|Full name||Deutscher Sport-Club Arminia Bielefeld|
|Nickname(s)||Die Arminen, Die Blauen|
|Founded||3 May 1905 as 1. Bielefelder FC Arminia|
|2012–13||3. Liga, 2nd (promoted)|
|Website||Club home page|
DSC Arminia Bielefeld (full name: Deutscher Sportclub Arminia Bielefeld e.V.; also known as "Die Arminen" or "Die Blauen") is a German sports club from Bielefeld, North Rhine-Westphalia. Arminia offers the sports of football, field hockey, figure skating and cue sports. The club has 8,417 members and the club colours are black, white and blue. Arminia's name derives from the Cheruscian chieftain Arminius, who defeated a Roman army in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest.
The club is most commonly known for its professional football team which plays in the 2. Bundesliga. Due to their numerous promotions and relegations, they are considered a yo-yo club. They have won promotion to the Bundesliga, the top tier of the German football league system, seven times, which is a German record. In 1971, the club played a key role in the Bundesliga scandal when they bribed their opponents.
Arminia plays their home games at the Bielefelder Alm stadium since 1926. Since 2004 the stadium has been named SchücoArena through a sponsorship deal.
Arminia Bielefeld was founded on 3 May 1905 as 1. Bielefelder FC Arminia. The fourteen men who founded the club were from the local bourgeoise. Two weeks later, the club played its first match against a side from Osnabrück. Neither the name of the opponent nor the result are known. The club was admitted to the German Football Association in the same year. In 1907, local rivals FC Siegfried joined Arminia, a move which strengthened Arminia‘s squad.
After playing on various grounds, Arminia moved to a new home at the Pottenau in 1910. Their first big achievement came in 1913, when they won the Westphalian championship after a 5–1 win over BV 04 Dortmund. The outbreak of World War I interrupted Arminia rise to the top. In 1919, Arminia merged with Bielefelder Turngemeinde 1848 to form TG Arminia Bielefeld. However, the merged broke up in 1922 and both parent clubs were formed again.
Arminia won the West German championship in 1922. Originally, they were even on points with Kölner BC 01, but Köln fielded an ineligible player in one match. Arminia played for the first time in the German championships but were eliminated in the quarter-finals after losing 0–5 to FC Wacker München. In 1923, Arminia won their second West German championship in a dramatic way. They trailed TuRU Düsseldorf 1–3 at half time of the final, but came from behind to win 4–3 after extra time. Arminia faced Union Oberschöneweide in the quarter-finals of the German championships. The match ended goalless, so a replay was held. Arminia led 1–0 and suffered the equalizer in injury time. The Berlin side won the match after extra time. Walter Claus-Oehler became Arminia‘s first player to win a cap in the German national team. Arminia won further Westphalian titles from 1924 to 1927 but were unable to repeat their success in the West German championships. A match between SC Preußen Münster and Arminia in November 1925 was the first football match to be broadcast on German radio. On 30 January 1926, the club took its current name Deutscher Sportclub Arminia Bielefeld. Their next piece of silverware was won in 1932 with a triumph in the Westphalian cup.
In 1933, Arminia qualified for the Gauliga Westfalen, from which they were relegated after the inaugural season. Three attempts of gaining promotion failed before their return to the top flight was won in 1938. Their best performance in the Gauliga was the 1939–40 campaign, where Arminia finished second. Two years later, Arminia was one only two teams to win a match at Schalke 04. On 25 July 1943 Arminia merged with local rivals VfB 03 Bielefeld. The merger finished the 1943–44 season on the last place.
After World War II, a new league with all teams who competed in the Gauliga Westfalen was formed. Arminia were relegated and failed to win repromotion. In 1947–48, Arminia were a third division side for the first time in their history. After a dominating season in the Bezirksklasse, Arminia was deducted 14 points because they fielded an ineligible player. The next season was already under way when the Landesliga (II) was expanded by two teams. Arminia took their chance, won the league and gained promotion to the Oberliga West.
The dream lasted for only a year. Arminia beat Schalke 04 4–2 at home but finished only second from the bottom. In 1954, Arminia were relegated to the third division. It took eight years before Arminia were a second division side again. They struggled to finish on seventh place to secure a spot in the newly formed Regionalliga West.
Arminia finished their first seasons in mid-table. In 1966, Arminia beat Alemannia Aachen to claim the West German cup for the first time. A year later, forward Ernst Kuster joined the team and went on to become the club‘s all-time leading goal scorer. A 0–1 loss to Wuppertaler SV on the last day of the 1966–67 season held Arminia to enter the Bundesliga promotion play-offs. Arminia were runners-up in the 1969–70 season and won promotion to the Bundesliga after a 2–0 win at Tennis Borussia Berlin in the play-offs.
