Sweden II Division South

Sweden. The championship structure remained the same as in the previous years. Two teams promoted from Second Division, but those were the play-off winners after the regular season. The best two teams of each Second Division group played between themselves for promotion. The bottom three of each group were relegated. The top league was still a combination of regular season, continued with direct elimination rounds until the champion was decided.

Second Division Sodra.

IS Halmia was last and out with 11 points. And -56 goal-difference, which was quite a lot for a season of 26 games.

IFK Malmo – 13th with 16 points and relegated. Once upon a time this club was champion of Sweden.

Jonkopings Sodra IF was the third relegated team – 12th with 20 points.

Myresjo IF – escaped relegation. 11th with 22 points.

Degerfors IF – 10th with 23 points.

Markaryds IF – 9th with 24 points.

BK Hacken – 8th with 26 points.

Kalmar AIK – 7th with 26 points.

Vastra Frolunda IF – 6th with 26 points.

Norrby IF – 5th with 28 points.

Helsingborgs IF – 4th with 29 points.

Atvidabergs FF – 3rd with 35 points. Much stronger than most of the league, but failed to reach top spot.

GAIS – 2nd with 37 points. Good season and having a chance for promotion. Yet, unable to really challenge the group leader.

IF Elfsborg – champion of Sodra, after 17 wins, 7 ties, and only 2 lost games. Excellent goal-difference: 54-14. GAIS scored more goals than them, but none had a defensive record even remotely close to Elfsborg’s. 41 points, confident winners, but promotion was still a step away.

Hungary the Cup

The Cup. Tatabanya Banyasz reached the final, a big achievement for pedestrian squad, mostly trying to remain the first division. Of course, they wanted to win the Cup – unfortunately, Honved also reached the final and meant business: Tatabanya lost 0-5!

After such terrible defeat, little positive can be said about the losers. But let give them some credit: Honved was mighty force at this time and Tatabanya was very modest squad. Short of a miracle, they had no chance – no chance of relative parity. Yet, nothing to be ashamed of: as a losing finalists, they were going to play in Cup Winners Cup. Not bad at all. They did than most Hungarian clubs this season, particularly the grands.

Honved won a double – it was inevitable, for they were really without rivals. It looked like this club will dominate Hungarian football for some years – they had long team, inevitable departures ti foreign clubs of key players would not be fatal. Unless the rivals rapidly develop new teams and Honved fails to recruit the crème of young talent.


Hungary I Division

First Division. Well, Hungary was leading Eastern Europe in implementing professional elements to its football: it was the first Communist country to introduce sponsor names on team shirts. First, if not counting Yugoslavia. Not every club had a sponsor, but this was understandable – even liberal Communist regimes were slow and careful when introducing Western ways. There were also some practical difficulties: current leading clubs tended to belong to quite big local firms, so advertisement of foreign products seemed unlikely. One can see why the champions can get sponsors and popular, but presently weak, clubs would not, but still there was curious discrepancy – lowly Tatabanya was one of the first teams advertising foreign firms. Novelties apart, the season was not much: one team dominated everything; traditional powerhouses were desperately trying to avoid relegation and no new promising team emerged. The final table is a bit misleading, when looked at many years after: the relegated teams were exactly those expected to be relegated.

Well, no mystery about the last in the table – SZEOL AK were the hopeless outsider this season, ending with just 14 points. 15th was Eger SE, a team expected to be relegated as well, but they had 25 points and weak as they were, they were only one of 6-7 similarly weak teams. Anyhow, SZEOL and Eger went down.
MTK-VM (Budapest) survived: 14th with 27 points. True, they lost the leading role in Hungarian football long time ago, but who would thing they will stay so low? At least their decline was familiar.

Ferencvaros (Budapest) – 13th with 28 points. Now, this was a big plunge. Ferencvaros trying to escape relegation? Unbelievable. But fact. Managed to escape, though.

Tatabanya was 12th with 28 points too. This area of the table was painfully familiar to them, nothing new.

Pecsi MSC – 11th with 28 points. Like Tatabanya, they were in their familiar waters.

