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DSC Arminia Bielefeld (full name: Deutscher Sportclub Arminia Bielefeld e. V.; also known as "Die Arminen" or "Die Blauen" is a Germanmarker sports club from Bielefeldmarker, North Rhine-Westphaliamarker. Arminia offers the sports of Football, Field hockey, Figure skating and Cue sports. The club has 11,394 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 Forestmarker.

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 as a yo-yo club. They won promotion to the Bundesliga 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 Almmarker stadium since 1926. Since 2004 the stadium has been named SchücoArena through a sponsorship deal.


Logo of founding side 1.
FC Arminia Bielefeld.
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 Osnabrückmarker. Neither the name of the opponent nor the result are known. The club was admitted to the DFB 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 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. 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 finshed 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 finshed 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 71–72 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. Fußball-Bundesliga in 1974.

After two season 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 1860 Munich 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 played in Frankfurtmarker 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 matches 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 on eighth place in 1982–83 and 1983–84. 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 re-promotion and in the fall of 1987, Arminia had debts of 4.5 million Mark. 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 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 Second Bundesliga 1995–96. Arminia signed Stefan Kuntz for the Bundesliga season 1996–97, their first in 11 years and finished on 14th position.

The club wrote German football history by signing Iranianmarker players Ali Daei and Karim Bagheri. However, after a poor run after the winter break, Arminia were relegated. 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. Arminia reached the semi-finals of the German cup in 2005 and 2006. Arminia played their fifth consecutive Bundesliga season in 2008–09. They finished last and were relegated to the Second Bundesliga.

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 of this, Arminia played their first match in an orange kit. Arminia‘s home kit was blue for most of the time while 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 being used if their other kits clash with the kit of the other teams.

The crest consists of a flag with the club‘s colours black, white and blue from left to right. The white part of the flag includes the letter A for Arminia. The flag is surrounded by a wreath of oak.


The new eastern stand.
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 floodlight 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.

The Bielefelder Alm has a capacity of 28,008, including 20,381 seats. Bielefelder Alm is a candidate to host matches of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup.


Arminia have a large number of loyal supporters. The average attendance was just above 20,000 in recent seasons. In 2007–08, Arminia had an average of 21,535 which was the third lowest in the league. The core of the fans can be found on the terraces of the Southern Stand.

Arminia‘s fans come primarely from the Ostwestfalen-Lippemarker 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, Stuttgartmarker, London, Birmingham, Taunton, Austria and the Netherlands.


Current squad

Players out on loan

For recent transfers, see List of German football transfers summer 2009 and List of German football transfers winter 2008–09.

Arminia Bielefeld II squad

Manager: Armin Perrey

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:

Manager - Ernst Middendorp

Statistics and records


Even though Arminia Bielefeld never won any major trophies, they have won some silverware on a minor level.

League titles

Regional titles


  • West German cup winner:
    • Winners (2): 1966, 1974

  • Westphalian cup winner:
    • Winners (2): 1908, 1932

Former coaches

Coach Nationality from to Significant events
Frantisek Zoubec
1922 1923 Westgerman Champion 1923
Gerd Wellhöfer
1923 1924 Westfalen Champion 1924
Frantisek Zoubec

Gerd Wellhöfer

1924 1925 Westfalen Champion 1925
Gerd Wellhöfer
1925 1926 Westfalen Champion 1926
Frantisek Zoubec
1926 1933 Westfalen Champion 1923, 1933