The team had a poor start in their first Bundesliga season and seemed to be doomed when they started to bribe their opponents. The first fixed match was Arminia‘s 1–0 win at Schalke 04. Arminia also bribed VfB Stuttgart and Hertha Berlin. Bielefeld finished 14th and started their preparations for the next season when the scandal was unveiled. Arminia was allowed to play the 1971–72 season but were forced to relegate to the Regionalliga. Arminia struggled in the following seasons, but were good enough to be appointed to the newly formed 2. Bundesliga in 1974.
After two seasons in mid-table, Arminia had good chances of returning to the Bundesliga in 1976–77 but they finished only as runner-up behind FC St. Pauli. They faced TSV 1860 München in a two-legged play-off whose winner would win promotion to the top flight. Arminia won the first match at home 4–0, but lost the second leg in Munich 0–4. A third match had to be played in Frankfurt which Munich won 2–0.
The team was shocked but bounced back to win promotion in 1977–78. Arminia started well and on 10 March 1979, they won 4–0 at Bayern Munich. However, Arminia were hit by a slump and were relegated again. The club managed to keep the team together and bounced back after a record-breaking year. They won 30 of 38 matches, scored 120 goals, had a 28 match unbeaten streak and set a league record by beating Arminia Hannover 11–0.
Arminia struggled to avoid relegation and managed to stay in the Bundesliga for five years, including two finishes in eighth place in 1982–83 and 1983–84 seasons. An ugly event shocked Germany when Werder Bremen defender Norbert Siegmann slashed Ewald Lienen's right thigh during a match. The success on the pitch did not prevent the club from suffering declining attendances which enlarged the financial problems. In 1984–85, Arminia finished third from the bottom and lost the relegation play-offs against 1. FC Saarbrücken.
The team failed to gain promotion and in the fall of 1987, Arminia had debts of 4.5 million Marks. The result was a last place finish in 1987–88. Ernst Middendorp became the new manager and assembled a young team for the new season. Arminia led the way in the Oberliga Westfalen but finished only second in 1988–89. They won the Oberliga a year later, but failed in the promotion play-offs to VfB Oldenburg and TSV Havelse. Four dismal years followed in which the team started well but were unable to compete for the championship. In 1991, Arminia won the Westphalian cup, a cup for Westphalian teams not playing in the First or Second Bundesliga, and beat FSV Mainz 05 in the first round of the German cup.
In the spring of 1994, Arminia created a relatively large media buzz by signing veteran Bundesliga players like Thomas von Heesen, Armin Eck and Fritz Walter. Arminia struggled at first but went on the become champions of the newly formed Regionalliga West/Südwest and runners-up in the 1995–96 2. Bundesliga. Arminia signed Stefan Kuntz for the 1996–97 Bundesliga season, their first in 11 years and finished on 14th position.
The club wrote German football history by signing Iranian players Ali Daei and Karim Bagheri along with the SK Brann icon Geirmund Brendesæter, who enjoyed a brief spell with the club in 1997. However, after a poor run after the winter break, Arminia were relegated shortly after Brendesæter had left the club. They bounced back by winning the 1998–99 season. Bruno Labbadia became the league's top scorer with 28 goals. The club suffered from financial problems and entered the 1999–2000 season with a smaller budget. Relegation followed again after the team became the third team in Bundesliga history to lose ten matches in a row.
Arminia struggled against relegation again the next season and avoided to drop into the Regionalliga in close season. Their fortunes turned around and Arminia won their sixth promotion to the Bundesliga in 2001–02 with Artur Wichniarek scoring 18 goals. Arminia were almost saved the next year but a slump with only two points out of the last six matches sealed relegation again.
The team bounced back again in 2003–04 and were able to stay in the top flight until 2009. In 2004–05, Patrick Owomoyela became Arminia's new record national player. Furthermore, Arminia reached the semi-finals of the German cup in 2005 and 2006. In those years the image campaign "Aktion 5000 +" let the number of members rise above 10,000. In 2007, many Arminia fans were sad to see the old East Stand being torn down (then the last non-seater stand in the Bundesliga not being placed behind one of the goals) and also further marketing attempts alienated the fans from the clubs management board. Arminia played their fifth consecutive Bundesliga season in 2008–09. They finished last and were relegated to the 2. Bundesliga. However, after finishing seventh in their first season in the Second Bundesliga, their next season was fraught with managerial sackings and financial difficulties. After a poor season, picking up only 16 points and winning only four games, Bielefeld were relegated to the 3. Liga.
