Arminia Bielefeld
Full nameDeutscher Sport-Club Arminia Bielefeld
Nickname(s)Die Arminen,[1] Die Blauen (The Blues)[2]
Founded3 May 1905; 119 years ago (1905-05-03) as 1. Bielefelder FC Arminia
GroundBielefelder Alm (SchücoArena),
PresidentRainer Schütte[4]
Head coachMichél Kniat
League3. Liga
2023–243. Liga, 14th of 20
WebsiteClub website
Current season

DSC Arminia Bielefeld (pronounced [ˌdeːʔɛsˈtseː ʔaʁˈmiːni̯a ˈbiːləfɛlt]; full name: Deutscher Sportclub Arminia Bielefeld e.V. [ˈdɔʏtʃɐ ˈʃpɔʁtklʊp ʔaʁˈmiːni̯a ˈbiːləfɛlt]; commonly known as Arminia Bielefeld (German pronunciation: [aʁˌmiːnia ˈbiːləfɛlt] ), also known as Die Arminen [diː ˈʔaʁmiːnən] or Die Blauen [diː ˈblaʊən]), or just Arminia (pronounced [aʁˌmiːnia] ), is a German sports club from Bielefeld, North Rhine-Westphalia. Arminia is most well known as a professional football club, having participated in the first tier of German Football, the Bundesliga, for a total of 19 seasons. In addition to football, the club offers field hockey, figure skating, and cue sports departments. The club has over 15,000 members and the club colours are black, white and blue.[5] Arminia's name derives from the Cheruscan chieftain Arminius, who defeated a Roman army in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest.

The club currently participates in the 3. Liga, the third tier of German Football. Arminia has earned a reputation as a Yo-yo club, or Fahrstuhlmannschaft in German, for its regular promotions and relegations. The club tied the record for most promotions to the Bundesliga in 2020 with their eighth promotion, a record they hold jointly with 1. FC Nürnberg.[6] In the 2010s, the club primarily participated in the 2. Bundesliga, the second tier, with two relegations into the third tier. Notable successful periods for the club include the 1980s and 2000s; two separate eras when the club played for five consecutive years in the Bundesliga. In addition, the 1920s were successful for the club, during which two West German Championships were won in 1922 and 1923. Unsuccessful eras for the club include the 1950s and early 1990s, wherein the club participated in the regional third tier of German football for eight and seven consecutive seasons, respectively.[7][8]

Arminia has played their home games at the Bielefelder Alm Stadium since 1926. The stadium has been entirely rebuilt since the club first played there, with the last major renovations being completed in 2008.[9] The stadiums current capacity of 27,332 consists of space for 7,940 in terracing and 19,392 seats. Since 2004, the stadium has been named SchücoArena through a sponsorship deal.[10]

Arminia's fans primarily originate from the Eastern Westphalia and Lippe regions, or Ostwestfalen-Lippe region in German. As of 2020, the club had 241 active Supporters' groups. The first organized supporters group formed in 1974, influenced by similar groups in English Football. Organized support from such groups at home matches is provided by fans in the south stand of the stadium.[11]


Main article: List of Arminia Bielefeld seasons

Logo of founding side 1. FC Arminia Bielefeld

Founding and early years (1905–1918)

Arminia Bielefeld was founded on 3 May 1905 as 1. Bielefelder FC Arminia.[12] 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.[13] In 1907, local rivals FC Siegfried joined Arminia, a move which strengthened Arminia's squad.[14] Soon 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 league championship came during the 1912–13 season, when they won the Westphalian championship beating BV 04 Dortmund 5–1 in the final.[15] The outbreak of World War I interrupted Arminia's rise, and between 1914 and 1918 the club played at the district level.

West German Champions and "The Alm" (1918–1933)

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. Arminia won the West German championship in 1922. Originally, they were level on points with Kölner BC 01, but Köln fielded an ineligible player in one match.[citation needed] 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.[according to whom?] 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 conceded the equalizer in injury time. The Berlin side won the match after extra time.[16] 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.[17] On 30 January 1926, the club took its current name Deutscher Sportclub Arminia Bielefeld. Their next piece of silverware was won in 1932 by winning the Westphalian cup.