Ujpesti Dosza (Budapest) – 10th with 28 points. It was goal-difference placing them at the top of the weaklings, but it was a big drop down. They experienced the same crisis as their big rivals Ferencvaros.

Haladas VSE – 9th with 29 points. Nothing new about them, except may be they should having said ‘thank you’ to Ferencvaros and Ujpesti Dosza joining the bottom feeders.

Debreceni MVSC – 8th with 30 points. Mid-table position – traditionally, that was the most they aimed at, so nothing new.

Csepel SC (Budapest) – 7th with 30 points. The smallest and normally weakest of the big Budapest clubs, they rarely were among the title contenders. In view of grand failures of Ferencvaros, Ujpesti Dosza, and MTK, Csepel would be rather satisfied this year.

Bekescsaba – 6th with 30 points. Quite an unusual place for them – typically, they finished in the lower half of the table – but stable season. No better than most below them, except they performed well against direct rivals and benefited by that: if goal-difference counted, they would be 8th.

Vasas (Budapest) – 5th with 31 points. Nothing special. Looked like they recruited some stronger provincial players – no big stars, but given the general level of the league, enough help. Let’s make no mistake here: Vasas was closer to those relegated than to the leading club: they had only 6 points more than the 15th placed.

ZTE (Zalaegerszeg) – 4th with 34 points. Great season for them, but ZTE was unlikely club to stay at the top of the league for long. Scoring was a big problem for them.

Videoton was the European sensation this season, but domestically little was added to their usual performance. A team to be treated with respect for years – they started their climb shortly after 1970 and after 1975 practically became established leading club, but not a title contender. Videoton managed to maintain a good squad for years – but it was a short squad and playing three tournaments was taxing them beyond the limit. No wonder Videoton was able only to fight for second place, but no blame for finishing 3rd: they lost the silver only on goal-difference.

Raba ETO (Gyor) clinched 2nd place – like Videoton, they had 36 points, but better goal-difference. Like Videoton, they broke down the domination of Budapest and like Videoton they were unable to improve on their squad, but only managed to keep it good enough. Top row from left: Rubolt Péter, Menyhárt Ernő, Hlagyvik Gábor, Stark, Somogyi József, Rezi Lajos, Melis Béla, Csikós Lajos.

Middle row: Mészáros Ferenc, Preszeller Tamás, Orosz László gyúró, Kiss László pályaedző, Verebes József vezetőedző, Győrfi László pályaedző, Kiss Zsolt, Ulbert Tibor

Sitting: Csonka Gyula, Szíjártó László, Hannich Péter, Turbék István, Szabó Ottó, Szentes Lázár, Hajszán Gyula, Inczédi, Rugovics Vendel.

It was good season nevertheless – for provincial clubs, 2nd place is never a disappointment or failure.

Honved (Budapest) easily won the championship. They were truly above everybody else, practically without rivals. Most of the best players were concentrated here and the greatest current star of Hungarian football, Lajos Detari, was leading the team. No wonder Honved reigned supreme, even if this team could not compete with the fantastic squad of the 1950s. It was enough, though, that no Hungarian team at the moment could compete with them. The only enemy was export… how long Honved may keep its stars and who could replace them was an open question.

Hungary II Division

Hungary. A weird season: on one hand, the sensational international success of a club largely unknown outside Hungary. The national team qualified for the 1986 World Cup. Honved was dominant like they were in the great 1950s. On the other scale, the negative one: Ferencvaros and Ujpesti Dosza were in terrible shape. So was MTK. The three old strongholds of Hungarian football were miserable and Honved for all its domination was not a great team. There were few talented players in the country – the national team depended largely on foreign-based professionals, who were quite old. The international sensation had no teeth for more than one tournament and did nothing on the home front. Overall, little hope for a big Hungarian revival.