After a weak beginning, they ended the 2011–12 season in 13th place. They could also win the Westphalia Cup in a final against arch rival SC Preußen Münster. By reaching the final, they could also qualify for the German cup, where they beat SC Paderborn 07, a team playing in the 2. Bundesliga, but lost in the second round in a close match against Bayer 04 Leverkusen, a Europa League participant. On 11 May 2013, Bielefeld beat VfL Osnabrück 1–0 to guarantee a top two finish and promotion back to the 2. Bundesliga for the 2013–14 season. On 9 July 2013, Arminia could also win the Westphalia Cup again. Though Arminia still have a notable mass of debt, the situation is stabilising more and more. Especially the actual coach, Stefan Krämer who is very popular among the fans is the first coach being in office for more than 2 years since 2005. Gaining 14 points from the first eight matches Arminia had an impressive beginning in the 2013–14 season and also reached the second round in the German cup, where they lost against Bayer Leverkusen again.
Colours and crest
Arminia took the club colours blue, white and black upon their foundation in 1905. The colours haven‘t changed though the current club colours are black, white and blue. Despite this, Arminia played their first match in an orange kit. Arminia‘s home kit was blue for most of the time while their shorts and socks were white. The team that won promotion to the Bundesliga in 1970 wore a blue shirt with thick white stripes. The current home kit is blue with a white hoop, black shorts and white socks. The away kit was mostly all white while green shirts were worn in the 1990s. Currently the away kit consists of a white shirt, white shorts and black socks. Their third kit is entirely maroon and is used if their other kits clash with the kit of the other teams.
Arminia played their first home matches at the Kesselbrink in downtown Bielefeld. They moved to a new ground at the Kaiserstraße (today: August-Bebel-Straße) in 1907 and to the Pottenau in 1910. In 1926, Arminia leased a ground from a farmer named Lohmann. The ground didn‘t look like a football pitch. The club member Heinrich Pahl said that the area looks like an Alm (German for alpine grassland). The stadium was known as the Alm. Arminia played its first match against Victoria Hamburg on 1 May 1926. The first grandstands were constructed in 1954. When Arminia won promotion to the Bundesliga in 1970, the Alm underwent a genereal development. A main stand with seats was built and the northern and eastern stands were enlarged. The Alm had a capacity of 30,000 and floodlights were installed. In 1978, a roof was added to the main stands and the other stands were enlarged again. The stadium had a capacity of 35,000 then.
When Arminia was relegated to the Oberliga in 1988, the northern and the southern stand were torn down because both stands didn‘t match the new safety regulations. The eastern stand was also made smaller and a roof was added. The capacity was reduced to about 15,000. After Arminia won promotion to the Bundesliga in 1996, the main and northern stands were demolished and completely rebuilt. The same happened to the south stand in 1999. In 2004, Arminia signed a sponsorship deal with Schüco and the stadium was named SchücoArena. The latest redevelopment saw the eastern stand being rebuilt in 2008.
Arminia have a large number of loyal supporters. In 2012–13, Arminia had an average attendance of 10,300 which was the fourth highest in the 3. Liga. In 2011–12, Arminia had an average attendance of 8,930 which was the highest in the 3. Liga. The last time Arminia was in the Bundesliga usually more than 20,000 people came, the matches during the last two years in the 2. Bundesliga were attended by more than 14,000 in the average. The core of the fans can be found on the terraces of the Southern Stand.
Arminia's fans come primarily from the Ostwestfalen-Lippe region with a catchment area of about 100 kilometers around Bielefeld. There are around 100 fanclubs, mostly from Ostwestfalen-Lippe. However, there are fanclubs in Berlin, Stuttgart, London, Birmingham, Taunton, Austria and the Netherlands.
There is a traditional rivalry with SC Preußen Münster. The match against them in March 2012 which was the first one taking place in Bielefeld after nearly 20 years was attended by 21,203 spectators. No other match in the 3. Liga had such a high attendance. One year later the stadium was nearly sold out in that derby. The earlier rival was VfB Fichte Bielefeld from the east of Bielefeld, but the rivalry deceased with the meaning of VfB Bielefeld and nowadays friendly matches take place between both clubs every year. Another rival is VfL Bochum, especially since the late 90s, and there were some sort of "fashion rivalries" with other clubs from the Ruhr, because that area also belongs to Westphalia. Also the matches against VfL Osnabrück are some sort of derby. Some SC Paderborn 07 supporters seem to consider Arminia as their main rival, but Arminia fans are unlikely to feel the same about them. There are friendly relations to the supporters of the Hamburger SV.
