DDR I Division

First Division. Significant season, because the long dominance of Dynamo (East Berlin) suddenly – even unexpectedly – ended. Apart from that, hardly anything new – the East German top division was sharply divided as ever. Perhaps the bulk of the teams was a bit homogenized, but still there was a dominant team alone on top and hopeless outsiders, so champion and relegated teams were known well advance to the comfort of all others.

1.FC Union (East Berlin) was last with 15 points. Once again they were relegated and hardly any surprise.
BSG Sachsenring (Zwickau) finished 13th with 16 points. They just climbed back after long Second Division exile and sunk down right away – familiar story.
FC Rot-Weiss (Erfurt) – 12th with 21 points. Exactly the same place as in the previous season, except this time they did not have to worry about relegation.
BSG Stahl (Brandenburg) – 11th with 22 points. Not in danger of relegation, but they significantly dropped down – Stahl was 4th in the previous season.

BSG Energie (Cottbus) – 10th with 23 points. Also a familiar story: if not relegated right away, a newcomer was near relegation zone.

HFC Chemie (Halle) – 9th with 25 points. Nothing special, as usual.
FC Carl Zeiss (Jena) – 8th with 27 points. Their crisis was still going on – meaning, Carl Zeiss dropped from leading position to mid-table mediocrity.
BSG Wismut (Aue) – 7th with 28 points. Their usual…
1. FC Magdeburg (Magdeburg) – 6th with 28 points. During the 1980s the club lost its edge practically settled at the bottom of the strongest teams – oscillating between 5th and 7th place. Nothing new…
1.FC Lokomotive (Leipzig) – 5th with 28 points. One of the best and most exciting teams in DDR during the 1980s, so this season was upsetting.
Crouching from left: Ronald Kreer, Uwe Bredow, Rene Muller, Frank Baum, Heiko Scholz. Top row: Richter, Mathias Lindner, Matthias Liebers, Olaf Marschall, Uwe Zotzsche, Frank Edmond.
Looking at this squad… only Bredow, Richter, and Edmond were not national team players. But missing here are 3 more national team players – Torsten Kracht, Dieter Kuhn, and Uwe Weidemann – so 5th place and so out of even remotely competing for the title is somewhat odd. May be just a momentary lack of form…
FC Hansa (Rostock) – 4th with 29 points. Good season, although hardly extraordinary. However, quietly Hansa was building strength and climbing up – perhaps nobody was taking them very seriously yet, for they were relegated in 1985-86 and although came back right away, Hansa was never a leading club before.
FC Karl-Marx-Stadt (Karl-Marx-Stadt) – 3rd with 30 points. Their best season since 1966-67, when they won the title.
BFC Dynamo (East Berlin) – 2nd 32 points. What a surprise – by now, it was hard to imagine any other champion than them, but after 10 years of dominance, they lost the title and not just lost it, but were left far behind.
SG Dynamo (Dresden) took their revenge and in great manner: they dominated the season – 16 wins, 8 ties, only 2 lost games, 61-26 goal-difference, 40 points. Stassi was left 8 points behind. At last. Dynamo had less national team players than both Dynamo (Berlin) and Lokomotive (Leipzig), but their new rising stars were called Matthias Sammer and Ulf Kirsten. Add the season’s top scorer Torsten Gutschow.
The happiness was great – Dynamo (Dresden) waited for this title since 1978! Perhaps the whole country celebrated with them, for everybody wanted to see Dynamo (Berlin) down at last. For Dresden, it was the 8th title, which still kept them behind Berlin with their straight 10 titles, but once the spell was broken…