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SV Darmstadt 98 is a German football club based in Darmstadtmarker, Hessemarker. The club was founded on 22 May 1898 as FC Olympia Darmstadt. Early in 1919 the association was briefly known as Rasen-Sportverein Olympia before merging with Darmstädter Sport Club 1905 on 11 November that year to become Sportverein Darmstadt 98. Merger partner SC was the product of a 1905 union between Viktoria 1900 Darmstadt and Germania 1903 Darmstadt. The footballers are today part of a sports club which also offers its approximately 1,200 members athletics, basketball, cheerleading, hiking, judo, and table tennis.


Olympia played as a lower table side in the Westkreisliga between 1909 and 1913. In the late 20s and early 30s the club played as SV Darmstadt in the Kreisliga Odenwald and Bezirksliga Main-Hessen, Gruppe Hesse, but struggled to stay in top flight competition. In 1933, German football was reorganized under the Third Reich into sixteen premier divisions known as Gauligen. Darmstadt was not able to break into upper league play until 1941 when they joined the Gauliga Hessen-Nassau, Gruppe 2. Their stay was short-lived and they were relegated after their second season of play at that level. By 1944-45 the division had collapsed in the face of the advance of Allied armies into Germany.

Darmstadt enjoyed a long run as a second division team through the 50s and then again from the time of the formation of the Bundesliga in 1963 on into the 70s. However, they were never better than a lower to mid-table side until they finally managed a breakthrough in 1973 with a Regionalliga Süd championship and participation in the promotion rounds for the Bundesliga where they finished a distant second to Rot-Weiß Essen.

Rise to the Bundesliga and fall to insolvency

A side with limited resources, Darmstadt eventually managed two seasons in the Bundesliga (1978-79 and 1981-82). They narrowly missed a third turn in the top league in 1988 when they lost in a lengthy promotion playoff to SV Waldhof Mannheim in overtime of the third match between the two clubs. After returning to second tier play they escaped relegation to the Amateur Oberliga Hessen (III) in 1991 when Essen was refused a 2.Bundesliga license for financial reasons. However, by 1997, SV had themselves become victims of financial mismanagement, slipping to play in the III and IV divisions.

The team's most recent successes include wins in the Hessen Pokal (Hessen Cup) in 1999, 2001, 2006, 2007 and 2008 as well as three consecutive Possmann-Hessen Cup wins from 2000 to 2002. In German Cup play Darmstadt advanced as far as the third round in the 1989 and 2001, and to the quarterfinals in 1986. In 2004 the club claimed the Oberliga Hessen (IV) championship under manager and ex-player Bruno Labaddia and were promoted to the Regionalliga Süd (III).

Financial problems limited their options and they were relegated to the Oberliga Hessen (IV) at the end of the 2006-07 season. The club's stated aim is to reach the new 3rd Bundesliga within five years. However, on 6 March 2008 Darmstadt entered insolvency proceedings with debts of about € 1.1 million [207587] making the future of the club uncertain. Since the 2007-08 Oberliga Hessen-Championship ,Darmstadt is playing in the new Regionalliga Süd. Darmstadt has taken various measures to avert bankcruptcy, for example a friendly benefit match against Bayern Munich, donations etc., but crucial were the payments by former persons with responsibility (e.g. former president, former tax advisor). In 2009, insolvency has been averted. With long-term debts of €900,000, the club's financial situation is still uncertain.


Recent seasons

Year Division Position
1999-2000 Regionalliga Süd (III) 9th
2000-01 Regionalliga Süd 5th
2001-02 Regionalliga Süd 14th
2002-03 Regionalliga Süd 17th ↓
2003-04 Oberliga Hessen (IV) 1st ↑
2004-05 Regionalliga Süd (III) 5th
2005-06 Regionalliga Süd 5th
2006-07 Regionalliga Süd 16th ↓
2007-08 Oberliga Hessen (IV) 1st ↑
2008-09 Regionalliga Süd (IV) 15th
2009-10 Regionalliga Süd

Current squad

External links

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