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Arminia Bielefeld

Arminia Bielefeld
Full name Deutscher Sport-Club Arminia Bielefeld
Nickname(s) Die Arminen, Die Blauen (The Blues)
Founded 3 May 1905 as 1. Bielefelder FC Arminia
Ground Bielefelder Alm
Ground Capacity 27,300
Chairman Hans-Jürgen Laufer[1]
Manager Norbert Meier
League 2. Bundesliga
2014–15 3. Liga, 1st (promoted)
Website Club home page

DSC Arminia Bielefeld (pronounced ; full name: German: 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 12,000 members and the club colours are black, white and blue.[2] 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 that is now playing its 17th 2. Bundesliga season. Arminia has mostly played in the first or second tier of the German football league system, among them 17 seasons in the 1. Bundesliga. Arminias most successful years were the 1920s, the early 1980s and the middle 2000s. In 1947 and in the 1950s Arminia had sunk down to a team playing in a rather local area in the third tier (later third tiers covered larger areas).

Arminia plays their home games at the Bielefelder Alm stadium since 1926. Since 2004 the stadium has been named Schücoarena through a sponsorship deal.


  • History 1
    • Pre World War II 1.1
    • Post World War II 1.2
    • 1970–71 Match Fixing scandal 1.3
    • Recovery, glorious early 80s and down into the Oberliga 1.4
    • From Regionalliga to yo-yo-team to five consecutive seasons in the Bundesliga again 1.5
    • Down into the 3. Liga 1.6
    • Modern day 1.7
  • Colours and crest 2
  • Stadium 3
  • Supporters 4
  • Players 5
    • Current squad 5.1
    • 100 Year Team 5.2
  • Honours 6
    • League titles 6.1
    • Regional titles 6.2
    • Cups 6.3
  • Former coaches 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


Logo of founding side 1. FC Arminia Bielefeld.
Arminia Bielefeld was founded on 3 May 1905 as 1. Bielefelder FC Arminia.[3] The fourteen men who founded the club were from the local bourgeoisie. Two weeks later, the club played its first match against a team 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 and started to play in a league (in one consisting only of Arminia and three teams from Osnabrück, at first) in 1906.[4] In 1907, local rivals FC Siegfried joined Arminia, a move which strengthened Arminia‘s squad.[5] and other clubs from Bielefeld joined league football.

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.[6] 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 two merged teams dissolved the merger in 1922 and both parent clubs were formed again.

Pre World War II

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.[7] 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.[8] 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,[9] 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 of 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.

Post World War II

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 re-promotion. 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 docked 14 points because they fielded an ineligible player.[10] 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.[11]

The dream lasted for only a year. Arminia beat Schalke 04 4–2 at home but finished only second from the bottom.[12] In 1954, Arminia were relegated to the third tier, the "Landesliga Westfalen, Gruppe Ostwestfalen", a league only covering the north-eastern part of Westphalia. In 1956, Arminia qualified fo a new third tier, the "Verbandsliga Westfalen, Gruppe Ostwestfalen", which encompassed larger parts of Westphalia. Only in 1962, Arminia became a second division side again (then: 2. Liga West, covering the whole of North Rhine-Westphalia). In 1962-63, they struggled to finish on seventh place to secure a spot in the newly formed Regionalliga West, which was situated directly below the new Bundesliga.[13]

Arminia finished their first seasons in mid-table, but became one of the better Regionalliga teams later on. 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.[14] Arminia were runners-up in the 1969–70 season and won their first promotion to the Bundesliga after a 2–0 win at Tennis Borussia Berlin in the play-offs.

1970–71 Match Fixing scandal

The team had a poor start in their first Bundesliga season. They bounced back to finish 14th, however, near the end of the season it was discovered that Arminia had engaged in match-fixing. Three of the ten games proven to have been manipulated directly involved Arminia. Two players for the club were banned for life (Waldemar Slomiany and Jürgen Neumann. Arminia was allowed to play the 1971–72 season in the Bundesliga, but were automatically relegated to the Regionalliga as a penalty. Arminia struggled in the following seasons, but were good enough to be appointed to the newly formed 2. Bundesliga in 1974.

Recovery, glorious early 80s and down into the Oberliga

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.[15]

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.[16] 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.[17]

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. Furthermore, Arminia took part in the UEFA Intertoto Cup three times. An ugly event shocked Germany when Werder Bremen defender Norbert Siegmann slashed Ewald Lienen's right thigh during a match.[18] 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 DFB-Pokal.

From Regionalliga to yo-yo-team to five consecutive seasons in the Bundesliga again

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 DFB-Pokal in 2005 and 2006. In both seasons, Arminia also kept away from the relegation zone virtually the whole time (except the season's beginnings). 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)[19] and also further marketing attempts alienated the fans from the club's management board. From 2007 onwards, managerial sackings became more and more common and avoiding relegation became more and more difficult.