Arminia during the Nazi regime (1933–1945)

In 1933, Arminia qualified for the Gauliga Westfalen,[18] 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 in last place.

Post World War II years (1945–1962)

Historical chart of Arminia Bielefeld league performance

After World War II, a new league with all teams who competed in the Gauliga Westfalen was formed. Arminia were relegated and were unable 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,[according to whom?] Arminia was docked 14 points because they fielded an ineligible player.[19] The next season was already under way when the Landesliga (II) was expanded by two teams. Arminia took their chance,[tone] won the league and gained promotion to the Oberliga West.[20]

Arminia's time in the Oberliga lasted only one season. Arminia beat Schalke 04 4–2 at home but finished only second from the bottom.[21] In 1954, Arminia were even relegated to the third tier, the "Landesliga Westfalen, Gruppe Ostwestfalen", a league only covering the north-eastern part of Westphalia. In 1956, Arminia qualified for a new third tier, the "Verbandsliga Westfalen, Gruppe Ostwestfalen", which encompassed a slightly larger area.

Promotion to the Bundesliga (1962–1970)

In 1962 Arminia become a second division side again (then: 2. Liga West, covering the whole of North Rhine-Westphalia). In 1962–63 they finished in seventh place to secure a spot in the newly formed Regionalliga West, which was situated directly below the new Bundesliga.[22]

Arminia finished their first season in mid-table, but recorded a top-half finish in 4 of the following 5 seasons. In 1966, Arminia beat Alemannia Aachen to win the West German Cup for the first time. A year later, forward Ernst Kuster joined the team; he would become the club's all-time leading goal scorer (more than half a century later, Fabian Klos would beat his record). A 0–1 loss to Wuppertaler SV on the last day of the 1966–67 season stopped Arminia entering the Bundesliga promotion play-offs.[23] 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.

Bundesliga scandal and return (1970–1980)

See also: Bundesliga scandal (1971)

Halfway through their first Bundesliga season, Arminia was in 17th place, a relegation position, but went on to finish the season in 14th.[24] However, near the end of the season, Horst-Gregorio Canellas revealed that Arminia had engaged in match-fixing; three of the ten Bundesliga games proven by the DFB to have been manipulated through bribery directly involved Arminia.[citation needed] Two players at the club were banned from football for life (Waldemar Slomiany and Jürgen Neumann).[citation needed] Arminia participated in the 1971–72 Bundesliga season while the investigation was ongoing, but were ultimately found guilty of match fixing by the DFB and were denied a license and forcibly relegated at the conclusion.[25] Arminia finished mid-table in the following seasons, but did qualify for the newly formed 2. Bundesliga in 1974.

After two seasons in mid-table, Arminia became Herbstmeister, during the 1976–77 2. Bundesliga season, but ultimately finished 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.[26]

The team returned to win promotion to the Bundesliga during the following 1977-78 season. Arminia started mid-table and on 10 March 1979, they won 4–0 at Bayern Munich.[27] However, Arminia finished the season in 16th place, unable to avoid relegation. The club kept the team together and were promoted back to the Bundesliga after a record-breaking 1979–80 season. 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.[28]

Establishment in the Bundesliga (1980–1985)

Arminia had difficulty avoiding relegation, but stayed in the Bundesliga for five years, a period which included two eighth-place finishes at the end of the 1982–83 and 1983–84 seasons. Furthermore, Arminia took part in the UEFA Intertoto Cup three times.

Arminia Bielefeld midfielder Ewald Lienen was victim to what the press[29][30] referred to as "the most brutal foul in Bundesliga history" on August 14, 1981. Werder Bremen defender Norbert Siegmann slashed Lienen's right thigh in a tackle, exposing his muscles and femur.[31] Despite the clubs' record high Bundesliga eighth-place finish in 1983 and 1984, attendances declined in the mid-1980s enlarging the club's financial problems.[32] In 1984–85, Arminia finished third from the bottom, and lost the relegation play-offs against 1. FC Saarbrücken.