As of 3 September 2013. Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Players out on loan
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
100 Year Team
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the club's formation fans were polled to find Arminia's greatest ever team. The following players were chosen:
- Uli Stein
- Günther Schäfer
- Dieter Schulz
- Thomas Stratos
- Walter Claus-Oehler
- Frank Pagelsdorf
- Thomas von Heesen
- Norbert Eilenfeldt
- Bernd Kirchner
- Bruno Labbadia
- Ewald Lienen
Manager – Ernst Middendorp
Statistics and records
|This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. (July 2010)|
- Even though Arminia Bielefeld never won any major trophies, they have won some silverware on a minor level.
- 2. Bundesliga:
- Winners (3): 1978, 1980, 1999
- Runners-up (3): 1977, 1996, 2004
- 3. Liga
- Runner-up (1): 2012-2013
- Regionalliga West/Südwest:
- Winners (1): 1995
- Gauliga Westfalen:
- Runners-up (1): 1940
- Oberliga Westfalen:
- Winners (1): 1990
- Runners-up (1): 1989
- Western German football championship
- Winners: 1922, 1923
- Runners-up: 1913, 1924
- Westphalian champion:
- Winners (11): 1912, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1933, 1962, 1990
- Runners-up (1): 1929, 1989
- West German cup winner:
- Winners (2): 1966, 1974
- Westphalian cup winner:
- Winners (4): 1908, 1932, 1991, 2012
||1922||1923||Westgerman Champion 1923|
||1923||1924||Westfalen Champion 1924|
||1924||1925||Westfalen Champion 1925|
||1925||1926||Westfalen Champion 1926|
||1926||1933||Westfalen Champion 1923, 1933
Westfälischer Cup Winner 1932
Qualification to the Gauliga Westfalen 1933
||1933||1935||Abstieg aus der Gauliga 1934|
||1935||1938||Climbing in the Gauliga 1938|
||1939||1940||Vice Champion o the Gauliga|
||1945||1946||Relegation to the Landesliga|
||1947||1948||Climbing in the Landesliga|
||1948||1949||Climbing in the Oberliga|
||1949||1950||Relegation to the 2. Liga West|
||1953||1955||Relegation to the Landesliga 1954|
||1958||19 March 1961||first Coach sacking|
||20 March 1961||1961|
||1961||April 1963||Climbing in the 2. Liga West 1962|
||April 1963||1965||Qualification to the Regionalliga 1963|
||1965||1966||Westdeutscher Cup Winner
Westfälischer Cup Winner
||November 1969||December 1971||Climbing in the Bundesliga 1970|
||January 1972||January 1972|
||February 1972||October 1972||Relegation to the Regionalliga|
||October 1972||February 1973|
||February 1973||September 1973|
||September 1973||October 1973|
||October 1973||Januar 1974|
||January 1974||1974||Qualification to the 2. Bundesliga
Westfälischer Cup Winner
||1976||1978||Climbing in the Bundesliga|
||October 1978||October 1979||Relegation to the 2. Bundesliga 1978|
||October 1979||October 1979|
||October 1979||September 1980||Climbing in the Bundesliga|
||September 1980||December 1980|
||1982||1983||Place 8 in the Bundesliga|
||March 1984||February 1986||Platz 8 in der Bundesliga 1984
Relegation to the 2. Bundesliga 1985
||February 1986||November 1986|
||November 1986||December 1987|
||December 1987||April 1988|
||April 1988||October 1990||Relegation to the Oberliga 1988
Champion of the Oberliga Westfalen 1990
||February 1994||1994||Qualification for the Regionalliga West/Südwest|
||September 1994||16 August 1998||Climbing in the 2. Bundesliga 1995
Climbing in the Bundesliga 1996
Relegation to the 2. Bundesliga
|Thomas von Heesen||
||17 August 1998||1999||Climbing in the Bundesliga|
||1999||October 2000||Relegation to the 2. Bundesliga|
||October 2000||16 February 2004||Climbing in the Bundesliga
Relegation to the 2. Bundesliga
|Thomas von Heesen||
||17 February 2004||29 February 2004|
||1 March 2004||10 May 2005||Climbing to the Bundesliga|
||11 May 2005||2005|
|Thomas von Heesen||
||2005||11 February 2007|
||11 February 2007||13 March 2007|
||14 March 2007||9 December 2007|
||10 December 2007||31 December 2007|
||1 January 2008||17 May 2009|
||19 May 2009||–||Relegation to the 2. Bundesliga|
||24 June 2009||11 March 2010|
|Frank Eulberg & Jörg Böhme||
||11 March 2010||26 May 2010|
||26 May 2010||6 November 2010|
||7 November 2010||May 2011||Relegated to the 3. Bundesliga|
|Markus von Ahlen||
||1 July 2011||Unknown Leaving Date|
||1 July 2011||Present|
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- als Playercoach
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