Unfortunately the 70s, 80s and 90s saw Der Club play the role of sleeping giants, with no trophies and several relegations and promotions since their last success in 1968.
Fifth place in the Bundesliga in 1987-88 after a couple of years of consolidation was enough for a UEFA Cup place but before the Euro campaign got underway, the manager and some key players (including Stefan Reuter to who else but Bayern Munich) left the club. Despite a 2-1 victory against AS Roma in Rome, Nürnberg were knocked out of the competition at the first hurdle and although they came close to qualifying in 1992, mediocrity once again became the norm.
Rebuilding of the stadium in 1991 and the addition of a hotel at the training ground provided another facelift for the facilities but again financial misery followed, this time even more pronounced. During the 1995-96 season while in Bundeliga 2, six points were deducted following an investigation into previous financial irregularities, resulting in relegation to Regionliga Sud.
The leadership of new President Michael Roth managed to steady the ship and Der Club managed to get back into the Bundesliga but were still up and down between the top two divisions with many fans becoming critical of Roth’s unwillingness to commit large sums of money to purchases which would help to achieve some stability in the top flight.
Promotion as second division champions in 2004 was in no small part due to the 18 goals of Slovakian midfielder Marek Mintal. His 24 goals the following season made him the Bundesliga’s leading scorer and staved off relegation. Mintal sustained a broken foot early in the 2005-06 campaign, and it looked like Wolfgang Wolf’s team would be relegated, gaining only 6 points from the first 12 games.
The group of fans who would soon form the core of 1FCNUK witnessed the 3:2 defeat at the hands of Arminia Bielefeld, as Wolfgang Wolf’s, and 1.FCN’s, situation looked increasingly perilous.