Decline to the Oberliga (1985–1994)

The team did not gain promotion and in the fall of 1987, Arminia had debts of 4.5 million Marks. In 1987–88 the club finished in last place in the 2. Bundesliga as a result of these debts and was relegated into the Oberliga Westfalen. Ernst Middendorp became the new manager and assembled a young team for the new season. Arminia led the way in the Oberliga, but finished in second position in 1988–89. They won the Oberliga a year later, but the promotion play-offs against VfB Oldenburg and TSV Havelse did not got their way. Four seasons of not qualifying for the 2. Bundesliga promotion playoffs followed, in which the team started well, but were unable to compete for the championship. In 1991, Arminia won the Westphalian Cup, the regional qualification cup for the DFB-Pokal, and beat FSV Mainz 05 in the first round of the 1991-92 DFB-Pokal.

Resurgence and yo-yo era (1994–2004)

In the spring of 1994, Arminia signed veteran Bundesliga players Thomas von Heesen, Armin Eck and Fritz Walter. Arminia struggled at first but went on to 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 in 14th position.

The club signed the first two Iranian Bundesliga players in 1997 with the addition of Ali Daei and Karim Bagheri.[33] In addition, former SK Brann player Geirmund Brendesæterwas signed and played 13 matches for the club in 1997.[34] However, after a poor run after the winter break, Arminia were relegated shortly after Brendesæter had left the club. Bruno Labbadia became the league's top scorer with 28 goals during the 1998–99 season and the club immediately regained promotion to the Bundesliga by winning the 2. Bundesliga. The club entered the 1999–2000 season with a smaller budget due to financial problems and was subsequently relegated after becoming the third team in history to lose ten matches in a row.

Arminia struggled against relegation again the next season and avoided to drop into the Regionalliga with a 13th-place finish.[35] In the following year, Arminia won their sixth promotion to the Bundesliga in 2001–02, with Artur Wichniarek scoring 18 goals. Arminia were unable to avoid relegation the following season, earning only two points from the last six matches.

Bundesliga reestablishment (2004–2009)

The team earned promotion to the Bundesliga again in 2003–04, with Ghanaian striker Isaac Boakye scoring 14 goals in his debut season.[36] They stayed in the top flight until 2009. In 2004–05, Patrick Owomoyela became Arminia's most capped German player with his third appearance for the national team.[37] Owomoyela went on to appear in 6 national team matches at Bielefeld, a club record that still stands as of 2024. Both Owomoyela and Delron Buckley, scorer of 15 Bundesliga goals during the 2004–05 season, departed the club. In the DFB-Pokal, Arminia reached the semi-finals in 2005 and 2006. In both seasons, Arminia also kept away from the relegation zone virtually the whole time (except the season's beginnings). The campaign "Aktion 5000 +" began to in an effort to increase club membership beyond their 5,000th member, after reaching the 5,000th member milestone at the end of 2005.[38] The 2007 demolition of the East Stand drew the attention of fans and the local media, with the club establishing a webcam to follow the project, as well as a daily attendance of roughly 300 fans to witness the works.[39] The East Stand was notable at the time as being the last terraced stand along the touch line.[40]

Players from the 2004–05 and the 2005–06 season departed the club, including Fatmir Vata and Heiko Westermann in 2007, Mathias Hain, Sibusiso Zuma and Petr Gabriel in 2008. Arminia avoided relegation during the 2006–07 season in part by winning four matches from the 30th to the 33rd matchday, led by manager Ernst Middendorp. The 2007–08 season began with the club winning 3 of its first 5 matches, resulting in the club being in second place by the fifth matchday.[41] Despite this second place start, Arminia recorded its second largest Bundesliga defeat three matchdays later with an 8:1 away loss to Werder Bremen.[42] Relegation was avoided only on the final matchday with 34 points due to 1. FC Nürnberg losing at home while Arminia drew against VfB Stuttgart.[41]

Ewald Lienen coached the team for most parts of the 2010–11 season.

The following season, Arminia finished in last place and were relegated to the 2. Bundesliga.

