Tradition since 1962
For over 40 years now the Uhrencup has firmly secured its place on Switzerland’s sports agenda. A tournament which took off on the opening ceremony of a stadium’s newly constructed grandstand, is now not just Switzerland’s oldest football tournament, but has also become one of its most important events. Years of cooperation between us and leading Swiss agencies, UEFA-match agents, and trustworthy travel agencies help us to maintain a steady high-level organization. Our guests have all, so far, expressed nothing but satisfaction at the professional manner the tournament is organized, including the provision of training locations and facilities. Schalke 04, Bayer Leverkusen, 1st leaguer FC Köln, Trabzonspor and many other top clubs have all recently experienced the benefits of taking part in the Uhrencup. The Teams welcome this opportunity to test and display their fitness and readiness for their upcoming European Championship matches, to the delight of the fans.
The thunderous appreciation of these entertained fans is always incredible, to say the least. Very few events anywhere else could boast of having many fans so close to an arena to witness the actions in it unravel, year in year out. Although the tournament has evolved into a great event it still retains its small-town charm and beautiful countryside. Whoever experiences the Uhrencup magical atmosphere always comes again – be it as a player or a fan. The Uhrencup is under the sponsorship of the Swiss Football Association (SFV). This, coupled with our worldwide renowned Swiss hospitality, we always do our utmost best to fulfil the wishes of all our guests, to ensure that their stay in Grenchen will always be memorably fruitful to their preparation for the upcoming football season. As we look forward, therefore, to the Uhrencup 2007, we hope to welcome you to this very important event of our football history.
From the inauguration to a top tournament
In 1962 the Grenchen football club – FC Grenchen – celebrated the inauguration of its new sports stadium – the Bruehl – with a big international tournament. Watch industry towns were then household names within the SWISS FOOTBALL circus and famous abroad. Biel and Grenchen competed against the Belgium champion FC Brügge and the Italian team AS Como. The resonance of the tournament was so great that the fans and the Journalists wanted its continuation. With the support of the then flourishing watch industry it evolved into a yearly football festival, during which time international top teams like Ipswich Town, FC Sochaux or Juventus Turin has graced the event with their participation.
From Littbarski and Köln to SC Subingen
Even when the 1980s watch industry crises financially affected the FC Grenchen so much so that it was relegated to the 2nd Division, the tournament never lost its importance. Unforgettable was the appearance of the 1. League FC Köln coach Christoph Daum and the world champion Pierre Littbarski shortly before the crises, which created such a spectacle and drew throngs of spectators as never before. The long waiting line of eager fans and spectators seemed endless, but alas, endless too was the long list of creditors waiting to be honoured. Unable to win over new creditors, FC Grenchen could no longer financially showcase international teams for the tournament and pay off its debts. The Uhrencup became reduced to just a regional event in the 90s. The 4th leaguer FC Subingen won the tournament then – 6 years after the last champion, the 1st leaguer FC Köln.
The return to international level event
Since 2003 the tournament, under a new management, has been experiencing a unexpected revival and regained its popularity once again. Changes where made in the organisation, marketing and sponsoring was outsourced and in addition, Grenchen town and the local industries were won over as partners, in short, the event became a regional event with international flair. The positive outcome of this was that in 2004 when FC Basel, YB, the Bundesliga clubs Schalke 04 and 1. FC Kaiserslautern participated in the tournament, thousands of spectators again back to the stadium. Since then two international top teams always compete against their Swiss counterparts. Old tradition combined with a professional organisation is the recipes for the successful of hosting this, meanwhile, Switzerland’s most important tournament. This organization works hand in hand with Swiss Football Association SFV, an acknowledged UEFA match agents and all participating clubs. The tournament, therefore, will cater and see to the needs of all teams to the best of its ability and guarantee a most competitively enjoyable and unforgettable event for all.