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Oosterparkers remained professional for three seasons, after which they club rencontre 82 left the professional leagues and went back to amateurism, club rencontre 82. InBe Quick became a founder member of the first football league in the northern Netherlands comprising the provinces GroningenFrieslandand Drenthe. Labour class teams Velocitas club rencontre 82 Oosterparkers, at their turn, had insufficient financial backing to compete with GVAV in the professional leagues. In subsequent seasons, Groningen finished fourth, eighth the lowest ever league finish in the history of the club and sixth of the Eerste Divisie. InFC Groningen came very close to promotion via the post-season mini-league, consisting of four clubs from the Eerste Divisie. In Decemberthe club played its last match in the 12, seat Oosterpark Stadion after having played there for 70 years.



In , Be Quick became a founder member of the first football league in the northern Netherlands comprising the provinces Groningen , Friesland , and Drenthe. There was no First Northern Division, but the Dutch Football Association regarded the level of play in the northern league to be too low to be rewarded with First Division status.

This meant that the northern champion could not participate in the nationwide championship play-offs with the other Dutch regional champions. In , the city of Groningen got its second football club with the foundation of Velocitas , which became the labour-class rival of the elitist Be Quick.

Be Quick and Velocitas remained the most successful football clubs in the city of Groningen until the mid-twentieth century, winning 26 northern championships between them 18 won by Be Quick and 8 by Velocitas. In , about 1, soldiers from the British 63rd Division who were involved in the Siege of Antwerp were forced to flee across the border into the Netherlands when Antwerp was overrun by German troops.

Because of the neutral status of the Netherlands, the troops were disarmed and interned in an encampment in the city of Groningen for the duration of the war. The British military men baptized their encampment "Timbertown," which developed into a lively little city of its own. Local interest for these matches was high and aroused much enthusiasm for the game of football in Groningen. Several English military men went on to coach and play for Be Quick, most notably Arnold Birch and Harry Waites , which helped to raise the standard of the game in Groningen.

In , the northern league finally was rewarded with First Division status, and in Be Quick went on to win the national title. When in Unitas joined the Groningen Football Association, the club was demanded to alter its name because there already existed several other clubs in the country named Unitas.

GVAV succeeded in winning the northern championship only once, in In , GVAV moved from the "Stadspark" city park in the south side of the city, where it shared its accommodation with Velocitas, to the Oosterpark stadium in the newly built Oosterparkwijk eastern park quarter , which was constructed to provide housing for the working class. A new professional nationwide league structure, consisting of three tiers Eredivisie , Eerste Divisie , and Tweede Divisie was planned to commence in Results in the intervening seasons determined the make-up of these new divisions.

In addition, resistance against professionalism in general tended to be bigger at elitists clubs. Many Be Quick members opposed the plans of their club joining the professional leagues, among which most notably several players from the title winning squad of Labour class teams Velocitas and Oosterparkers, at their turn, had insufficient financial backing to compete with GVAV in the professional leagues. Oosterparkers remained professional for three seasons, after which they voluntarily left the professional leagues and went back to amateurism.

Velocitas held on for one more season after which they also relegated from the professional leagues. Be Quick initially was more successful. They stayed professional until , after which they voluntarily stepped back to the amateur league and left GVAV as the only professional football team in the city of Groningen. All three parties were shareholder for , Guilders.

It was planned that this sum was paid off over a period of three years, but it soon became clear that the Foundation was not being able to do so. GVAV even needed additional annual financial support from the municipality government in order to survive. The future of professional football in Groningen remained uncertain.

He suggested that the amateur clubs should put their best players to the disposal of the local professional club. However, he recognized that the name "GVAV" might be an obstacle in such a cooperation and proposed the foundation of a "Sport Club Groningen. The proponents of the establishment of FC Groningen hoped to commence the —71 season under the new name, but this plan failed as the GVAV members assembly rejected their proposals.

Later that year, however, the GVAV members assembly changed its vote and accepted the plans. In June , FC Groningen was officially established.

One day before the official foundation of FC Groningen, tragedy struck. Van Leeuwen was offered a room for the night in Rotterdam, but the goalkeeper choose to drive back to his home in a village near Groningen. Financial woes worsened at the same time. In , FC Groningen came very close to bankruptcy, but was saved by the municipality government once again.

A swift return to the top flight came very close when Groningen finished second in with an equal number of points as champions NEC , who won the title by a slightly better goal difference.

In subsequent seasons, Groningen finished fourth, eighth the lowest ever league finish in the history of the club and sixth of the Eerste Divisie. In , FC Groningen came very close to promotion via the post-season mini-league, consisting of four clubs from the Eerste Divisie.

In , FC Groningen established a youth academy from which came the backbone of the team that eventually won promotion back to the Eredivisie. In , the club appointed manager Theo Verlangen , under whose leadership results gradually improved.

In the —79 season , Groningen finished second again, one point behind league winners Excelsior. Yet in , Groningen were comfortable champions of the Eerste Divisie and, after a six-year absence, returned to the Eredivisie. A club to be reckoned with — [ edit ] FC Groningen barely avoided relegation in its first year after winning promotion, but managed to stay far away from the bottom of the table in subsequent years.

In the five seasons from to , FC Groningen never finished below 7th place in the Eredivisie. The team seemed on its way to another eye-catching result in the next round when Internazionale was defeated in the Oosterpark stadium, but the return leg in Bari ended in a defeat. FC Groningen competed in Europe again in , , , , and , with a place in the third round in and as the best results. This gave FC Groningen the 4th highest average attendance in the Netherlands for seven consecutive seasons between and , lagging only behind the traditional top teams Ajax, Feyenoord , and PSV.