Financial trouble and 3. Liga (2009–2015)

Players Rüdiger Kauf, Dennis Eilhoff, Jonas Kamper and Radim Kučera remained a part of the squad for the 2009–10 2. Bundesliga season. On 16 March 2010, Arminia were deducted four points for breaching the DFL's licensing regulations.[43] Arminia were in 5th place prior to the point deduction, and finished the season in 7th place.[44] their chances of promotion. The financial situation worsened, especially as costs for constructing the East Stand had proven to be much higher than originally planned for in 2007.[45] The coach, the managing director and the club's president were replaced in the summer break. The 2010–11 season started with Arminia in last place after 11 matchdays, having earned only 4 points.[46] In November manager Christian Ziege was let go and replaced by Ewald Lienen, former Bielefeld player and member of the fan-voted "Best XI" of all time. However, Arminia picked up 16 points and won only four games all season resulting in a last place finish and relegation to the 3. Liga.

Stefan Ortega Moreno in the 2013–14 season

A new team had to be formed with players formerly unknown in Bielefeld who would leave their mark[according to whom?] on the following seasons: Patrick Platins, Manuel Hornig, Tom Schütz, Sebastian Hille, Thomas Hübener, Patrick Schönfeld, Johannes Rahn and from the second half of the season onwards[vague] especially Fabian Klos who would coin a whole era.[vague] Another formative player,[according to whom?] Stefan Ortega Moreno, joined from the club's youth. After a poor start,[according to whom?] 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 2012–13 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:[according to whom?] Arminia qualified for the 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[vague] autumn and a mediocre[vague] winter Arminia fell down onto the 17th rank and the popular[according to whom?] coach Stefan Krämer – the first manager having held office for more than two years since 2004 – had to leave. His successor Norbert Meier at first had only little more success:[vague] 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[vague] back into the 3. Liga.

But the next season could wipe out[tone] the bitterness[tone] of that disaster:[tone] In the 2014–15 DFB-Pokal, as a 3. Liga club, Arminia reached the semi-finals by defeating three Bundesliga teams (Hertha BSC, SV Werder Bremen and VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach). They also were the top team in the 3. Liga (after a bad beginning[according to whom?] with only four points from the first four matches) for most part of the season. After the loss against VfL Wolfsburg in the semi-final of the DFB-Pokal, Arminia seemed to have lost their ability[according to whom?] to win their matches in the 3. Liga as well. Even the qualification for the 2. Bundesliga seemed to become doubtful,[according to whom?] but was secured after a 2–2 draw against SSV Jahn Regensburg, the last team in the league table, at the 37th matchday. Liberated from the pressure of a possible non-qualification,[tone] they also won the 3. Liga with a final 1–0 victory at the last matchday.

Sporting and financial recovery (2015–2020)

A stable season[according to whom?] with a defeat in the first round of the DFB-Pokal, a lot of[quantify] draws in the league (especially in the beginning: eight out of ten matches; in the end Arminia reached a record of 18) and only very few[vague] goals scored at home (only eight until the 30th matchday) followed so that the 4–2 over Greuther Fürth at the 31st matchday which secured Arminia's staying up was only Arminia's third win at home. That season's highlights probably[according to whom?] were the draws against all three top teams away. In the league table Arminia never went deeper than rank 14 and finished 12th.

After the season, the coach Norbert Meier was bought by SV Darmstadt 98. A difficult[according to whom?] 2016–17 season with two manager sackings followed.[citation needed] Arminia found themselves[vague] among the lowest four teams in the league table from the fourth matchday onwards, mostly on the 16th or 17th rank. On the other hand, Arminia reached the quarter-final in the DFB-Pokal. They avoided relegation as they finished in 15th after a 6–0 win over promotion candidate Eintracht Braunschweig and a 1–1 against Dynamo Dresden at the last two matchdays.

The 2017–18 season turned out easier. Having gathered 10 points out of the first four matches, Arminia hardly ever left the upper half of the league table (only at the 19th matchday: rank 10) and finished on the 4th rank – though in that season's very close league table this never meant much.[according to whom?] In that season, Arminia also made a big step[tone] in lowering its debts through an alliance of sponsors[47] and Fabian Klos replaced Ernst Kuster as the club's all-time top scorer.[48]

In November 2018, Arminia were practically[vague] free of debt but had to sell its stadium.[49] The team faced a more difficult situation when December started: Having gained less than one point per match on average, only the weakness of the competing relegation candidates kept them up and they were already out of the DFB-Pokal after a 0–3 defeat at home against MSV Duisburg – another relegation candidate – in the second round. Thus, the popular[according to whom?] coach Jeff Saibene was replaced by Uwe Neuhaus, who managed Arminia back into mid table within four matchdays and into 7th place by the last matchday.