Down into the 3. Liga

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 the 2009-10 season, 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 poor start, they ended the 2011–12 season in 13th place. They also won the Westphalia Cup in a final against arch rival SC Preußen Münster. By reaching the final, they also qualified for the DFB-Pokal, 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. That season began quite hopeful: Arminia qualified for thee second round of the DFB-Pokal again and at the 8th matchday they had even climbed up to the 3rd rank in the league table. But after a disastrous autumn and a mediocre winter the popular coach Stefan Krämer had to leave. His successor Norbert Meier at first had only little more success: Arminia finished 16th in the 2. Bundesliga, and lost a playoff against SV Darmstadt 98 on away goals after a 122nd minute (extra time) goal gave Darmstadt the victory. Arminia had to go back into the 3. Liga. But the next season could wipe out the bitterness of that disaster: In the 2014–15 DFB-Pokal, as a 3. Liga club, Arminia reached the semi-finals by defeating three Bundesliga teams. They also were the top team in the 3. Liga (after a bad beginning with only four points from the first four matches) for the most parts of the season. After the loss against VfL Wolfsburg in the semi-final of the DFB-Pokal, Arminia's direct qualification for the 2. Bundesliga seemed to be in danger because they didn't manage to win in the 3. Liga at first. Nevertheless, the direct qualification for the 2. Bundesliga could be secured after a 2–2 draw against SSV Jahn Regensburg. Liberated from the pressure of a possible non-qualification, they also won the 3. Liga with a final victory at the last matchday.

Modern day

In the 2015–16 DFB-Pokal, Arminia lost their match in the first round against Hertha BSC. They started the 2015–16 2. Bundesliga season with eight draws out of ten matches. Arminia still have a huge amount of debts, but are backed by local sponsors so that their solvency is not at risk.

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.

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 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.

The Bielefelder Alm has a capacity of 27,300, including 20,381 seats.[20] Bielefelder Alm was a candidate to host matches of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup.


Arminia supporters backing their team during an away game at Millerntor-Stadion

Arminia have a large number of loyal supporters. Even in 2011–12, Arminia had an average attendance of 8,930 which was the highest in the 3. Liga. In 2014–15, Arminia had an average attendance of 14,540 which was the second (!) highest in that 3. Liga season. The numbers also show the risen popularity of the 3. Liga. Arminias matches during the 2013–14 2. Bundesliga were attended by 16,890 in the average,[21] (eighth highest average attendance in the league). These numbers only count league matches. Arminia's matches in the 2014–15 DFB-Pokal were attended by 21,763 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 03 Bielefeld from the east of Bielefeld, but the rivalry deceased with the meaning of VfB Bielefeld and nowadays friendly matches between Arminia and VfB Fichte Bielefeld, as the club nowadays is called, take place 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.[22] 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.[23] There are friendly relations to the supporters of the Hamburger SV with both clubs sharing the same colours (black, white and blue).


Current squad

As of 23 July 2015.

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
No. Position Player
1 GK Wolfgang Hesl
2 DF Steffen Lang
3 MF Brian Behrendt
5 MF David Ulm
6 MF Tom Schütz
7 MF Michael Görlitz
8 MF Daniel Brinkmann
9 FW Fabian Klos (captain)
11 DF Stephan Salger
13 DF Julian Börner
14 DF Manuel Hornig
16 MF Dennis Mast
17 FW Christoph Hemlein
18 FW Christopher Nöthe
No. Position Player
19 DF Felix Burmeister
20 MF Manuel Junglas
21 MF Amin Affane
23 DF Florian Dick
24 MF Peer Kluge
25 MF Björn Jopek
27 DF Sebastian Schuppan
28 FW Koen van der Biezen
29 MF Samir Benamar
33 GK Nikolai Rehnen
34 GK Daniel Davari
36 MF Marco Hober
37 MF Christian Müller
38 DF Jonas Strifler

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:[24]

Manager – Ernst Middendorp


  • Even though Arminia Bielefeld never won any major trophies, they have won some silverware on a minor level.[25]

League titles

Regional titles


  • West German cup winner:
    • Winners (2): 1966, 1974
  • Westphalian cup winner:
    • Winners (4): 1908, 1932, 1991, 2012, 2013

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[26]
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 March 1961 first Coach sacking
Josef Rasselnberg
20 March 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 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
Hermann Gerland
1999 October 2000 Relegation to the 2. Bundesliga
Benno Möhlmann
October 2000 16 February 2004 Climbing in the Bundesliga
Relegation to the 2. Bundesliga
Thomas von Heesen
17 February 2004 29 February 2004
Uwe Rapolder
1 March 2004 10 May 2005 Climbing to the Bundesliga
Frank Geideck
11 May 2005 2005
Thomas von Heesen
2005 11 February 2007
Frank Geideck
11 February 2007 13 March 2007
Ernst Middendorp
14 March 2007 9 December 2007
Detlev Dammeier
10 December 2007 31 December 2007
Michael Frontzeck
1 January 2008 17 May 2009
Jörg Berger
19 May 2009 Relegation to the 2. Bundesliga
Thomas Gerstner
24 June 2009 11 March 2010
Frank Eulberg & Jörg Böhme
11 March 2010 26 May 2010
Christian Ziege
26 May 2010 6 November 2010
Ewald Lienen
7 November 2010 May 2011 Relegated to the 3. Liga
Markus von Ahlen
1 July 2011 Unknown Leaving Date
Stefan Krämer
1 July 2011 23 February 2014
Norbert Meier
24 February 2014 present


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External links

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