Berliner FC Dynamo

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Berliner FC Dynamo
Full name Berliner Fussball Club Dynamo e. V.
Nickname(s) "The Wine Reds"
Founded 1953, 1966
Ground Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark
Ground Capacity 19,708
Chairman Germany Norbert Uhlig
Manager Germany Thomas Stratos
League Regionalliga Nordost (IV)
2013–14 NOFV-Oberliga Nord 1st (Promoted)
Current season

Berliner FC Dynamo (commonly Dynamo Berlin or BFC Dynamo) is a German football club and is the successor organization to the club that played in East Berlin as Dynamo Berlin from 1953 to 1966. The club was known as being the favoured team of Erich Mielke, the head of East Germany's Ministry for State Security, the (Stasi).


Founding and GDR era[edit]

A predecessor side to the current-day club was established in 1949 as Sportgemeinde Deutsche Volkspolizei Berlin. In March 1953 this team assumed the place of SC Volkspolizei Potsdam in the DDR-Liga, East Germany's tier two competition. The Potsdam and Berlin sides were later formally merged and after 27 March 1953 played as part of the larger Sportvereinigung Dynamo sports club under the name SG Dynamo Berlin. After a 14th place result in the 1953–54 season the team was sent down to the Bezirksliga Berlin (III). The club was again renamed, being christened Sport Club Dynamo Berlin on 1 October 1954.[1]

In 1954 team members of Dynamo Dresden were ordered to leave for the capital to establish a competitive side in Berlin. Some of these team members, including Johannes Matzen, Herbert Schoen and Günter Schröter were originally from Potsdam and had previously been ordered to leave the region to establish the Dynamo Dresden side in order to replace the popular but bourgeois Dresdner SC team in Dresden.

Dynamo Berlin enjoyed some success in the late 1950s and early 1960s with a number of top-three finishes and an East German Cup win in 1959. However, by 1963 their play had fallen off and they had become a lower table side leading to their relegation in 1967.

The club was re-established on 15 January 1966 as Berliner Fußballclub Dynamo (BFC Dynamo) when the football department was disassociated as a football club in a general re-organisation of football in the country. Dynamo Berlin returned to first division play after a single season's absence. The club was known as being the favoured team of Erich Mielke, the head of East Germany's Stasi (the secret police).[2]

Dynamo, after winning the title in 1979

Playing in the DDR-Oberliga BFC won ten consecutive titles from 1979 to 1988 assisted by obedient referees,[3] and important player transfers from other East German teams. Dynamo was reviled by many East Germans and referee obedience incurred the unofficially expressed displeasure of the country's ruling Politburo. Alleged manipulation of the 1986 championship match between Dynamo and Lokomotive Leipzig which ended in a 1:1 draw led to nationwide protests and resulted in sanctions against referee Bernd Stumpf.[4]


The original SC Dynamo logo ca. 1954 and logos in use by FC Berlin ca. 1990–99.

After German re-unification in 1990 the side was renamed FC Berlin in an attempt to re-package it and distance it from its past (Dynamo admitted to tier III of the new German league in 1991–92 season), in 1999, they again took up the name BFC Dynamo. Without its powerful patron and losing its best players to West German Bundesliga teams the side quickly fell to tier III play and since the 2000–01 season has toiled in IV or V division leagues. The team went bankrupt in 2001–02 but was required by the German Football Association (Deutscher Fussball Bund or German Football Association) to play out the balance of its games for the season as "mandatory friendlies", which did not count in league standings, using available third string players – not an uncommon practise in these types of circumstances.

The club recovered to win the Verbandsliga Berlin (V) championship in 2004 and return to fourth division play in the Oberliga Nordost-Nord (IV, now V) where they settled in as upper-table side.

On 12 June 2013 BFC Dynamo won the Berlin Cup (Berlin Pokal) for a third time, beating SV Lichtenberg 47 by 1:0, thus qualifying for the national cup of the German Football Association (DFB-Pokal).[5] The crowd of 6.381 set a new record for a Berlin Cup final.

The subsequent DFB-Pokal match against VfB Stuttgart took place on 4 August 2013 in front of 9.227 spectators. The stadium capacity of the Friedrich Ludwig Jahn Sportpark had been limited and ticket prices had been increased due to requirements by the German Football Association. While Dynamo's Christoph Köhne only hit the inner post (31') Vedad Ibisevic won the game for Stuttgart with two goals (40` and 75`/penalty), resulting in a 0:2 defeat.

In the 2013/2014 season BFC Dynamo won 15 out of the initial 16 games (while drawing against SV Lichtenberg 47). After 21 season matches, the streak was extended to 20 wins and one draw, effectively securing promotion to Regionalliga Nordost with a 25-point lead.[6] The club subsequently extended contracts with its key players and announced to move back to the Friedrich Ludwig Jahn Sportpark for its Regionalliga matches starting with the 2014/15 season.[7]

Championship stars controversy[edit]

Dynamo's unsanctioned unilateral adoption of championship stars helped stir a controversy in German football.
The introduction of the Verdiente Meistervereine put in place a national standard for the display of championships stars.

