|Full name||Grazer Athletik-Klub|
Die Roten (The Reds)
|Ground||Sportzentrum Weinzödl (football section)|
Grazer AK, founded 18 August 1902 as Grazer Athletik-Sport Klub (in Austria the abbreviation GAK is more common), is an Austrian sports club, from the city of Graz in the federal state of Styria (Steiermark). The football section is one of the most traditional Austrian clubs, most successful in the decade 1995–2005. The other sections are basketball, diving and tennis, which however all act as separate legal entities. The "GAK" football section was dissolved in 2012; however, it has since been revived and now plays in the amateur divisions of Austrian football. The club has a big rivalry with neighbours Sturm Graz.
The club arose from an informal association of local academics around the medical student Georg August Wagner from Prague, later a professor at the Charles University and the Charité in Berlin. Acquainted with football from his hometown, he organised the first public match in present-day Austria on 18 March 1894 in the Graz municipal park. The Grazer Athletik-Sport-Club – modeled after the Wiener AC – was established eight years later on the 72nd birthday of Emperor Francis Joseph.
European football and the golden start to the new millennium
Between 1962–1983 GAK has been involved in European competitions. Their first match was against Odense BK in the Cup Winners Cup in 1962. The club has made regular appearances in European cups ever since, with regular UEFA Cup appearances since the 1980s, but the highlight came on the domestic scene in 1981 when they won the Austrian Cup. The Golden years arrived in the first half of the 2000s, when they won the Austrian Cup two more times in 2000 and 2002. Their biggest success was in 2004 where they did "the double" – they managed to win the cup yet again but also the Austrian title. Their last appearance in Europe was a disappointing 5–0 away defeat to RC Strasbourg in 2005 in Round 1 of the UEFA Cup.
Financial troubles and bankruptcy
During the 2006–2007 season, 'Grazer AK' went into administration. The club was docked 28 points as a result. In the 2007–2008 season, the club was not allowed to participate in the professional leagues and was relegated to the Austrian Regional League Central. After a second bankruptcy, the club managed to achieve a settlement and accommodation with its creditors in September 2008, ensuring its survival. Soon after, the club started having difficulties again after it never recovered for its relegation to the Regionalliga Mitte and eventually was dissolved in 2012.
A phoenix club was set up by the fans soon after the club was dissolved in 2012 called Grazer AC and started from the bottom tier. On 14 March 2014 Grazer AC at an extraordinary meeting was considered to be a continuation of the original "GAK" in agreement with its umbrella association. Currently they are in the 5th tier of the football pyramid.
Fans and the Graz Derby
The organised fan movement at GAK started in 1985. Since then several fan groups have been created, the most well-known currently are the Red Firm, Society Graz, Tifosi Rosso Bianco and the Everreds.
GAK have a big rivalry with cross-town rivals Sturm Graz with whom they compete the Graz Derby. In 1974 there was big opposition from both sets of fans against a proposed merger to become FC Graz. Since 1920, excluding the friendly matches (especially before the first official Styrian Cup in 1920), 197 matches have been played between the two, of which there were: 185 encounters in the league (130 at the professional level and 55 at amateur level in the Styrian League); an additional 5 encounters in Austrian Cup (including one final that was won by the GAK in 2002); 1 match in Austrian Supercup; 2 meetings in the Tschammerpokal and 4 games in the Styrian Cup. The very first Derby took place in 1911, the last was dated 17 May 2007. So far Sturm Graz have won more derby matches than GAK. Due to the recent financial troubles and subsequent relegations GAK is more likely to revive the derby with Sturm's reserve squad as they begin to climb up the football pyramid.
