When we think of Bayern Munich football, we think of one of the most successful teams in German football. However, that hasn’t always been the case, and there have been some rough moments for the club. Here’s a look at the five worst moments that Bayern Munich fans have had to suffer through.
Finishing the 1977-78 Season
Ever since the 1977-78 season for Bayern Munich, the club has had unprecedented success. In that year, however, Bayern was ‘just another team’ at best. In the DFB-Pokal, the club won its first two rounds before losing 3-1 to FC 08 Homburg. In the UEFA Cup, Bayern advanced to the third round but was defeated 6-1 on aggregate by Eintracht Frankfurt. As for the Bundesliga, season, it wasn’t pretty, and things haven’t been as bad ever since.
Bayern Munich won just 11 of its 34 matches that year while drawing 10 and losing 13. That was only good enough for 32 points, which placed them just one point ahead of 15th-place Werder Bremen. Thankfully, Bayern avoided relegation, but the season was capped off by one of the worst performances in club history. Against 1. FC Kaiserslautern, Bayern dropped a 5-0 match with four of those goals coming in the second half.
2007 Champions League Quarter-final
The 2006-07 season was a frustrating one for Bayern Munich. The club ended up sacking manager Felix Magath due to the fact that they went the entire season without winning any major trophies. In the Bundesliga, Bayern Munich finished in fourth place behind VfB Stuttgart, Schalke 04, and Werder Bremen. This meant no Champions League the next year, but there was still the 2006-07 Champions League to get through.
It was the last chance for Bayern Munich to salvage the season after the club lost out on winning DFB-Pokal (knocked out in the second round) and DFL-Ligapokal (lost in the finals). Bayern made it past the group stage along with Inter Milan, then defeated Real Madrid in the first knockout stage. However, the team ran into AC Milan and lost 2-0 in the second leg after drawing 2-2 in the first, capping off the disappointing campaign.
The Uli Hoeneß Scandal
When you think of Bayern Munich, one of the first names that come to mind is Uli Hoeneß. After all, as a player, Hoeneß spent nearly the entirety of the 1970s (and his playing career) as a forward with 239 league appearances and 86 goals. After retiring from football in 1979, Hoeneß remained a staple of the club as he was appointed as the general manager. He held the position for three decades and was elected as the club’s president.
Unfortunately, Hoeneß would end up being investigated for tax evasion starting in 2013. It turned out that he owed millions in back taxes, and he admitted to nearly 30 million Euros in evaded taxes. Hoeneß was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison in March 2014, though he served just under two years of that sentence. Upon his release, he returned as Bayern Munich president before retiring in 2019 with nearly a half-century with the club.
Second Division Stint
The first few decades of Bayern Munich’s history weren’t all that remarkable, really. Up until the late 1960s, the club had only won the top title in Germany once (1932) and was seen as one of those ‘average’ clubs in the top division for a long time. At one point, it was even worse than that and Bayern Munich was considered one of the worst clubs in Germany’s top division. Playing in Oberliga Sud (now Bundesliga), Bayern finished 16th, knocking them down to the second division.
Thankfully, it wouldn’t take too long for Bayern to get back to where they belonged. The club finished second in the 2. Oberliga Sud table for the 1955-56 season and they were promoted back for good. The promotion marked the beginning of Bayern building toward becoming a juggernaut in German football with the sleeping giant finally awoken.
1999 Champions League Final
Bayern Munich won the European Cup for three consecutive years prior to the tournament being named the UEFA Champions League. However, those consecutive years all came in the mid-1970s, and it took quite some time for Bayern to return to the promised land. For the 1998-99 Champions League season, it appeared that the drought may finally be drawing to a close.
Bayern had gotten through the qualifying round and group stage rather easily, even though both Manchester United and Barcelona were in the group. Bayern then defeated fellow German club Kaiserslautern and Dynamo Kyiv to earn a spot in the final. Mario Basler scored in the sixth minute, and Bayern was on its way. In stoppage time of the second half, however, Edward Sheringham scored one minute in while Ole Solskjaer added another goal two minutes later to steal the 2-1 victory and the Champions League title.