Grounds for optimism in Vienna

The Ernst Happel Stadium, once known as the mighty Prater, is doing brisk business these days. New grounds are en vogue in Austria at the moment, and in Vienna, the latest club to announce a makeover is Austria Vienna. This comes just over six months after their fierce rivals, Rapid, moved out of the Gerhard Hanappi stadium while it was being demolished to make way for a new ground – the Allianz Stadion. Austria Vienna had a disappointing season in 2014-15, finishing seventh in the Bundesliga, 30 points behind champions Salzburg. Two years ago, they were champions and playing in … Continue reading Grounds for optimism in Vienna

Viennese whirl: The coffee house derby

Vienna is a cultural city where classical music pervades every corner of its well manicured strasse. Coffee is the beverage of choice and the food is hearty and satisfying. But football in such a city probably cannot claim to be, to quote Italian football’s Swedish legend Niels Liedholm, “the most important of the less important things in life”. Bricking it You might be forgiven for thinking that Austrians are more likely to get bent out of shape about the quality of their espresso than their football, but last year, Rapid Vienna fans bricked up the entrance to their ground in … Continue reading Viennese whirl: The coffee house derby