|Full name||Spielvereinigung Oberfranken Bayreuth 1921 e.V.|
|Nickname(s)||Die Altstädter (the Oldtowners)|
|2022–23||3. Liga, 20th of 20 (relegated)|
SpVgg Bayreuth is a German football club based in Bayreuth, Bavaria. Apart from coming within two games of earning promotion to the Bundesliga in 1979, the club also reached the quarter finals of the DFB-Pokal twice, in 1977 and 1980.
Founded in 1921 when the side left gymnastics oriented sport club TuSpo Bayreuth, SpVgg Bayreuth was one of many clubs banned and replaced with a state-sanctioned organization in 1933 during the Nazi campaign against existing sports and other social organizations. A handful of club members reformed a rump side called FSV Bayreuth to carry on the activities of the original association. This team was made up largely of soldiers stationed locally, which resulted in a constantly changing lineup as they were transferred in and out of the area. The old club was quickly resurrected after World War II.
The club initially stood in the shadow of two local rivals, FC Bayreuth and VfB Bayreuth, with the later taking out the Amateurliga Nordbayern (III) title in 1956. SpVgg had earned promotion to this league in 1954, having won the 2. Amateurliga Oberfranken-West title that year and then dominated its promotion round.
The club achieved good results in the Bayernliga and managed to win its division in 1959. The team then went on to beat southern champions Schwaben Augsburg in the finals for the Bavarian title. As the Bavarian champions, the club was entitled to enter the promotion round to the 2. Oberliga Süd, where it had to overcome VfR Pforzheim 2–1 after extra time in a narrow decider for promotion to the second division.
The club spent three seasons in the second tier of Southern German football, achieving a remarkable fifth place in its first year. The second season was a struggle against relegation and, in the third and last one, it was sent down back to the Bayernliga again.
A fourth place in the last season before the league reform in 1963 saw the club qualify for the new single-division Amateurliga Bayern from 1963.
After the formation of the Bundesliga in 1963, Bayreuth played as a third division team until 1969. Another Amateurliga championship meant promotion to the second tier once more, now the Regionalliga Süd. It proved a short stay and SpVgg was narrowly relegated, losing a decider to ESV Ingolstadt 5–2 after finishing on equal points.
Back in the Bayernliga, the club won an undisputed championship, losing only two out of their 34 games, 15 points clear of the second-placed Wacker München. After another difficult first year in the second division, the club established itself in the league, coming fourth in 1973 and fifth in 1974, results that proved enough to qualify for the new 2. Bundesliga Süd.
The club did quite well in the new league and they came close to moving up to the Bundesliga in 1979 after a second-place finish in 2. Bundesliga Süd (the southern division of 2. Bundesliga), but lost in the promotion round 1–1 and 1–2 to Bayer Uerdingen. It managed to qualify for the new single-division 2. Bundesliga in 1981, too, but the first season in this league was very disappointing and the team was relegated to the Oberliga in 1982, having come last.
The team became a top-side in the Oberliga but took until 1985 to take out the league title again and returned to the second division.
Although relegated to Amateur Oberliga Bayern (III) in 1988 and 1989, the team was spared further demotion when clubs that had finished ahead of them were denied licences due to their financial problems. Bayreuth could not evade relegation after a third consecutive poor finish in 1990, and in 1994 slipped further still to the Bayernliga (IV). A strong campaign returned the side to the Regionalliga Süd (III) for 2005–06. The club was denied a license for the Regionalliga in the 2006/07 season and forcibly relegated to the 4th division Bayernliga. The club won the Bayernliga title for a seventh time, building up a convincing margin to the second placed team, and fulfilling the on-the-field qualification to the Regionalliga. On 11 June 2008, the club was refused a licence for this league and has to remain in the Bayernliga. The club's financial trouble however continued, having to declare insolvency on 22 October 2008, despite sitting second in the league.
In the 2010–11 Bayernliga season, the club unsuccessfully struggled against relegation, dropping down to the Landesliga after a 1–2 extra-time loss to Bayern Hof in a relegation decider.
At the end of the 2011–12 season the club qualified directly for the newly expanded Bayernliga after finishing fourth in the Landesliga.
On 8 May 2013, the members of SpVgg Bayreuth made a decision in a general meeting to separate the first men's team and establish Spielvereinigung Oberfranken Bayreuth von 1921 Spielbetriebs GmbH, which was founded on 26 June 2013. They also expanded the club's name to Spielvereinigung Oberfranken Bayreuth von 1921 e.V., including the Bavarian administrative district of Upper Franconia. Out of the 116 members present, 104 voted in favor. Following the separation, the club retained 60% ownership of the operational company, while the remaining 40% was divided between construction entrepreneur Alois Dechant and steel tube chair manufacturer Franz Stegner. After Franz Stegner's death, Erwin Stechert, alongside Alois Dechant, held 20% ownership of the operational company. These 20% were transferred to the association on 4 May 2021. On 13 July 2022, the club also acquired the 20% previously held by Alois Dechant. Currently, Spielvereinigung Oberfranken Bayreuth von 1921 e.V. holds 100% ownership of the operational company.
