Alkmaar football club AZ was formed in 1967 when the professional clubs Alkmaar ’54 and FC Zaanstreek merged to create AZ ’67 (the ’67 was dropped in 1986). The club’s heyday was in the late 1970s and early 1980s but it was relegated to the first division in 1988. In 1993, businessman and banker Dirk Scheringa became the club’s chairman and five years later AZ returned to the premier division, taking the title in the 2008/09 season.