Three teams clashed for two promotional places in the Second Division, but eventually only one remained consistent. The 20-team league was nothing to brag about – former first division clubs occupied the upper half of the table and the practically anonymous teams – the lower half. No emerging newcomer here. Two teams had 4 points deducted for some infringements – Nyiregyhazi VSSC (9th) and Diosgyori Vasgyarak TK (4th). The penalties disturbed nothing – even with full records, these teams would be out of the promotional race. Vaci Izzo MTE either started late its attack for top spot or lost steam in the spring – they finished 3rd with 49 points. The ended with the best defensive record in the league, but so what?

With 52 points Siofoki Banyasz SE finished 2nd. Of course, it was good period for the club – they won the Hungarian Cup the previous season and now – promotion to the First Division. That was all they aimed for: a return to the top league. Done. Fine.

Volan SC (Budapest) won the championship – 23 wins, 9 ties, 6 losses, 85-49 goal-difference, 55 points. Modest, as they were, it was wonderful season. Scoring goals was their forte, defense was quite weak. Nice to see underdogs winning, but there were 6 other Budapest-based clubs in the top division, all of them much bigger than Volan and there was practically no way Volan could get classy players. May be one or two veterans no longer needed by the big clubs; may be some discarded players, but no real reinforcements. As it was, Volan had fewer chances than Diosgyor for remaining among the best. They had to enjoy winning Second Division in full, for the future was not going to be easy.

Greece the Cup

The Cup final was also very important for the supporters of PAOK – there was a good chance for a double. So, they were probably very bitter at the end, but that was the reality: PAOK was not really a great squad. They faced Larissa, the only really improving team this season and thus eager for success. Larissa won 4-1!

Sweet victory!

Larissa with the Cup – now, this was a great moment for true underdog, for PAOK, although rarely winning anything, at least was among the big clubs of Greece – Larissa was lowly, usually concerned with keeping place in the top league and not very successful at that.

The Cup final perhaps showed the limitations of PAOK best – sturdy, but not great. Not especially strong, rather ordinary. A double proved to be too much for the boys.

It looked like a Cinderella story – true, Larissa was rapidly progressing team, but they came out of the blue and their progress did not even bring them at par with the relatively weak leading clubs. It also looked like a victory on the wings of enthusiasm, making the difference against not so strong opponent – an opportunistic victory, a one-time-wonder. Larissa never won anything before. They reached the Cup final the previous year and lost it. It was historic moment for them, it was a victory to be remembered for ever. It was also logical result of improvement – the team reached the Cup final in 1983-84, now their progress continued and the team was getting very close to the leaders, they reached the Cup final again and this time won – experience was added to enthusiasm and perhaps there was a wise decision made before the season to bet on Polish connection. The former Polish national team player Kazimierz Kmiecik, a member of the great 1974 Polish squad, came in 1983. In the summer of 1984 two more Poles arrived – the forward Krzysztof Adamszyk came from Legia (Warszawa) and the coach Andrzej Strejlau from Fram (Denmark). This worked perfectly – Larissa just jump up and won its first trophy. And it looked like the team was going to stay strong – the Poles were too old to be considered valuable by the big clubs, there were no other starry players in the squad, so there was no big danger the teams would be plundered. Keeping the team and improving on it was the the likeliest situation.

Greece I Division

First Division. In a nut shell, 5 teams way above the rest of 16-team league, two hopeless outsiders, and Olympiakos having a weak season. 10 of league members hailed from 3 cities – 5 from Athens, 3 from Saloniki, and 2 from Piraeus. Nothing new about that and ultimately the championship was the familiar rivalry between these three cities and their biggest clubs.

Pierikos (Katerini) was last with 12 points.

Aigaleo (Athens) was the second ousider – 15th with 13 points. Both clubs were very weak from the start of the season and their relegation was sure thing, so everybody else had relaxed season.

Panachaiki (Patras) was 14th, but with 21 points – weak or not, they had nothing to worry about during this season.

Doxa (Drama) – 13th with 22 points.

Apollon Kalamarias (Saloniki) – 12th with 24 points.

Apollon (Athens) – 11th with 25 points.

OFI (Iraklion) – 10th with 26 points.

Ethnikos (Piraeus) – 9th with 27 points.

Panionios (Athens) – 8th with 30 points.

Aris (Saloniki) – 7th with 30 points.