In 2014, the team achieved promotion to the Regionalliga Bayern and immediately secured a commendable 6th place finish in the 2014–15 season. In 2021, they made their return to the DFB-Pokal, where they faced Arminia Bielefeld at home in a 6–3 loss.
After a fiercely contested 2021–22 Regionalliga season, in which SpVgg Bayreuth and Bayern Munich engaged in a prolonged battle for the top spot, Bayern Munich II suffered a defeat against Wacker Burghausen in the penultimate match of the season. This loss meant that SpVgg Bayreuth mathematically secured the first-place position and clinched the championship of the Regionalliga Bayern, thus earning promotion to the unified 3. Liga two matchdays before the end of the season. Consequently, Bayreuth returned to professional football after a hiatus of 32 years, commencing from the 2022–23 season.
For the new season, the club decided to revert to the historical club crest from the 1950s and 60s. This strategic move was made in close collaboration with the fan community and underwent a meticulous planning process spanning several months.
Following the promotion, successful coach Timo Rost bid farewell and embarked on a new journey at Erzgebirge Aue. For the 2022–23 season, Bayreuth appointed Thomas Kleine as their new head coach. Kleine had previously served as an assistant coach at Greuther Fürth and Fortuna Düsseldorf. On the fourth matchday of the 2022–23 3. Liga season, the team celebrated their first points and victory at the third level of German football. This achievement occurred in front of 2,712 spectators at their home stadium, the Hans-Walter-Wild-Stadion. Alexander Nollenberger scored the decisive winning goal against VfL Osnabrück in the 82nd minute with a left-footed shot into the far corner of the goal. By winning the Regionalliga Bayern in the 2021–22 season, SpVgg Bayreuth also earned qualification for the 2022–23 DFB-Pokal. In the first round, they competed in front of a home crowd at a sold-out stadium (14,700 spectators) against 2. Bundesliga club Hamburger SV but suffered a 3–1 defeat after extra time. Luke Hemmerich netted the opening goal for Bayreuth in the 16th minute from a deflected free-kick, while Ransford-Yeboah Königsdörffer equalised for HSV shortly before the end of regular time. In extra time, Sebastian Schonlau and Königsdorffer secured the victory for HSV, resulting in a final score. Bayreuth were unable to retain their status as a 3. Liga side two seasons in a row, and they suffered relegation finishing bottom of the league on 13 May 2023, after a 4–1 loss to Viktoria Köln.
The club's stadium was originally built in 1967. In 2002 it was renamed the Hans-Walter-Wild-Stadion. Hans Walter Wild is the former mayor of Bayreuth.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Recent managers of the club:
|Marco Schmidt||1 July 2000||30 June 2003|
|Gino Lettieri||11 September 2003||30 June 2006|
|Norbert Schlegel||1 July 2006||30 June 2007|
|Klaus Scheer||1 July 2007||30 June 2010|
|Ingo Walther||1 July 2010||30 June 2011|
|Wolfgang Mahr||1 July 2011||12 November 2011|
|Klaus Rodler||12 November 2011||31 December 2011|
|Klaus Scheer||1 January 2012||16 April 2012|
|Jürgen Dörfler||16 April 2012||30 June 2012|
|Heiko Gröger||1 July 2012||30 June 2014|
|Dieter Kurth||30 June 2014||28 September 2014|
|Christoph Starke||29 September 2014||20 August 2016|
|Marc Reinhardt||21 August 2016||29 October 2017|
|Christian Stadler||30 October 2017||13 May 2018|
|Josef Albersinger||14 May 2018||3 September 2018|
|Timo Rost||3 September 2018||30 June 2022|
|Thomas Kleine||1 July 2022||7 May 2023|