De Vries spend a couple of days in prison and was forced to step down as chairman, but as he had acted in the interest of FC Groningen and under his leadership the club had risen to prominence, De Vries remained a hero in the eyes of many FC Groningen supporters. Decline and recovery — [ edit ] After a 5th-place finish and UEFA Cup qualification in the season , FC Groningen began to slide down the table and would not be back in Europe for the next 14 years not taking into account the Intertoto Cup.

The club had little financial resources left, and except for a 9th-place finish in , ended in the bottom half of the Eredivisie for every year from to , when FC Groningen relegated to the second tier for the second time in its history. This even led to one of the crucial matches in the play-offs for promotion and relegation to be played behind closed doors at a secret location to prevent clashes between rival supporters.

FC Groningen returned to the Eredivisie after two years. The club finished near the bottom of the table in the four seasons following its return into the top tier, but managed to avoid the relegation play-offs on all occasions.

When FC Groningen found itself bottom of the table four months into the season , the incumbent head coach Dwight Lodeweges was sacked and replaced by Ron Jans. Jans steered the team away from the bottom places, and secured 13th and 12th-place finishes in the subsequent years. During the season , FC Groningen signed Norwegian striker Erik Nevland , who quickly made his mark by scoring 16 league goals in his debut season at the club. Ron Jans A mural of Erik Nevland in Groningen New successes in a new stadium — [ edit ] Halfway through the season , FC Groningen moved from the Oosterpark stadium, which facilities had become outdated, to the modern Euroborg.

Average attendance increased from about 12, in the Oosterpark to around 20, in the new stadium. The increase in revenue resulting from the move to the Euroborg allowed FC Groningen to once again became a regular in the top half of the Eredivisie.

On 13 April , a fire broke out in the north stand of the Euroborg when thousands rolls of toilet paper, that were thrown from the stand in a tifo choreography ahead of the match between FC Groningen and Ajax, caught fire, leaving 28 people injured. Huistra set a new club record for gaining the most points in the first half of a season, when halfway through the season , FC Groningen sat 3rd in the table with 39 points.

After an eventual 5th-place finish, FC Groningen qualified for the European competition play-offs. Huistra was sacked after a very poor second half of the season , in which FC Groningen finished 14th, falling out of the top half of the Eredivisie for the first time since moving to the Euroborg in Like Maaskant the year before him, Van de Looi led the team to a 7th-place finish and qualification for the European competition play-offs.

FC Groningen won the play-offs for the first time since , overcoming Vitesse and AZ , and qualified for the Europa League , in which the club lost to Aberdeen in the second qualifying round.

After the season , Van de Looi stepped down as head coach and was replaced by Ernest Faber. FC Groningen had a remarkably poor start of the season , but later recovered to finish 8th. This league finish meant the club qualified for the play-offs for Europa League qualification , in which they were eliminated by AZ Alkmaar in the first round.

Crest and colours[ edit ] Supporters scarfs with the club crest When GVAV was reformed as FC Groningen in , a competition was subscribed to come up with a new crest. The winning design was created by Reint Rozema. It showed an abstract character "G," referring to "Groningen. In , the mythical flying horse Pegasus was added to the crest. The supporters opposed this change and the crest was restored to its original form in In December , the club played its last match in the 12, seat Oosterpark Stadion after having played there for 70 years.

The average attendance in —05 was 12,; this has risen to just under 22, at the Euroborg. There are plans to expand the stadium to a capacity of 30, or 40, Despite its relatively short existence, it has already earned the nickname the Green Cathedral. Euroborg is easy to reach by public transport. Train station Groningen Europapark , located meters from the stadium, is served every hour by a number of trains coming from Groningen Central, Veendam and Germany and buses.

There are also a number of car parks marked as P1, P2, etc. The stadium is located 2. SC Veendam was the nearest professional team to Groningen until the club dissolved in , but as Groningen and Veendam were in different divisions during most of their histories, and Veendam had a significantly smaller following, a strong two-sided rivalry never developed.

Encounters between the two have often led to violence in and around the ground during the s, s and early years of the 21st century. After Groningen moved to the Euroborg in , supporter violence around matches with Twente disappeared almost completely due to the superior safety conditions of the new ground.

A feeling of hostility towards Ajax is more widespread among all factions of FC Groningen supporters. Although relatively insignificant from the perspective of the Ajax fans, home matches against Ajax are considered main events by most Groningen supporters.

Remarkably, away matches against the Amsterdam side are not deemed equally important. This rather one-sided rivalry can be explained by a more general aversion of the inhabitants from the more rural and peripheral northern regions of the Netherlands towards people from the Randstad and Amsterdam, who are stereotyped as being arrogant and haughty.

Since the late s, a more local rivalry has developed between FC Groningen and Heerenveen , which is based just 60 kilometers from the city of Groningen. Around this time, Heerenveen became a regular in the Eredivisie and no longer met regularly with its nearest and primary rival Cambuur Leeuwarden, which mostly was active in the second tier.

Groningen and Heerenveen are seen as representing the two neighboring northern provinces of Groningen and Friesland , between which a more general rivalry exists.

Therefore, the match between Groningen and Heerenveen is referred to as the Derby of the North.



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