

The dark days of Bayer Leverkusen

From 1997 through 2002, the team had four second-place results. Fans were heartbroken at the end of the seasons in 2000 and 2002, as the team was on the verge of winning the Bundesliga on both occasions.

In 2000, Bayer Leverkusen needed only a draw against SpVgg Unterhaching to win the championship, but an own goal by Michael Ballack helped send the team to a humiliating 2–0 defeat, while Bayern Munich won the championship with a 3–1 victory over Werder Bremen.

Two years later, the team relinquished a five-point lead at the top of the league standings by losing two of its last three matches, while Borussia Dortmund raced ahead with three consecutive victories in its final three games.

The 2002 season was termed the "Treble Horror," after Bayer Leverkusen also lost the DFB-Pokal final 4–2 to Schalke 04 and the UEFA Champions League final 2–1 to Real Madrid, prompting some English-language media to label them "Neverkusen." Leverkusen became the first team to reach the Champions League final without ever winning a national championship.

In the following two seasons, the team saw remarkable reversals of fortune. The team lost crucial midfielders Michael Ballack and Zé Roberto to archrivals Bayern Munich during the 2002 offseason.

The squad then flirted with relegation for most of the 2002–03 season, prompting the dismissal of Klaus Toppmöller, who had led the team during its most successful season, and his replacement by the inexperienced Thomas Hörster. Klaus Augenthaler, the charismatic coach, took over in the final two games of the season and helped avoid disaster with a win over his former team, 1. FC Nürnberg. He subsequently led Bayer Leverkusen to third place and a position in the Champions League the following year.

The following season's Champions League run saw the club exact some vengeance on Real Madrid, opening its group stage campaign with a 3–0 thrashing of the Spanish giants, assisting Leverkusen to win the group.

However, Leverkusen was knocked out in the first round by eventual champions Liverpool. The club finished sixth in the 2004–05 season, qualifying for the UEFA Cup the following season.

Bayer Leverkusen steps into future

Now let's read the story of the team's success in our Bayer Leverkusen History! Augenthaler was fired as manager in early 2005 after the club had its worst Bundesliga start in almost 20 years, with only one win in its first four league matches and a 0–1 home loss to CSKA Sofia in the first leg of its UEFA Cup match-up.

Rudi Völler

, the former Germany national team manager who had been named sporting director earlier to the season, served as interim manager for five games. In October 2005, Michael Skibbe, Völler's assistant coach with the national team, was appointed as his successor.

Skibbe turned around Leverkusen's season, guiding the team to a sixth-place position in 2006, earning another UEFA Cup spot, and then repeating that achievement with a fifth-place finish in the Bundesliga in 2007.

Despite a solid start to the season, Leverkusen's 2007–08 season was not a success; five of the last 10 league matches were lost to clubs in the bottom half of the standings. Michael Skibbe was strongly chastised near the end of the season for constantly changing his starting lineup.

Bayer Leverkusen also lost a number of fans towards the conclusion of the season: in the 1–2 home loss to Hertha BSC, Leverkusen fans produced quite a ruckus, with fans calling for Skibbe's sacking, while some Ultras, having had enough, lit fire to their jerseys and tossed them into the field.

Michael Skibbe has fired soon after, departing the club on May 21, 2008, with club management indicating that his departure was due to the team's inability to qualify for the UEFA Cup group stage the following season.

Bayer Leverkusen made a strong start to the 2008–09 season under new manager Bruno Labbadia, whom the club had acquired from 2. Bundesliga club SpVgg Greuther Fürth. However, as the season went on, the team failed to win any games against elite Bundesliga clubs.

Leverkusen did make it to the DFB-Pokal final on 30 May 2009 in Berlin, however, they were defeated 0–1 by Werder Bremen. Leverkusen finished ninth in the Bundesliga table, and Labbadia joined Hamburger SV in June 2009.

Jupp Heynckes, who had previously led Bayern Munich after Jürgen Klinsmann's departure, was appointed as Leverkusen's new manager shortly after. Bayer Leverkusen finished second in the Bundesliga in 2010–11, qualifying for the Champions League for the first time since 2005. However, Heynckes chose not to extend his contract and left Bayer Leverkusen during the 2011 offseason to take over at Bayern Munich for the third time.