- Winners (1): 2003–04
- Runners-up (2): 2002–03, 2004–05
- Winners (4): 1980–81, 1999–2000, 2001–02, 2003–04
- Runners-up (2): 1961–62, 1967–68
- Winners (2): 2000, 2002
- Runners-up (1): 2004
- Winners (3): 1974–75, 1992–93, 1994–95
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
European competition statistics
|Season||Competition||Round||Opponent||Aggregate||1st leg||2nd leg|
|1962-63||UEFA Cup Winners Cup||Round 2||B 1909 Odense||4:6||1:1 (H)||3:5 (A)|
|1964-65||Inter-Cities Fairs Cup||Round 1||NK Zagreb||2:9||2:3 (A)||0:6 (H)|
|1968-69||UEFA Cup Winners Cup||Round 1||ADO Den Haag||1:6||1:4 (A)||0:2 (H)|
|1973-74||UEFA Cup||Round 1||Panachaiki Patras||1:3||0:1 (H)||1:2 (A)|
|1981-82||UEFA Cup Winners Cup||Round 1||Dinamo Tbilisi||2:4||0:2 (A)||2:2 (H)|
|1982-83||UEFA Cup||Round 1||Corvinul Hunedoara||1:4||1:1 (H)||0:3 (A)|
|1996-97||UEFA Cup||Qualification||FK Vojvodina Novi Sad||7:1||2:0 (H)||5:1 (A)|
|Round 1||Germinal Ekeren||(a) 3:3||1:3 (A)||2:0 (H)|
|Round 2||Inter Milan|| 1:1
|0:1 (A)|| 1:0 a.e.t. |
(3:5 p) (H)
|1997||UEFA Intertoto Cup||Group Stage||Silkeborg IF||5:4||2:0 (H)|
|Ebbw Vale AFC||0:0 (A)|
|NK Hrvatski Dragovoljac||1:3 (H)|
|SC Bastia||2:1 (A)|
|1998-99||UEFA Cup||Qualifying Round 2||Vaasan PS||3:0||0:0 (A)||3:0 (H)|
|Round 1||Litex Lovech||3:1||1:1 (A)||2:0 (H)|
|Round 2||AS Monaco||3:7||3:3 (H)||0:4 (A)|
|1999-00||UEFA Cup||Qualifying Round 2||KÍ Klaksvík||9:0||5:0 (A)||4:0 (H)|
|Round 1||FC Spartak Trnava||4:2||3:0 (H)||1:2 (A)|
|Round 2||Panathinaikos Athens||(a) 2:2||2:1 (H)||0:1 (A)|
|2000-01||UEFA Cup||Round 1||1. FC Košice||3:2||3:2 (A)||0:0 (H)|
|Round 2||Espanyol Barcelona||1:4||0:4 (A)||1:0 (H)|
|2001-02||UEFA Cup||Qualifikation||HB Tórshavn||6:2||2:2 (A)||4:0 (H)|
|Round 2||FC Utrecht||3:6||0:3 (A)||3:3 (H)|
|2002-03||UEFA Champions League||Qualifying Round 2||Sheriff Tiraspol||6:1||4:1 (A)||2:0 (H)|
|Qualifying Round 3||Lokomotiv Moscow||3:5||0:2 (H)||3:3 (A)|
|2002-03||UEFA Cup||Round 1||APOEL Nicosia||1:3||0:2 (A)||1:1 (H)|
|2003-04||UEFA Champions League||Qualifying Round 2||SK Tirana||7:2||5:1 (A)||2:1 (H)|
|Qualifying Round 3||Ajax Amsterdam||2:3||1:1 (H)||1:2 (s.g.) (A)|
|2003-04||UEFA Cup||Round 1||Vålerenga IF||1:1 (a)||0:0 (A)||1:1 (H)|
|2004-05||UEFA Champions League||Qualifying Round 3||Liverpool F.C.||1:2||0:2 (H)||1:0 (A)|
|2004-05||UEFA Cup||Round 1||Litex Lovech||5:1||5:0 (H)||0:1 (A)|
|Group Stage||AJ Auxerre||5:4||0:0 (A)|
|Amica Wronki||3:1 (H)|
|Glasgow Rangers||0:3 (A)|
|AZ Alkmaar||2:0 (H)|
|1/16 finals||Middlesbrough F.C.||3:4||2:2 (H)||1:2 (A)|
|2005-06||UEFA Cup||Qualifying Round 2||Nistru Otaci||3:0||2:0 (A)||1:0 (H)|
|Round 1||Racing Strasbourg||0:7||0:2 (H)||0:5 (A)|
Derby statistics vs. SK Sturm Graz
(as of 23.8.2005) Total (in 1st Austrian League):
- 46 Won
- 42 Drawn
- 42 Lost
Achievements in other sports
The GAK tennis section was able to win the Austrian mastership in 1938, 1989, 1991 and 2002, as well as the German mastership in 1940.
The GAK ice hockey section (not existing anymore) played in the first Austrian league in 1970/71.
- "Austria's GAK agree to leave top flight". FIFA. 11 April 2005. Archived from the original on 18 September 2007. Retrieved 15 May 2006.
- "Kader: GAK 1902". www.grazerak.at/ (in German). Grazer AK. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
- Matej Rijavec (25 June 2010). "Mura išče novega trenerja: Šimundža skočil čez mejo" (in Slovenian). RTV Slovenija. Retrieved 25 June 2012.
- "GAK-Tennis: Geschichte und Erfolge". gak-tennis.at. Retrieved 2014-11-14.
- "G-A-K.at: Stammverein". g-a-k.at. Retrieved 2014-11-14.
- official homepage
- fansite with basic information in English, French, Spanish, Polish and Dutch
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