Sporting Club de Bastia or SC Bastia is a professional football team from France that is based in the city of Bastia, on the island of Corsica. The club was founded in 1905, by a Swiss teacher by the name of Hans Ruesch. They are one of the most successful teams on the island of Corsica, winning the Corsican league title a massive 17 times. One of the top three clubs on the island, SC Bastia have always been one of the top contenders and even in the French league system, have always been the team with the best performances.
SC Bastia turned into a completely professional outfit in 1965, when it was playing in the Ligue 2 level of French football. Three seasons later, it won the second division title and made its first foray into top-flight football. Despite a difficult season, the club managed to stay up and began a golden period in its history. In 1972, SC Bastia reached the finals of the Coupe de France, losing 1-2 to Olympique de Marseille. However, it qualified for the European Cup Winners’ Cup thanks to that performance, losing out to a fantastic Atletico Madrid line-up. They won the Trophee des Champions in 1972, a small consolation to the loss in the European Cup Winners’ Cup.
Five seasons later, SC Bastia again created headlines by finishing third in Ligue 1 and qualifying for the UEFA Cup. The team went on to play in the finals of the UEFA Cup, losing out to PSV Eindhoven in the finals in 1978. The team would go on to win the 1981 Coupe de France title, their last piece of silverware for a little while.
After spending 18-seasons in the top-flight, SC Bastia were finally relegated to the second division at the end of 1985-86 where they remained for another 8 seasons. In 1991-92, the team reached the semi-finals of the Coupe de France when a major disaster struck its fans. The match was being played at the Stade Armand Cesari against Olympique de Marseille. The club decided to build another 10,000 seats to accommodate the fans but the construction was poor and the stands collapsed, killing 18 people and injuring 2,300 people.
Towards the mid-90s, the team made its way back into the top division and in 1994-05, they reached the final of the league-cup. In 1997, the club finished 7th in the league but went on to win the UEFA Intertoto Cup. They lost out to Benfica in the 1997-98 UEFA Cup and the decline would continue as the club was relegated in 2004-05. At the end of the 2009-10 season, SC Bastia hit an all-time low after being relegated to the Championat National division, or the amateur division of French football.
However they won the title that year and came up to the second division for 2011-12, and the rise has continued because SC Bastia won the 2011-12 Ligue 2 title to come back into top-flight football in France.
Over the years, the club has seen some great players like Andre Burkhard, Claude Papi, Alex Song, Roger Milla, Johnny Rep, Mamadou Faye and Michael Essien pass through its doorway.
SC Bastia plays its home games at the Stade Armand Cesari, a stadium with a capacity of 16,000 and has been the host of the first leg of the 1978 UEFA Cup finals between SC Bastia and PSV Eindhoven, a match that ended nil-nil thanks to heavy rains and terrible ground conditions.