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Bundesliga Betting Offers 2024

german footballThe Bundesliga is Germany’s equivalent to the Premier League, being the top-flight league for association football in the country. It differs from most top-flight leagues in the main European countries on account of the fact that it has 18 teams rather than 20, meaning that fewer games are played during the course of a season. It works with 2. Bundesliga to operate a system of relegation and promotion, much as the English top-flight works with the Championship.

The Bundesliga is dominated by Bayern Munich, who won the title 29 times between its formation in 1963 and the conclusion of the 2019-2020 campaign; pretty impressive when you realise that it took them six seasons to win their first. The English top-flight is the most popular in the world, but the Bundesliga sits alongside La Liga as being second on the list, demanding more attention than both Ligue 1 in France and Serie A in Italy from football supporters.

Bundesliga Format

german football mapThe format that the Bundesliga takes is quite a common one for European football leagues in the sense that each club plays all the other clubs once and home and once away. A victory results in 3 points being awarded, a draw leads to 1 point and a loss results in 0 points for the losing side. At the end of the 34 game season, when 340 games will have been played in total, the club that has won the most points is awarded the German championship.

The interest in the football season doesn’t end there, however. The top 4 sides are awarded places in the Champions League for the following season, moving automatically into the group stage of the competition. Where things differ slightly from the likes of the Premier League is when it comes to how the Germans administer relegation. It isn’t as straight-forward as the bottom 3 teams going down and the top 3 from 2. Bundesliga replacing them.

Instead, the bottom 2 teams at the end of the season are relegated for the following campaign and will be replaced by the top 2 teams from 2. Bundesliga. Meanwhile the third-last placed team, which will have finished 16th, enters into a two-legged play-off with the team that finished 3rd in 2. Bundesliga. This will decide which team will play the following season in the Bundesliga and which will be in the second-tier of German football.

Should two or more teams be level on points at the end of the season, the Bundesliga uses the following information to decide the ultimate positions, in order:

  • Goal difference over the course of the full season
  • Total goals scored over the course of the full season
  • Points won in head-to-head matches between the teams that are level
  • Goals scored in head-to-head matches between the teams that are level
  • Away goals scored in head-to-head matches between the teams that are level
  • Away goals scored over the course of the full season

If, remarkably, the two teams are still tied after looking at all of those criteria then a one-off match will be played at a neutral venue.

When it comes to picking the match day squads, Bundesliga teams are allowed no more than 5 non-EU representatives within it. There can be 9 substitutes on the bench, with 3 used during the matches themselves. Away from the Champions League, the teams that finish 5th and 6th gain entry into the Europa League.

The 50+1 Rule

bayern munich fansOne of the biggest ways in which the Bundesliga differs from the Premier League comes in how clubs are structured from an ownership point of view. Clubs are required to be majority-owned by club members. This is known as the 50+1 rule, with club members needing to own 50% of the shares as well as 1 additional share. It is designed to stop a single entity from having overall control of a football club.

The exceptions to this come in the form of a person or company that has been funding a club financially for 20 years or more, allowing them to own a controlling stake in the club. The obvious examples of this are Bayer 04 Leverkusen and VfL Wolfsburg, who are owned by the pharmaceuticals company Bayer and the car manufacturers Volkswagen respectively. RB Leipzig have come under criticism for the way they have got around the 50+1 rule.

The History Of The Bundesliga

allianz arenaThe Bundesliga is actually comprised of two divisions, with 1. Bundesliga being the top-flight and 2. Bundesliga being the second tier of German football. Most people use the word ‘Bundesliga’ to refer simply to Germany’s equivalent of the Premier League, with the number missed off. The number is only ever really included when the German equivalent of the Championship is being referred to.

Prior to 1949, German football was mostly an amateur game, played in regional leagues. 1949 was the moment that semi-professionalism was introduced, with only five regional Oberligen remaining. There were calls for a central league for professional footballers throughout the 1950s, with professional leagues in other countries enticing German players away. This became problematic in international tournaments as professional teams from elsewhere won regularly.