AE Larissa – 6th with 35 points. Excellent season for Larissa, although they were not among the leaders.

And above the bulk of the league were 5 teams, relatively equal.

Iraklis (Saloniki) – 5th with 41 points. Good and stable, but even when they were good, it was a team really able to run for the title.

Olympiakos (Piraeus) had slightly weaker than usual season, but still they finished ahead of Iraklis – 4th with 42 points. That was how weak and strong compared objectively. Subjectively, Olympiakos saw this season as a disaster.

AEK (Athens) took 3rd place with 43 points. Yes, they were a bit disappointed, for the title was not in their hands, but they secured a UEFA Cup spot, so it was not so bad.

Panathinaikos (Athens) also finished with 43 points, but they had better goal-difference than AEK and took 2nd place. They scored most goals in the league – 61 – but were unable to win the championship. Thus, the season was seen as a failure. If there is anything to say about them, it would be about a mystery, kept under lid to this very day: there Bulgarian-born goalkeeper Thomas Laftsis. He was clearly with Greek citizenship by now – like his German-born teammate Maik Galakos – for Panathinaikos used as regulars both plus the 2 allowed foreigners, the Yugoslav Zaiec and the Argentine Rocha. Unlike Galakos Laftsis was not able to play for the national team of Greece, because he played for Bulgaria before moving to Greece. But his transfer was and is murky: he was permitted to emigrate to Greece because of his ethnicity. But in the recent years it had been hinted that he was not simply permitted to emigrate, but was sent there with some spying mission. It makes sense, since he was player of Levski-Spartak in Bulgaria, the club belonging to the Police – and the Secret Police naturally had a lot to do with it. Technically, he was a Police officer of Bulgaria. What possible secret mission a football player may perform is almost a ridiculous question, but the Greek career of Laftsis is little known – Laftsis returned to Bulgaria after 1990 and remain there. He almost never talks about his playing days and in general provides little about his Greek years in interviews. He built a business – that is all he says. He may mention playing for Panathinaikos, but hardly ever about playing for his previous club, OFI. He may say occasionally he was a star in Greece – but 1984-85 was the really the only season he was regular of Panathinaikos. Well, that is all and whatever the real story was, one thing is sure – with him between the goalposts Panathinaikos won nothing this season. Not his fault, but hardly a story of success.

PAOK (Saloniki) won the championship after 19 wins, 8 ties, and 3 losses. 54-26 goal-difference and 46 points. Three points more than Panathinaikos and AEK had. Not domineering and perhaps a bit opportunistic victory, due to the relative weakness of Panathinaikos, AEK, and Olympiakos. The squad was hardly superior to the squads of the rivals – PAOK always had Greek stars, but never in the numbers the three big clubs had. Iosifidis, Damanakis, Kostikos, and Dimopoulos were national team players, yet, not the greatest Greek stars at the moment. Compared to the foreigners the competition had, PAOK’s paled – Ivan Jurisic and Rade Paprica were at best second-rate Yugoslavs. Even their coach, the Austrian Walter Skocik was not a well known name. But it was obviously stable combination, which took advantage from the shaky performance of the rivals and came on top. From local point of view it was fantastic season – PAOK won its 2nd title, almost 10 years after winning the first one. Beating the big clubs from Athens and Piraeus was just great – this was even fans of Aris and Iraklis can be proud of, for Saloniki beat hated Athens. Successful underdog is always lovely.

Greece II Division

Greece. If not a stagnation, then a plateau – the progress was stalled for awhile. No major scandals and penalties this season – only Second Division Almopos Arideas had 1 point deducted, but the penalty made no difference. The team was relegated, along with three others at the bottom of the final table. The top 2 teams were promoted to First Division. Perhaps 20-team strong Second Division was too big for Greece, but at least it was fairly competitive league. Not very strong, though. May be half of the clubs played top league football previously, but those were small clubs and their fate changed frequently.

AO Trikala finished 14th – safe for now.

Eolikos Mitilinis Lesbos was just above Trikala – 13th.