In 2004, the German Football Association (Deutscher Fussball Bund or German Football Association) introduced the Verdiente Meistervereine – a system to honor the most successful teams in Bundesliga history awarding one star for three titles, two stars for five, and three stars for ten – allowing qualifying teams to display on their jerseys the stars they have earned. Dynamo Berlin petitioned the league to have their East German titles recognized, but received no reply.[8] They eventually took matters into their own hands and emblazoned their jerseys with three stars. This caused considerable debate on the fact that the DFB did not recognize East German championships, only those championships won since the 1963 formation of the Bundesliga. The issue also affected other former East German teams including Dynamo Dresden (8 titles), Vorwärts Berlin (6), SC Wismut Karl Marx Stadt, FC Carl Zeiss Jena, and 1. FC Magdeburg.

The DFB has since updated this practice by broadening recognition to include all national level men's competitions since 1903 (when the first recognized national championship was staged), including those of the former East Germany, as well as all women's competitions since 1974. In addition, new standards for how championship stars are to be displayed on a team's uniform have been established. The DFB governs the use of championship stars and a club must have that governing body's approval before displaying any such badge.

Dynamo has since occasionally used the championship star in accordance with DFB graphic standards, displaying a star bearing the number 10 in the current website design.


The long-time home and training ground of the club has been the Sportforum Hohenschönhausen. Its stadium has a capacity of 10,000 spectators (~2,000 seats) and is part of a large sports complex with facilities for ice hockey, speed skating, athletics, and cycling. When opened it offered the world's first covered indoor speed skating oval. It is also training ground for the Eisbären Berlin professional ice hockey team, formerly SC Dynamo Berlin. The football stadium was renovated in 2005–06 to include fences and player tunnels.

Dynamo played important games – European Cup matches for example – in the larger, more secure Friedrich Ludwig Jahn Sportpark in Berlin Prenzlauer Berg, close to the former Berlin Wall. Following the 2014 advance to the Regionalliga Nordost, the club moved permanently back to the Prenzlauer Berg stadium, next to the Mauerpark.[9]

The Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark is currently under planning for a complete redevelopment. The estimated cost for the redevelopment of the whole area is estimated at up to 150 million Euros.[10] The reconstruction could begin in 2018 and be completed by 2023.[11]

Club culture[edit]

The BFC has rivalries with Dynamo Dresden, SV Babelsberg and 1. FC Union Berlin while enjoying friendly relations with VfL Bochum and Aberdeen F.C.,[12] and partially with Eintracht Braunschweig, Pogoń Szczecin and GAIS.


Dynamo's traditional logo is at the centre of an ownership dispute with related marketing revenues at stake.
An alternate team crest was prepared ca. 2004 as a possible replacement for the traditional logo, but was only ever used by the club's youth sides.

After German re-unification many former East German clubs rushed to drop the names they were often forced to bear during the Communist era and return to traditional names used prior to the end of World War II or to adopt completely new identities. Dynamo was among the clubs to do so, becoming FC Berlin. However, like many others of these clubs they found more value and fan recognition in the names, colours and crests they had played under in East Germany and so returned to these.

Dynamo's situation was complicated as they had neglected to copyright their old logo and found that when they tried to recover it in early 1999 that they no longer held title, having to share it with sports souvenir seller Peter "Pepe" Mager who laid claim to the orphaned image in March 1997. Control of the logo image has since passed to André Sommer and Rayk Bernt and their marketing firm Ra-Be GmbH through which they take ten percent of the value of all fan articles sold. Sommer and Bernt also served as directors in the period following the club's bankruptcy in 2001. This was the cause of additional concern for the beleaguered football association as the pair were known to have links to violent fan groups and the Hells Angels motorcycle club.

The situation has long remained unresolved and Dynamo has been working to recover the rights to its familiar traditional logo. Several alternative logos have been developed and registered in the event that they are unsuccessful in the attempt. The disputed image continued to be used on Dynamo's first team uniforms, at its website, and in other limited contexts, but the club was still unable to fully exploit the commercial value of the logo to its benefit.[13] In 2009, in response to the problem the club decided to introduce a new logo that abandoned the traditional stylized "D" in favour of the Berlin bear.





Former players[edit]


Dynamo Berlin was East Germany's most successful club capturing 10 national titles, and is second in the country only to Bayern Munich who have 23 national titles to their credit. Those 10 titles came consecutively – a feat no other team in Germany has matched at the top level of competition.