|Julian Kolbeck||7 May 2023|
The recent season-by-season performance of the club:
SpVgg Bayreuth II
|↑ Promoted||↓ Relegated|
The club has qualified for the first round of the DFB-Pokal one quite a number of occasions, reaching the quarter finals in 1979–80 as its best result:
|1972–73 DFB-Pokal||First round – first leg||10 December 1972||SpVgg Bayreuth||1. FC Kaiserslautern||4–2|
|First round – second leg||20 December 1972||1. FC Kaiserslautern||SpVgg Bayreuth||4–0|
|1974–75 DFB-Pokal||First round||7 September 1974||SpVgg Bayreuth||FC Schalke 04||1–2|
|1975–76 DFB-Pokal||First round||1 August 1975||Karlsruher SC||SpVgg Bayreuth||4–2|
|1976–77 DFB-Pokal||First round||6 August 1976||Kickers Offenbach||SpVgg Bayreuth||4–4 aet|
|First round – replay||1 September 1976||SpVgg Bayreuth||Kickers Offenbach||4–1|
|Second round||16 October 1976||SpVgg Bayreuth||SSV Reutlingen||2–1|
|Third round||18 December 1976||SpVgg Bayreuth||FV Hassia Bingen||2–1|
|Fourth round||8 January 1977||SpVgg Bayreuth||FC Augsburg||2–0|
|Quarterfinals||9 February 1977||SpVgg Bayreuth||Rot-Weiß Essen||1–2|
|1977–78 DFB-Pokal||First round||29 July 1977||FC 08 Villingen||SpVgg Bayreuth||0–1|
|Second round||20 August 1977||Itzehoer SV||SpVgg Bayreuth||1–6|
|Third round||14 October 1977||Karlsruher SC||SpVgg Bayreuth||2–0|
|1978–79 DFB-Pokal||First round||4 August 1978||SV Haidlfing||SpVgg Bayreuth||0–5|
|Second round||24 September 1978||SpVgg Bayreuth||Melsunger FV||6–0|
|Third round||2 December 1978||Bayer 04 Leverkusen||SpVgg Bayreuth||1–0|
|1979–80 DFB-Pokal||First round||25 August 1979||SpVgg Bayreuth||Preußen 07 Hameln||5–0|
|Second round||29 September 1979||SpVgg Bayreuth||SpVgg Au/Iller||6–0|
|Third round||12 January 1980||SpVgg Bayreuth||FC Bayern Munich||1–0||18,000|
|Fourth round||16 February 1980||SpVgg Bayreuth||TuS Langerwehe||5–2 aet|
|Quarterfinals||6 April 1980||FC Schalke 04||SpVgg Bayreuth||3–1|
|1980–81 DFB-Pokal||First round||29 August 1980||Borussia Neunkirchen||SpVgg Bayreuth||1–1 aet|
|First round – replay||17 September 1980||SpVgg Bayreuth||Borussia Neunkirchen||2–1|
|Second round||29 August 1980||SpVgg Bayreuth||VfB Stuttgart||1–3|
|1981–82 DFB-Pokal||First round||28 August 1981||SpVgg Bayreuth||Bayer Uerdingen||3–1|
|Second round||11 October 1981||VfB Stuttgart II||SpVgg Bayreuth||1–2|
|Third round||30 December 1981||SpVgg Bayreuth||VfB Oldenburg||2–0|
|Fourth round||9 January 1982||SV Werder Bremen||SpVgg Bayreuth||2–0|
|1982–83 DFB-Pokal||First round||27 August 1982||SpVgg Bayreuth||SpVgg Fürth||3–1|
|Second round||15 October 1982||SpVgg Bayreuth||Hertha BSC||0–1|
|1983–84 DFB-Pokal||First round||28 August 1983||FC Augsburg||SpVgg Bayreuth||2–1 aet|
|1984–85 DFB-Pokal||First round||1 September 1984||SpVgg Bayreuth||SV Mettlach||7–0|
|Second round||13 October 1984||SpVgg Bayreuth||SG Union Solingen||1–2|
|1986–87 DFB-Pokal||First round||27 August 1986||SpVgg Bayreuth||SG Wattenscheid 09||0–3|
|1988–89 DFB-Pokal||First round||6 August 1988||Germania Dörnigheim||SpVgg Bayreuth||0–5|
|Second round||24 September 1988||SV Werder Bremen||SpVgg Bayreuth||6–1|
|1989–90 DFB-Pokal||First round||20 August 1989||1. FC Pforzheim||SpVgg Bayreuth||4–1|
|1990–91 DFB-Pokal||First round||4 August 1990||SpVgg Bayreuth||Blau-Weiß 90 Berlin||0–3|
|2006–07 DFB-Pokal||First round||8 September 2006||SpVgg Bayreuth||Kickers Offenbach||0–2|
|2021–22 DFB-Pokal||First round||7 August 2021||SpVgg Bayreuth||Arminia Bielefeld||3–6||5,000|
|2022–23 DFB-Pokal||First round||30 July 2022||SpVgg Bayreuth||Hamburger SV||1–3 aet||15,000|
Source:"DFB-Pokal". Weltfussball.de (in German). Retrieved 29 May 2009.