Football Club Twente (Dutch pronunciation: [ɛfˈseː ˈtʋɛntə]) is a Dutch professional football club from the city of Enschede. The club was formed in 1965 by the merger of 1926 Dutch champions, Sportclub Enschede and Enschedese Boys. They were the holders of the 2011 KNVB Cup and Johan Cruyff Shield trophies, and were Eredivisie champions in the 2009–10 season; the team has also finished as Eredivisie runner-up twice, was runner-up in the 1974–75 UEFA Cup, and has won the KNVB Cup three times. Twente's home ground since 1998 is De Grolsch Veste. Since 2019, the club has played in the Eredivisie, the top division of Dutch football.
Foundation and early years
The club was formed in 1965 as a merger of two professional clubs, Sportclub Enschede and the Enschedese Boys. One of such predecessors, SC Enschede, had also won a single Dutch championship in 1926.
The first successes of the club started just after the merger of 1965, under the innovative coach Kees Rijvers. Twente finished third in 1969, fourth in 1970, fifth in 1971, third in 1972 and again in 1973. The team's key figures were local heroes, such as Epi Drost, Eddy Achterberg, Kick van der Vall and Theo Pahlplatz. Their finest Eredivisie season was 1973–74, in which Twente battled for the Dutch championship with Feyenoord. A head-to-head confrontation in the final game of the season, in Rotterdam, where Feyenoord prevailed 3–2, sealed Twente's fate in second. Nonetheless, this earned the side a position in the UEFA Cup.
The Tukkers (as people from the Dutch region of Twente are generally called) nearly made the very most out of that UEFA Cup ticket—after beating Juventus in the semi-finals, Twente lost to German side Borussia Monchengladbach in the finals (0–0, 1–5).
In 1977, Twente won its first trophy, the KNVB Cup, after beating PEC Zwolle 3–0.
The 1980s and 1990s
After enjoying some success in the 1970s, prospects went downhill for Twente, with the club ultimately suffering relegation to the Eerste Divisie, the Dutch second division, in 1983. However, Twente returned to the top flight a year later, but the club soon became known for their "impressive" amount of 1–1 and 0–0 draws. This new reputation as "boring Twente" overshadowed the fact that the club kept qualifying for European football on a fairly regular basis, with five times since 1985.
Re-establishment then followed in the 1990s: German coach Hans Meyer led Twente to third-place in the Eredivisie of 1997 and into the third round of the 1997–98 UEFA Cup the next season. On 24 May 2001, Twente clinched their second triumph in the KNVB Cup after beating PSV in the final after being 3–1 down in the penalty shoot-out. The season after, Twente crashed out of the Cup at hand of Ajax's second team. Additionally, results in the league were poor, with hardcore Twente fans Ultras Vak-P eventually going on a rampage at the club's brand-new stadium out of frustration.
From bankruptcy to national champions (2002–2011)
The club's mother corporation (FC Twente '65) was declared bankrupt in the 2002–03 season, almost leading to the end of the club's existence. The club, now chaired by ambitious businessman Joop Munsterman, survived such problems and made it to another KNVB Cup final in 2004, and then finished in fourth place in the league table in 2006–07. In the 2007–08 season, Twente placed fourth and won the play-offs for a ticket to the Champions League qualifiers by defeating Ajax in the play-off finals.
In the 2008–09 season, Twente hired former England manager Steve McClaren as its new head coach. Under his tenure, unseeded Twente entered the draw for the third qualifying round of the Champions League, being drawn against seeded Arsenal. The two legs were played at home on 13 August and away on 27 August 2008. Twente lost 6–0 on aggregate, resulting in their elimination from the Champions League and subsequent entry of the 2008–09 UEFA Cup first round. At the domestic level, Twente finished second in the Eredivisie, 11 points behind champions AZ, and again secured entry to the Champions League qualifying rounds as Dutch runners-up, as well as KNVB Cup finalists (defeated by Heerenveen).
The 2009–10 season started with Twente being knocked out of the 2009–10 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round after a 1–1 aggregate draw against Sporting CP, which sent the Portuguese side through on away goals. The club was then admitted to the Europa League, where it enjoyed a relatively successful path that ended in a 4–2 aggregate defeat at the hands of Werder Bremen in the round of 32. At the domestic level, Twente won its first Eredivisie title at the end of a campaign in which they lost just twice, winning 16 of 17 at home. The championship was confirmed on the final day of the season when they beat NAC 2–0 away, making Steve McClaren the first Englishman to guide a Dutch team to a national title since Bobby Robson in 1992. The victory qualified Twente for the 2010–11 UEFA Champions League group stage, the club's first appearance in the competition. At the end of the season, McClaren resigned as the manager, moving to German side VfL Wolfsburg, and was replaced by the Belgian Michel Preud'homme. Twente continued their success by having a good run during the 2010–11 KNVB Cup, reaching the final on 8 May 2011 at De Kuip. Twente recovered from 2–0 down to defeat Ajax 3–2 in extra time with a winner from Marc Janko, which claimed the club's third KNVB Cup title. One week later, the two teams faced each other in Amsterdam in the final round of matches in the Eredivisie, with Twente leading by a point. However, Ajax gained revenge for the Cup defeat by winning 3–1 to claim their first title in seven years.
The start of the 2011–12 season, under Preud'homme's successor Co Adriaanse, featured another clash between the duo in the Amsterdam Arena, this time with Twente winning 2–1 in their second successive Johan Cruijff Shield supercup victory.
Financial problems return
During the 2014–15 Eredivisie season, Twente found themselves in financial trouble again, forcing the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) to deduct the club three points from the side in March 2015. Club President Munsterman, who had announced to leave the club at the end of the season, then already quit the club on 1 April 2015 over allegations of financial mismanagement. The team fired 18 employees and stopped with their scouting department after they received a second three-point penalty in April 2015. They also decided to withdraw Jong Twente from the Eerste Divisie for the 2015–16 season and the women's professional team was relocated in a separate foundation. On 18 May 2016 the KNVB declared its intent to relegate FC Twente to the Eerste Divisie. This was however still subject to appeal by FC Twente and on 17 June 2016 the KNVB appeal committee decided that Twente can remain in the Eredivisie. At the end of the 2017–18 Eredivisie season, Twente relegated to the Eerste Divisie by finishing at the bottom of the table at the end of the season, after having fired two managers that season. The 2018–19 Eerste Divisie season was the first outside of the top flight for 34 years.
This page also has a version in other languages: Твенте (russian)