The Arema is born out of the pride of the citizens of Malang. With the desire to establish themselves as a famous and a high nobility society, the people (especially the teenagers) of Malang participated in all kinds of activities (which includes boxing, rock music and athleticism) to help establish the Malang as one of the famous societies in Indonesia.
Arema is also the name of an Indonesian/Javanese legend, Singo Arema who is thought to originate from Malang. Due to this fact, "Arema" became a relevant name to be used for the culture and identity of Malang.
Arema is a professional club based in Malang, East Java. The team was created on 11 August 1987 on the initiative of Acub Zaenal, founder of Galatama club, this is called Aremada, which is a combination of local clubs and 86 Malang Arema Fleet. But that name did not last long. A few months later, it was changed to Arema 86.
Efforts to maintain the club 86 Arema Galatama went through many obstacles, the team that was expected to take part in the Galatama VIII stumbled due to difficulties in funding. From here Acub Zaenal along with his son Lucky Acub Zaenal took over and tried to save the club.
The name was changed to 86 Arema and set the foundation on 11 August 1987 in accordance notarial document Pramu Haryono SH No. 58. Since then, they prepared Arema as a professional team. The squad, facilities, and the officials were upgraded.
The team's achievement in Indonesian football has faced countless ups and downs. The club's main issue is financial backup. However, they were crowned champions of Galatama in 1992–93 season.
Since the introduction of Liga Indonesia, a combination of Perserikatan and Galatama, Arema has been recorded seven times in the second round. However, financial constraints continued to squeeze the club, until eventually Bentoel Group took ownership of the team in mid-season 2003.
As a result of the financial crisis[clarification needed] that was made Arema went down to division one. But with the new financial strength, Arema only stayed one season in division one and was re-promoted to the top league as the champion. Since then performance was stable. Arema was able penetrate the Super League, the highest level of competition in the country for the first time this season.[when?]
The club's supporters who call themselves as the Aremania and Aremanita are considered to be one of the least fanatic supporters among all of the Indonesian football clubs supporters. In 2006, the Aremania has been awarded as The Best Indonesian Football Supporters Forever by FIFA.
Arema FC have a very tough competitor in the League of Persebaya Surabaya. Since the beginning of the meeting of the league, this game usually called Old Indonesia derby. This game is also often called the East Java Derby.