Indeed, it ended up being international football that eventually spurred on the need to create a professional league in the country. West Germany lost to Yugoslavia in the World Cup quarter-final, prompting the Deutscher Fußball-Bund, or German Football Association, to create a new professional league. The vote was passed at the conference on the 28th of July in 1962, deciding that it should start for the 1963-1964 season.

East Germany had its own football league at the time, but West Germany still had its five Oberligen. 46 clubs applied to join the newly created league, with just 16 actually being able to do so. They were as follows:

  • Eintracht Braunschweig
  • Werder Bremen
  • Hamburger SV
  • Borussia Dortmund
  • FC Köln
  • Meidericher SV
  • Preußen Münster
  • Schalke 04
  • FC Kaiserslautern
  • FC Saarbrücken
  • Eintracht Frankfurt
  • Karlsruher SC
  • FC Nürnberg
  • 1860 Munich
  • VfB Stuttgart
  • Hertha BSC

The selections of the clubs were based on some economic criteria, their successes on the pitch and the desire to have representatives of the different Oberligen. Three clubs were chosen from Oberliga Nord, five from Oberliga West, two from Oberliga Südwest, five from Oberliga Süd and one from Oberliga Berlin.

In the wake of the reunification of Germany, East German clubs were absorbed into the West German system, with Dynamo Dresden and F.C. Hansa Rostock being added to the Bundesliga to move it into an 18-team league system. Whilst some changes were made to the German top-flight league in the years that followed, such as the move to 3 points for a win instead of 2 ahead of the 1995-1996 campaign, things have remained mostly the same for the Bundesliga.

The Bundesliga Trophy

bayern munich fans with scarvesThere’s something innately Germanic about the trophy that is awarded to the club that wins the Bundesliga every year. The Meisterschale, whilst translates roughly as ‘the Champion’s bowl’, was first awarded to the winning club in German’s top-flight in 1949. It has been presented to the Bundesliga champion since the inaugural season in 1963-1964.

The Meisterschale has all German champions since 1903 engraved on it and has been enlarged on two occasions to date: once in 1981 and then again in 2009. When the latter enlargement took place it was designed to give the trophy enough room to house the names of the Champions until 2026. Slightly smaller replicas were allowed to be created by the Bundesliga during the 1980s.

The trophy itself looks like a large shield, boasting five gems inlaid into it on the central piece and on the new piece that was added to the surrounds in 2009. It is nothing like any of the trophies that English football crowds are used to seeing teams lift when they win competitions in the United Kingdom or even in Europe’s elite competitions.

Previous Winners

Team City Number Titles
Bayern Munich Munich 29
Borussia Mönchengladbach Mönchengladbach 5
Borussia Dortmund Dortmund 5
Werder Bremen Bremen 4
Hamburger SV Hamburg 3
VfB Stuttgart Stuttgart 3
1. FC Köln Cologne 2
FC Kaiserslautern Kaiserslautern 2

The table above shows teams that have won the Bundesliga twice or more since 1963.

Interesting Facts & Trivia

borussia monchengladbach fansHaving been around since the 1960s, the Bundesliga offers plenty of interested facts and snippets of trivia for us to get our teeth into. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Whilst Bayern Munich may be the dominant force in the German top-flight nowadays, the first team from the city of Munich to win the title was 1860 Munich in 1966
  • Borussia Mönchengladbach were the first team to successful defend their Bundesliga title, winning it in 1970 and then again in 1971
  • The record attendance for a Bundesliga match was set at 88,075 in September of 1969 when Hertha Berlin hosted Köln at the Olympiastadion
  • Karl-Heinz ‘Charly’ Körbel holds the record for most appearances in the Bundesliga, lining up for Eintracht Frankfurt 602 times in the competition
  • Bernd Stöber became the youngest person to manage a Bundesliga club for a game when he took charge of Saarbrücken in in the 1976-1977 campaign at the age of 24 years, 1 month and 17 days old
  • Dieter Müller is the only player to have scored 6 goals in a single Bundesliga game, doing so for Köln against Werder Bremen in a 7-2 win in 1977
  • Bayern Munich became the first team to win the league without fans in 2020 due to the suspension of the season due to coronavirus and the necessity to play matches behind closed doors when it resumed.
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