Westfälischer Cup Winner 1932

Qualification to the Gauliga Westfalen 1933
Otto Faist
1933 1935 Abstieg aus der Gauliga 1934
1935 1938 Climbing in the Gauliga 1938
Erich Brochmeyer
1938 1939
Ferdinand Swatosch
1939 1940 Vice Champion o the Gauliga
Otto Kranefeld
1940 1942
Karl Wunderlich
1942 1945
Erich Brochmeyer
1945 1946 Relegation to the Landesliga
Ferdinand Swatosch
1946 1947
Karl Wunderlich
1947 1948 Climbing in the Landesliga
Alois Münstermann
1948 1949 Climbing in the Oberliga
Friedrich Otto
1949 1950 Relegation to the 2. Liga West
Fritz Kaiser
1950 1951
Hellmut Meidt
1951 1953
1953 1955 Relegation to the Landesliga 1954
Otto Westphal
1955 1958
Arthur Gruber
1958 19.03.1961 first Coach sacking
Jupp Rasselnberg
20.03.1961 1961
Jakob Wimmer
1961 April 1963 Climbing in the 2. Liga West 1962
Hellmut Meidt
April 1963 1965 Qualification to the Regionalliga 1963
Robert Gebhardt
1965 1966 Westdeutscher Cup Winner

Westfälischer Cup Winner
Hans Wendtland
1966 November 1969
Egon Piechaczek
November 1969 December 1971 Climbing in the Bundesliga 1970
Hellmut Meidt
January 1972 January 1972
Jan Notermans
February 1972 October 1972 Relegation to the Regionalliga
Willi Nolting
October 1972 February 1973
Norbert Lessle
February 1973 September 1973
H. Garstecki
September 1973 October 1973
Willi Nolting
October 1973 Januar 1974
Rudi Faßnacht
January 1974 1974 Qualification to the 2. Bundesliga

Westfälischer Cup Winner
Erhard Ahmann
1974 1976
Karl-Heinz Feldkamp
1976 1978 Climbing in the Bundesliga
Milovan Beljin
1978 October 1978
Otto Rehhagel
October 1978 October 1979 Relegation to the 2. Bundesliga 1978
Willi Nolting
October 1979 October 1979
Hans-Dieter Tippenhauer
October 1979 September 1980 Climbing in the Bundesliga
Willi Nolting
September 1980 December 1980
Horst Franz
December 1980 1982
Horst Köppel
1982 1983 Place 8 in the Bundesliga
Karl-Heinz Feldkamp
1983 March 1984
Gerd Roggensack
March 1984 February 1986 Platz 8 in der Bundesliga 1984

Relegation to the 2. Bundesliga 1985
Horst Franz
February 1986 November 1986
Fritz Fuchs
November 1986 December 1987
Joachim Krug
December 1987 April 1988
Ernst Middendorp
April 1988 October 1990 Relegation to the Oberliga 1988

Champion of the Oberliga Westfalen 1990
Franz Raschid
October 1990 1991
Fritz Grösche
1991 1992
Ingo Peter
1992 February 1994
Theo Schneider
February 1994 1994 Qualification for the Regionalliga West/Südwest
Wolfgang Sidka
1994 September 1994
Ernst Middendorp
September 1994 16.08.1998 Climbing in the 2. Bundesliga 1995

Climbing in the Bundesliga 1996

Relegation to the 2. Bundesliga
Thomas von Heesen
17.08.1998 1999 Climbing in the Bundesliga
Hermann Gerland
1999 October 2000 Relegation to the 2. Bundesliga
Benno Möhlmann
October 2000 16.02.2004 Climbing in the Bundesliga

Relegation to the 2. Bundesliga
Thomas von Heesen
17.02.2004 29.02.2004
Uwe Rapolder
01.03.2004 10.05.2005 Climbing to the Bundesliga
Frank Geideck
11.05.2005 2005
Thomas von Heesen
2005 11.02.2007
Frank Geideck
11.02.2007 13.03.2007
Ernst Middendorp
14.03.2007 09.12.2007
Detlev Dammeier
10.12.2007 31.12.2007
Michael Frontzeck
01.01.2008 17.05.2009
Jörg Berger
19.05.2009 - Relegation to the 2. Bundesliga
Thomas Gerstner
24.06.2009 Present

Notable chairmans

  • Hans-Hermann Schwick


  1. als Playercoach

External links

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