Seasons since end of GDR[edit]

Year Division Level Position
1991–92 NOFV-Oberliga Nord III 1st
1992–93 NOFV-Oberliga Nord III 4th
1993–94 NOFV-Oberliga Nord III 4th
1994–95 Regionalliga Nordost III 11th
1995–96 Regionalliga Nordost III 13th
1996–97 Regionalliga Nordost III 13th
1997–98 Regionalliga Nordost III 11th
1998–99 Regionalliga Nordost III 8th
1999–2000 Regionalliga Nordost III 17th ↓
2000–01 NOFV-Oberliga Nord IV 1st
2001–02 NOFV-Oberliga Nord IV 17th ↓
2002–03 Verbandsliga Berlin V 3rd
2003–04 Verbandsliga Berlin V 1st ↑
2004–05 NOFV-Oberliga Nord IV 6th
2005–06 NOFV-Oberliga Nord IV 6th
2006–07 NOFV-Oberliga Nord IV 10th
2007–08 NOFV-Oberliga Nord IV 5th
2008–09 NOFV-Oberliga Nord V 2nd
2009–10 NOFV-Oberliga Nord V 2nd
2010–11 NOFV-Oberliga Nord V 7th
2011–12 NOFV-Oberliga Nord V 13th
2012–13 NOFV-Oberliga Nord V 3rd
2013–14 NOFV-Oberliga Nord V 1st ↑

BFC Dynamo in European competitions[edit]

Season Competition Round Land Club Score
1971/1972 Cup Winners' Cup 1st round Wales Cardiff City 1:1, 1:1, 5:6 (a.p.)
1/8 final Belgium K. Beerschot V.A.C. 3:1, 3:1
quarter-final Sweden Åtvidabergs FF 2:0, 2:2
semi-final Soviet Union FC Dynamo Moscow 1:1, 1:1, 4:1 (a.p.)
1972/73 UEFA Cup 1st round France Angers SCO 1:1, 2:1
2nd round Bulgaria PFC Levski Sofia 3:0, 0:2
1/8 final England Liverpool F.C. 0:0, 1:3
1976/77 UEFA Cup 1st round Soviet Union Shakhtar Donetsk 0:3, 1:1
1978/79 UEFA Cup 1st round Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Red Star Belgrade 5:2, 1:4
1979/80 European Cup 1st round Poland Ruch Chorzów 4:1, 0:0
1/8 round Switzerland Servette FC 2:1, 2:2
quarter-final England Nottingham Forest 1:0, 1:3
1980/81 European Cup 1st round Cyprus APOEL 3:0, 1:2
1/8 final Czech Republic Baník Ostrava 0:0, 1:1
1981/82 European Cup 1st round Switzerland FC Zürich 2:0, 1:3
1/8 final England Aston Villa 1:2, 1:0
1982/83 European Cup 1st round Germany Hamburger SV 1:1, 0:2
1983/84 European Cup 1st round Luxembourg Jeunesse Esch 4:1, 2:0
1/8 final Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Partizan Belgrade 2:0, 0:1
quarter-final Italy AS Roma 0:3, 2:1
1984/85 European Cup 1st round Scotland Aberdeen F.C. 1:2, 2:1, 5:4 (a.p.)
1/8 final Austria FK Austria Wien 3:3, 1:2
1985/86 European Cup 1st round Austria FK Austria Wien 0:2, 1:2
1986/87 European Cup 1st round Sweden Örgryte IS 3:2, 4:1
1/8 final Denmark Brøndby IF 1:2, 1:1
1987/88 European Cup 1st round France Girondins de Bordeaux 0:2, 0:2
1988/89 European Cup 1st round Germany Werder Bremen 3:0, 0:5
1989/90 Cup Winners' Cup 1st round Iceland Valur 2:1, 2:1
1/8 final France AS Monaco 0:0, 1:1

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Grüne, Hardy (2001). Vereinslexikon. Kassel: AGON Sportverlag ISBN 3-89784-147-9
  2. ^ Stephen Evans (12 July 2014). "The secret police with its own football team". BBC News. Retrieved 13 July 2014. 
  3. ^ "East Germany's Star Quality in Question". Deutsche Welle. 13 May 2005. Retrieved 18 March 2008. 
  4. ^ Weinreich, Jens (24 March 2005). "Büttel an der Pfeife" (in German). Berliner Zeitung. Retrieved 2 February 2007. 
  5. ^ Der Tagesspiegel (in German).
  6. ^ Die Fussballecke, retrieved on 12 April 2014 (in German).
  7. ^ BFC Dynamo in kleinen Schritten heraus aus der Versenkung. Berliner Morgenpost, retrieved on 12 April 2014 (in German).
  8. ^ East Germany's Star Quality in Question | German Soccer | Deutsche Welle | 13.05.2005
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^,10809148,29782856.html
  12. ^ "BFC Dynamo". Retrieved 19 January 2015. 
  13. ^ (German)

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°32′27″N 13°28′34″E / 52.54083°N 13.47611°E / 52.54083; 13.47611