1860 Munich suffer double relegation to amateur leagues after owner refuses to pay license fee

1860 Munich suffer double relegation to amateur leagues after owner refuses to pay license fee

Published Jun. 2, 2017 1:49 p.m. ET

1860 Munich will no longer play in the professional leagues and their entire existence is in doubt after majority shareholder Hasan Ismaik refused to pay the licensing fees required for them to play in the third division. The debacle comes at the end of an embarrassing week for the formerly great club that won the Bundesliga in 1966.

The club has been in a spiral all season, tumbling down the table in the 2.Bundesliga and finding themselves in a relegation playoff. There, angry fans caused the match to be delayed by 15 minutes and injured 10 police officers on the field.  The team ended up losing the tie, 3-1, sending them down to the third division.

As if the loss and crowd trouble weren't enough, they had no commitment from Ismaik for next season. There were only six players under contract and he refused to guarantee he would pay the licensing fee due on June 2.

By the time June 2 came, Ismaik still hadn't paid the fee and released a statement saying he would not do so. Without paying the licensing fee, 1860 Munich are ineligible to play in any of the top three divisions.

To make matters worse, 1860 Munich can't even confirm that they will continue to operate as a club. They have few players under contract and while they could use their U-21 team -- who finished second in the fourth division last season -- there is no word on whether they will have the financial backing to continue operations. They're already set to leave the Allianz Arena, which probably would have been the case even if they were in the third division, and Ismaik's commitment to the club is rightfully in question.

Whether they can even play in the fourth or fifth division, which is below the professional levels, hasn't even been confirmed.

After news of their failure to pay the licensing fee was released, the club sent out a tweet (translated from German) that read: "TSV1860 is now focused on finding solutions to continue business in the coming season."

Keep in mind that this is a team that drew very large crowds for a 2.Bundesliga club. The support is there and they have a long, storied history, even if they haven't been in the top flight since 2004. But 1860 Munich appear to be coming apart at the seams, with poor ownership and management leading the club not just to relegation, but embarrassment, unruly fans, the amateur leagues and maybe even collapse.


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