Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The city of Linz ended just behind the big three – LASK was forth and VOEST fifth. Not bad, but... 10 points divided 3rd and 4th placed clubs. Austria obviously was incapable of producing enough palyers for really competitive league. The talent concentrated in the three top clubs and very little was left for the rest. Yet, there were some good players in Linz: Helmut Koglberger, Klaus Lindenberger, Geza Gallos, Walter Gebhardt (LASK), Ortner, Hagmayr, Hintermaier (VOEST). Like most Austrian clubs, Linz depended on solid if not famous imports: the West Germans Heinz Libuda (VOEST) and Wolfgang Gayer (LASK).

LASK topped the local rivals by a point, but it was not bad – Linz was the third city of Austrian football this season, hoping for better days ahead. Which was not the case of Graz – her clubs ended at the bottom: Grazer AK was 8th and Sturm 9th. More than disappointment, for Graz normally was second or third football city of the country. Either Graz was falling or the Austrian football as a whole was improving and becoming fiercely competitive. No matter what, Graz was not in danger of losing a club – Sturm finished good 5 points ahead of the last placed team. Which was unlikely one: Austria (Salzburg)

Salzburg is better known for classical music than football, but dead last? Normally, Salzburg were in the upper half of the table. Normally, they were well respected club, if not outright favourites. But such is football... in 1975-76 Austria finished 4th, earning a spot in the UEFA Cup tournament. A year later – relegation. Mozart probably wouldn't care... well, these boys surely were not Mozarts.

The Second Division was won by Wiener Sportclub (Vienna), who returned to top flight, replacing Austria (Salzburg).

They fought bitterly for the coveted promotional spot with Donawitzer SV Alpine and won by a point. Strong season for the oldest club – they reached the Cup final as well. How good they really were was to be seen in the next year, but if anything they increased the number of clubs from the Austrian capital to exactly half the league.