Athinaikos Vironas, one of the 3 clubs from Athens, playing in the Second Division, managed pretty much as their rivals – 7th with 38 points. A place above Atromitos Peristeri, but slightly below Acharnaikos Menidi, which took the 5th place with 44 points. Entirely outside the race for promotion, Athinaikos, and Acharnaikos did only a bit better – they looked like candidates for promotion, but lost steam and dropped out.

At the end, it was two recently relegated teams climbing to the top:

Panserraikos AO Serres finished 2nd with 49 points – by the end of the season they built 4-point cushion and one of promotion spots was comfortably theirs.

PAS Jiannina – or Giannina, or Ioannina – bested Panserraikos by a point and was the champion of Second Division.

Both PAS and Panserraikos managed a quick return to the top league, hoping to stay there.

DDR the Cup

Which left the Cup as the only real tournament, as it had been for years already. But even the Cup was becoming the same… the final was a repetition of the previous year, it was becoming just a fair duel between heavily favoured Dynamo (Berlin) and not-favoured Dynamo (Dresden). Head to head, Dresden usually prevailed and they did it once again – 3-2.

It may have been big thorn in the heel for mighty Berliners – no matter how strong, they were unable to win the Cup. Then again… it may have been cleverly organized by their Stasi sponsors: fix the championship, so to be always in their hands, but leave the Cup fair, so the rabble to imagine some revenge. If the rabble wins it. So far, the rabble won the Cup, always. Either Dynamo Berlin was nothing without heavy protection, or the Cup was not really important to them. Take it as you like, but the Cup was the only hope for getting revenge on Stasi and that was something.

Dynamo (Dresden) were the Cup masters and added one more to their trophy room. Beating Berlin was always sweet. The squad was more than good and new stars were emerging – Ulf Kirsten was already a regular. Dynamo (Dresden) was already the only club rivaling Dynamo (Berlin), perhaps the only one keeping some hope they may overcome Berlin one day in the league. One can hope for them, support them, made them moral heroes… but it will be good to remember that the name ‘Dynamo’ is the name of Police teams. One Police team on top or another, no big difference… internal quarrel at best.

DDR I Division

First Division. Nothing new here either – the expected outsiders went down, the winner was known in advance, the league was sharply cut into two halves…

First Division was clearly too much for BSG Motor (Suhl) – the newcomers won but a single match and received 92 goals in 26 championship games. 5 points in a year was new low even for such divided league.

BSG Chemie (Leipzig) had much bite than Motor, but they were not cup for top league football either – 13th with 17 points. So familiar… once again relegated, but very likely to come back for a short spell. The vicious circle.

BSG Stahl (Riesa) survived – 12th with 20 points – but it was not because they improved in some way. It was just that there were weaker teams, but it was still temporary escape – soon they will be back in Second Division, for sure.

Same thing for BSG Stahl (Brandenburg) – 11th with 20 points and good for one more season here, but no more than that. Top row from left: Eckart Märzke, Silvio Demuth, Rainer Fliegel, Karsten Heine, Christian Knoop, Holger Döbbel, Andreas Lindner.

Middle row: Trainer Heinz Werner, Frank Jeske, Siegfried Malyska, Jens Pahlke, Michael Schulz, Winfried Kräuter, Fred Krohn, Peter Schoknecht, Christoph Ringk, Co-Trainer Eckhard Düwiger.

Front row :  Mannschaftsleiter Günter Boede, Roland Gumtz, Eberhard Janotta, Hubert Gebhardt, Holger Bahra, Gerhard Kraschina, Thomas Arendt, Physiotherapeut Gerd Meißner.
FC Hansa (Rostock) – 10th with 21 points. Avoiding relegation was their whole ambition and they succeeded.

FC Karl-Marx-Stadt – the usual. 9th with 21 points.

FC Vorwaerts (Frankfurt/Oder) – 8th with 22 points. Their brief revival proved only that it was not a real one. No leaders, not a threat to the established order – they sunk to the lower half of the league and were to stay there.

