Category Archives: Play-off

The Bundesliga Show Epsiode 103 – The Final of all Finals

It was the game that Bundesliga fans had been building up to for weeks – the all German Champions League final. Jon Hartley and Terry Duffelen get under the skin of the big game and reflect on the winners Bayern Munich and the gallant runners up Borussia Dortmund.

The pair also look back at the promotion/relegation play-off that confirmed Hoffenheim’s place in the top flight for another season, they also discuss the troubles at MSV Duisburg and preview the game that could see Bayern crowned at treble winners…the DFB Pokal Final.

Enjoy the show!



The Bundesliga Show Episode 101 – The End of an Era – Goodbye Thomas Schaaf

Join Jon Hartley, Matt Hermann and Archie Rhind-Tutt for this week’s Bundesliga Show. It may be the final weekend of the season, but is so much left to discuss: There has been big news this week with the departure of Thomas Schaaf from Werder Bremen. If that wasn’t enough, there are the battles to for a place in the Champions League and to stay in the Bundesliga.

Enjoy the show!

The Bundesliga Show Episode 99 – The All German Final

Borussia Dortmund versus Bayern Munich in the all Bundesliga Champions League Final. Jon Hartley and Matt Hermann talk about the semi-finals and the prospect of this historic clash. But what does this mean for the Bundesliga as a whole?

Outside of the excitement of this Dortmund and Bayern final, there is still the small matter of the league season. With three games left, Jon and Matt discuss the prospects for the battle for Europe and the fight to stay up.

Enjoy the show!


The Bundesliga Show Episode 68 – Cup Shocks & Matchday 1 Preview

Welcome back to a new season with The Bundesliga Show. At the start of the new season the show Matt Hermann joins Jon Hartley as the new co-host of the pod. In the first episode of the campaign, the pair tackle the Cup shocks from the DFB Pokal, talk Borussia Mönchengladbach’s Champions League  play-off and look forward to the kick-off of the 50th Bundesliga season.

Enjoy the show!

Download the Bundesliga Lounge Season Preview magazine here.

The Bundesliga Show Episode 66 – Double Bubble for Dortmund, Bayern’s Big Build-up & Flare Up at Fortuna

This week on The Bundesliga Show, Jon Hartley and Terry Duffelen, talk about the historic DFB Pokal win for Borussia Dortmund. They are also joined by esteemed author and journalist, Uli Hesse, to discuss Bayern Munich’s prospects for the Champions League Final.

Also in the podacast, Holger Ruhl from Eintracht Frankfurt, chats about the clubs promotion. Joining them in the 1.Bundesliga will (possibly!) be Fortuna Düsseldorf. Jon and Terry talk about their fiery encounter with Hertha Berlin.

The Bundesliga Show Episode 65 – Relegation, Play-offs and the Cup

The league season may be over, but there is still so much to play for in Germany. Jon Hartley and Terry Duffelen run down through the key talking points of the final matchday of the season, which confirmed Cologne’s relegation and Hertha’s place in the play-off. Hertha Berlin face Fortuna Düsseldorf in the first leg of the play-off on Thursday evening at the Olympic Stadium.

In addition, ESPN’s Jim Proudfoot joins the pod to preview the up coming DFB Pokal final between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich. Richard Montague from Football Radar also makes guest appearance to talk about the final day of the season in the 2.Bundesliga.

Relegation…the play-off!

Jon Hartley seeks out the history of the end of season Bundesliga showdown, the promotion/relegation play-off.

The end of season play-off is a strange beast in the Bundesliga, not least because the terminology is a little strange to English speaking eyes and ears. The term used for two leg tie between the third from bottom in the first division, and the third from top of the second is ‘Relegation’. There was delight and joy for Hertha Berlin at the Olympic Stadium at being in the Relegation…not something that fans of other leagues would necessarily be in raptures about.

Putting the terminology to one side, the play-off has been a fixture of German football, on and off, for decades. Before the creation the national second division, the play-off used to promote the second placed side from either the Northern or Southern sections of the second tier. With the advent of the national second division in 1981, the current concept used to promote and relegate teams was born.

Last seasons 'Relegation' winner - Borussia Mönchengladbach

There have been some almighty matches in during this time as well. The first two seasons of this format were all about the teams linked with Bayer – Leverkusen and Uerdingen. Leverkusen survived the drop in 1982, while a year later, Uerdingen sent Schalke to their first stint in the 2.Bundesliga. Uerdingen won 4-2 on aggregate and that victory heralded a eight season stay in the top flight.

In the past, the rules demanded a third game if the matter couldn’t be settled in two matches. This was the case in 1986. It was deadlocked at 3-3, between 2nd division Fortuna Köln and 1st division Borussia Dortmund after the first two games. The decider was held at the Rheinstadion in Düsseldorf and was still close at the break in their deciding game. Dortmund were edging it by a goal to nil…the second half was however a little more convincing. BVB scored seven second half goals, including two from current Sporting Director Michael Zorc.

In 1988, not only did it go to extra time, but for the only time in play-off history, to penalties as well. Darmstadt and Waldorf Mannheim aren’t that far apart in terms of geography, in-fact only around 50 kilometres divides the two cities, so it was probably a pretty lively Hessen and Baden-Württenberg cross border skirmish. There was certainly tension due to the Darmstadt coach Klaus Schlappner. He had returned to Darmstadt after a 7-year stay at opponents Mannheim. It was an exciting three games between these two sides as it finished 4-4 on aggregate after the first two games, and 0-0 after 120-minutes in the third. It all came down to the penalty shoot out where Mannheim saved their place in the 1.Bundesliga by 5-4.

Klaus Schlappner - Who lost three play-offs in a row

Having failed to take Darmstadt up, Schlappen turned his attention to Saarbrücken. He tried to get promotion in back-to-back seasons via the play-off but missed out on both occasions. Some other teams really don’t have any luck either in the play-off. St. Pauli have been in  twice and have been beaten twice.

Unfortunately, the history of the Relegation was cut short after the 1991 play-off as the DFL opted for an automatic ‘three up, three down’ system. Thankfully there was a re-introduction of the play-off in the 2008/09 season. Twice since it’s comeback, Nuremberg have appeared in the Relegation and have been successful both times, once to get into the top flight and the other to stay there. Last season it was Borussia Mönchengladbach who secured their Bundesliga survival over two legs against Bochum.

This year will see two new teams fighting it out to be in the 1.Bundesliga, Hertha Berlin and Fortuna Düsseldorf. Neither have form in this particular competition, so this could be an interesting battle between the two. History favours the first division club, as in nine of the 13 play-off battles have gone the way of the top division club. Can Fortuna overcome this, get back to the Bundesliga for the first time in 15-years, and beat former manager Otto Rehhagel in the process? It’s all to be revealed in the Relegation.