In the early Sixties, FC Sochaux passed a period of ireegularity, caused by a lack of experience, and found themselves back in Division II for three seasons. But they made a strong come-back in which they had a big confidence in their youth policy. In 1967 FCSM suffered a new defeat in a Cup Final, this time it's Olympique Lyonnais that take the cup back home: 3-1. The season after, FCSM bounced back and finished third in the league. In 1972 they consolidated a third position which gave access to the UEFA Cup. The European campaign, which supposed to be a dream for all who loves FCSM, ended up in a nightmare after being eliminated by FREM Copenhagen, an amateur club from Denmark. René Hauss is appointed to bring FCSM to a higher level.
FC Sochaux-Montbéliard opened their current Youth Academy in 1974. Players like Bernard Genghini, Joël Bats, Yannick Stopyra are all promoted to the first team after being formed at the famous talent school. The second spot in the French league is followed directly by some European success.
In 1981 FCSM reached the semi-final of the UEFA Cup (after eliminating Servette Genève, Boavista Porto, Eintracht Frankfurt and Grasshoppers Zurich to be knocked out by AZ Alkmaar) with a squad mixed of own "products" and experienced players. After other clubs plundered the best elements of FCSM, the squad had to continue with a less experienced group. FC Sochaux-Montbéliard struggled to keep their place in de Division 1. And after 24 years the club relegated in 1987.
With a new generation of youngsters like Paille, Rousset, Sauzéé and Sylvestre and two Yugoslavian internationals (Faruk Hadzibegic and Mecha Bazdarevic) FCSM gloriously gained back promotion a year later, in 1988, and made a fabulous cup run. But again no win in the final for the Lionceaux : FC Metz conquered the cup after penalties. Back in Division 1, FC Sochaux-Montbéliard kept their great form and finished twice fourth which gave them new European experiences.