The crisis of FC Carl Zeiss (Jena) continued – 7th with 25 points. Top row from left: Volker Probst – Jürgen Raab – Thomas Ludwig – Stefan Meixner – Jörg Burow – Uwe Pohl

Middle row: Jürgen Werner(Trainer) – Thomas Schmiecher – Matthias Pittelkow – Heiko Peschke – Hans-Ulrich Grapenthin – Andreas Bielau – Andreas Krause – Gert Brauer – Lothar Kurbjuweit(Trainer)

Sitting: Wolfgang Schilling – Konrad Weise – Karsten Härtel – Perry Bräutigam – Ronald Szepanzki – Robby Zimmermann.

Carl Zeiss was at the border – above them was entirely different group of teams. As always, the league was cut in two separate groups.

FC Rot-Weiss (Erfurt) – 6th with 30 points. Way above the lowly teams bellow, but make no mistake: Rot-Weiss enjoyed strong period, yet, it was nothing more than mid-table team. Even when they were much stronger than most, they were at the bottom of the leading pack. More likely to go down a notch, than climbing up.

1. FC Magdeburg – they lost their edge, but only that. Becoming outsiders was not possible at all – 5th with 31 points.

BSG Wismut (Aue) – the pleasant surprise of the championship. 4th with 32 points. They had to enjoy their good fortune, for it was not going to be repeated – one time wonder they were.

1.FC Lokomotive (Leipzig) – 3rd with 38 points. No disappointment here, but nothing new either – Lokomotive stayed solid and among the best, but not able to come even close to winning a championship. Battle for 2nd place was the most they could do – they had to settle for bronze medals because of worse goal-difference.

SG Dynamo (Dresden) clinched 2nd place, beating Lokomotive on goal-difference. Well, realistically, this was the most they can do no matter what kind of squad they had.

One more title for BFC Dynamo (Berlin). 20 wins, 4 ties. Only 2 lost games. 90-28 goal-difference, 44 points. Dominant, having no rival, just going from one title to the next. It was well known they will win – it was known they will the next year too, everything was well known.

DDR II Division

DDR. The reformed Second Division championship kicked in this season – now it was made of two groups of 18 teams each. The winners were directly promoted to the top level and the last three – relegated to Third Division. The second teams of first division clubs were allowed to play here, but unable to move to the top league. They could be relegated down, though – and also promoted from third level to the second. Five such teams played in the new second division, but why they were included is a bit unclear – one can understand automatic inclusion of the leading clubs, but Rot-Weiss (Erfurt) was not among them and Carl Zeiss (Jena) was not strong at the moment. Lokomotive (Leipzig) and 1. FC Magdeburg on the other hand were not included. Anyhow, the new championship started and finished, without producing anything new: the usual bulk of clubs with scary industrial names played minor roles as they did before the championship was reformed. Former First Division members were the only candidates for promotion and, as it was for many years, the leaders were not challenged by anybody.

1. FC Union (Berlin) easily won Group A after 21 wins, 8 ties, and 5 losses. They scored 81 goals – the most in the whole Second Division, allowing 29 in their net. 50 points gave then a solid 5 point-lead at the end – they had no rival. Once again Union was going up.

BSG Energie (Cottbus), a possible candidate for promotion, finished 4th – a good 8 points behind Union. Top row from left: Horst Krautzig, Hans-Dieter Paulo, Detlef Irrgang, Andreas Wolf, Dietmar Drabow.

Third row: Ralf Lempke, Udo Stimpel, Maik Pohland, Lars Petzold, Jens Melzig, Reinhard Noack.

Second row: Hagen Wellschmidt, Roland Balck, Andreas Leuthäuser, Reimund Städler.

Front row: Karsten Dietrich, Ingolf Krause, Ralf Wilken.

Group B. A mirror image of Group A – one unchallenged leader and nothing else.

HFC Chemie (Halle), a possible candidate for promotion before the season, did nothing much and they were 2nd in the final table. Distant second, 5 points behind the winners.

BSG Sachsenring (Zwickau) dominated the championship, winning it with 54 points. 24 wins, 6 ties, 4 losses, 73-27 goal-difference and the best defensive record this season. Just like Union (Berlin), Sachsenring was simply returning to First Division.