1972 - 1988: changeable years - relegation, 3 cup
finals , financial problems
1972/73: The expensive squad of the preceding two years leads to
financial problems in Austria's 40 year anniversary season. The
club faces debts of 10.5 million Austria Schillings. A sponsorship
deal with "Gerngross" is signed which leads to the change
of the official club name SV Austria Salzburg into "SV Gerngross
A. Salzburg". Protests of supporters fell on deaf ears. The
money of the deal is used to pay back the debts. In the end, Austria
Salzburg finishes at the disappointing seventh place and average
attendance fall from 8.700 (1971/72) to 4.400.
1973-1975:Guenther Praschak returns to the Austria. He takes over
from the unpopular Erich Hof. Money is still a problem and some
players have to be sold. The club finishes at the eighth position
of the Austrian league but makes it to the finals of the Austrian
Cup after beating Bregenz, Bludenz, Eisenstadt, Donawitz and Wacker
Innsbruck. The first leg against Vienna's Austria Wien is lost 1:2.
Hala scores in the return leg on home soil but an own goal by Filzmoser
shatters the dream of winning the Austrian Cup.
1975/76: Austria plays one of its best seasons and qualifies for
the UEFA-CUP (finishes at 4th) despite the fact that Grosser, Kibler
and Hirnschrodt leave the club.
1976/77 ist Probably the most changeable season in the history
of Salzburg. Hansi Reich, a former pupil of Max Merkel, leads the
club back to the top of the league: after 10 games and 12 points
Salzburg is in second position just one point behind leading Innsbruck.
After 18 games and still 12 points Salzburg is bottom of the table
and remains there until the end of the season and is thus relegated.
Salzburg makes it to the second round of the UEFA-Cup for the first
time in the club's history. The club makes it to the second round
although the first leg in Turkey against Adanaspor is lost 0:2.
In the return leg in Salzburg the home side wins 5:0 and faces Red
Star Belgrade in the second round. A record attendance of 18.000
at Lehen witnesses a sensational 2:1 victory after being down by
one goal. 23 supporters accompany the team to Belgrade although
nobody really believes in success. Red Star wins the game 1:0 with
help of the English referee "Taylor" (according to newspapers).
Prior to the start of the Second Division Austria Salzburg takes
part in the Hexagonal tournament in South America where they beat
Pele's FC SANTOS by 1:0 and finish at the second place ahead of
Everton, Colo-Colo and River Plate.
1977/78 Salzburg wins automatic promotion. Guenther Praschak leaves
again and Karl Kirchberger is appointed as Salzburg's new chairman.
Salzburg manages to get to the Semi-finals of the Austrian Cup were
they are defeated by VOEST Linz.
The 1978 Second Division champions team
1978/79: Salzburg is financially sound in the meantime and manages
to sign a sponsorship deal with the reliable Austrian Casinos company.
Unfortunately, the club has to pay a high prize for it. The official
club name is changed again but this time "Austria" disappears
and the new official name is "SV Casino Salzburg". Nevertheless,
supporters still refer to the club as their "Austria".
The club finishes at a mid-table position (6th place) because of
its poor away performances.
1979/80 The Austria again finishes at the 6th position and for
the second time in its history reaches the cup finals after beating
Bregenz, Sturm Graz, Wolfsberg and St.Veit. Salzburg loses 2:1 on
aggregate despite a 1:0 victory (Leo Weiss scored) against Austria
Vienna. The first leg at Lehen is witnessed by a disappointing crowd
of just 7.000. Vienna's goals have been scored by Schachner and
1980/81: Although the cup final has been lost we are allowed to
play in the Cup Winners Cup because Austria Vienna also wins the
Austrian championship. The performance against Germany's Fortuna
Duesseldorf is a disgrace. The first leg at Lehen is lost by three
goals and the return leg 0:5. League performances are also very
poor and coach Rudolf Strittich is replaced by Gustl Starek and
relegation is avoided. Victories over Wattens, Vorwaerts Steyr and
LASK Linz help to ensure a place in the Austrian Cup final for the
second time in as many years. The final is lost again, this time
after extra time against Graz AK.
1981/82 Joschi Obert's Austria finishes on goal difference one
place above the bottom but relegation has been no cause for concern
because of the re-introduction of a league with 16 teams (formerly
only 10 teams). Leo Lainer is leaving Austria Salzburg for Vienna's
Rapid and so does Hermann Stadler the following year.
1982/83:After a poor start to the season, coach Obert decides to
bring back the banned Hannes Winkelbauer. The 35 year old Winkelbauer
leads the team to the 5th place of the table. The most remarkable
performance of the season is a 1:0 victory at Austria Vienna. Lack
of money means that the team has to travel to Vienna on the same
day at 4 o'clock in the morning.
1983/84: An average season ends with the 10th place. Karl Kirchberger
is replaced by Rudolf Quehenberger who takes the liability of the
growing debt of 12 million Austrian schillings.
1984/85: The Austrian league is reduced from 16 to 12 teams and
Salzburg becomes one of the victims of this reform. A 15th league
position leads to relegation and 4 years of second division football.
Salzburg (AK) is promoted to the first division in the same year.
1985-1988: Apart from the local derbies against Salzburg AK and
USV (later FC) Salzburg, the years in the second division are without
highlights and quite miserable. The disappointing performances and
the growing debts lead to the plan of merging with SAK. Fortunately,
the SAK executive committee votes against the amalgamation. Attendance
is still good and up to 12.000 spectators make it to Lehen. One
of the main attractions during that time is the young native Heimo
Pfeifenberger who is transferred to Rapid Vienna in 1988.