Leverkusen finished third with coaches Sami Hyypiä and Roger Schmidt in 2012–13 and 2015–16, respectively, but was eliminated in the round of 16 in the Champions League the following season both times. Leverkusen reached the quarter-finals of the 2019–20 UEFA Europa League for the first time since 2008 but was eliminated by Inter Milan in a 2–1 defeat.

Bayer Leverkusen is a big family!

Unlike many other German football clubs, which are deeply rooted in their working-class traditions, Bayer Leverkusen aspires for a clean, family-friendly image. The BayArena is known for being one of Germany's most family-friendly football venues. Ironically, Bayer 04 was the first Bundesliga club whose fans identified as Ultras, and Leverkusen is one of Germany's oldest industrial cities.

Some view Bayer Leverkusen to have a continuing image problem of a different kind. Despite being a financially sound club with a roster of great players, many traditional club fans regard Bayer Leverkusen as a "plastic club" with no traditions or a loyal fan base, existing only as a fabrication of its wealthy pharmaceutical business sponsor - Bayer AG. As a result, the club and its fans have begun to take pride in their industrial roots, referring to themselves as "Werkself."

The corporate antecedents of Bayer Leverkusen, on the other hand, are far from unique. Other clubs with a similar reputation for being work teams include PSV, Carl Zeiss Jena, and Sochaux.

In contrast to the various Red Bull teams (Salzburg, New York, and Leipzig) that have been established or redefined in recent years primarily for commercial reasons, the formation of Bayer Leverkusen in the early twentieth century was motivated by the idea of improving the living conditions of local factory workers.

In light of this heritage, UEFA allows Bayer Leverkusen to utilize the brand name Bayer in European club tournaments despite prohibiting comparable naming practices in other clubs, most notably Red Bull Salzburg.

A place to call home

The stadium was initially named Ulrich-Haberland-Stadion after a former chairman of the club's founders, Bayer AG. It had a capacity of 20,000 people when it was opened. A rebuilding project to convert it into a modern facility began in 1986, and it continued intermittently over the next decade. The stadium became an ultramodern all-seater with a capacity of 22,500 once the redevelopment was finished in 1997. In 1998, the stadium was renamed BayArena.

A hotel linked to the stadium was erected in 1999, with some rooms overlooking the pitch. The stadium complex also features a high-end restaurant with a view of the pitch, as well as meeting facilities.

The city of Leverkusen originally bid to host the 2006 World Cup, with an expanded Bay Arena serving as the venue. However, the city, Bayer Leverkusen, and the German organizing committee quickly concluded that enlarging Bay Arena to the FIFA-mandated minimum capacity of 40,000 for World Cup matches would be impractical, and the city withdrew its proposal.

Instead, it was agreed that Bay Arena would serve as the primary training site for the German national team for the 2006 World Cup. Former national coach Jürgen Klinsmann, on the other hand, chose Berlin as the main training facility over Leverkusen. As recompense, BayArena was intended to host two national matches, however, they never took place.

The new stadium design was based on the design of the then-Ruhrstadium in Bochum, as it was intended in the 1980s. A steep single-tier football stadium with seats for 35,000 spectators but no running track.

The stadium was designed to be built part by section over time in order to conserve money and evolve with the club's needs, beginning with the east stand in 1986, the west in 1989, and the north in 1991.

The demands of modern football stadiums altered in the course of the renovation. Following the

Bundesliga

riots of the 1990s and the demand for international matches, suites and VIP areas became necessary, as did a family-friendly section and a design change to all-seater.

As a result of the World Cup in the

United States

in 1994, the north section of the stadium was renamed "Family Street," the first section of a German stadium focused on targeting a younger audience.

This concept was a smashing success, necessitating the relocation of Family Street to the bigger east area for the 1996-97 season. In the process, the BayArena became the first stadium in Germany to become an all-seater and to eliminate a portion of the walls that divided the tiers from the pitch, first in the east and subsequently expanding throughout the entire stadium.

Due to increased demand for larger VIP areas, the initial plans to close the gap in the south with a stand similar to the one in the north were scrapped in 1995. Instead, the stadium's south part was erected as box suites, making it unusual in the Bundesliga with its South American-style horseshoe configuration.

When it was completed in 1997, the BayArena has deemed the most pleasant and sophisticated stadium in Germany. Thanks for reading Sportmob's article about

Bayer Leverkusen History

.

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source: SportMob

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