Uwe Neuhaus brought Arminia back into the Bundesliga.

The 2019–20 season would turn out even better.[according to whom?] When Arminia had climbed on the 3rd rank of the league table after a 2–0 victory away against Hannover 96 – who were originally regarded[by whom?] as a promotion candidate – at the 6th matchday, hardly anyone guessed[according to whom?] they would stay in the promotion area of the league table for the rest of the season. They had just reached the second rank of the league table when they met FC Schalke 04 in the 2nd round of the DFB-Pokal on 29 October. In spite of Schalke clearly dominating[according to whom?] the match in the first 70 minutes, Arminia thrilled[tone] the supporters in the last 20 minutes by scoring two goals and only closely missing extra time.[50] They finished the 15th matchday on 1 December on the first rank of the league table where they would stay for the rest of the season in spite of competing with Hamburger SV and VfB Stuttgart who were originally estimated[by whom?] as main promotion candidates. After Arminia's 1–1 draw in Stuttgart on 9 March 2020 (25th matchday) the season was interrupted because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even this interruption did not affect them: they finished the season with 68 points – 10 points more than VfB Stuttgart who finished 2nd.[51]

Bundesliga return and double relegation (2020–present)

In the 2020–21 season, they were the team with the lowest budget in the Bundesliga. After a defeat in the first round of the DFB-Pokal they had a quite promising[vague] start in the Bundesliga season, but from the 4th matchday onwards they could be found among the last five teams in the league table, from the 6th matchday onwards amongst the last four teams. In March, the popular[according to whom?] manager Uwe Neuhaus was replaced by Frank Kramer.[52][53][54] A 2–0 win over VfB Stuttgart on the final matchday secured their spot in the 2021–22 Bundesliga.

That season turned out even more difficult. At the end of October, they were in danger of losing touch with the 16th rank. They started November with a 1–0 win away over VfB Stuttgart, their first win in the whole Bundesliga season. That match appeared to have stabilized Arminia's performance. In February they climbed up to 14th after a 1–0 win over 1. FC Union Berlin. However, this would be their last win of the season. They ended in 17th place and were relegated to the 2. Bundesliga. The following season, Arminia finished in 16th place, and lost the relegation playoff to Wehen Wiesbaden, thus suffering the indignity of suffering back-to-back relegations. In their fourth season in the 3. Liga, team captain Fabian Klos announced his retirement from professional football, thus also ending his 13-year history with the club.[55]

Colours and crest

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Arminia took the club colours blue, white and black upon their foundation in 1905. The colours have not 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.[citation needed] The away kit was mostly all white, while green shirts were worn in the 1990s.[vague]

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.

Kit suppliers and shirt sponsors

Period Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor (chest) Shirt sponsor (sleeve) Shirt sponsor (back)
Prior to 1975 None (In-House) None None None
1975–1979 Adidas granini
1979-1985 Seidensticker
1985-1988 granini
1988-1991 Schüco
1991-1993 Lotto Sportlepp
1993-1994 Forum Jahnplatz/NaturoKork
1994-1996 Westfalen Blatt
1996-1998 Reusch Gerry Weber
1998-2000 Herforder Pils
2000-2001 Uhlsport
2001-2002 Real
2002-2004 KiK
2004-2005 Krombacher
2005-2010 Saller
2010-2011 Schüco
2014-2017 Alpecin JAB Anstoetz Group
2017-2020 Joma Schüco
2020-2023 Macron
2023-2024 holz4home



Main article: Bielefelder Alm

The new eastern stand
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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.[citation needed] The ground did not 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 general 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 did not match the new safety regulations.[vague] 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.[59] Bielefelder Alm was a candidate to host matches of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup.


Pitch invasion after securing promotion at Bielefelder Alm in 2013
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Arminia have a large number of loyal supporters.[according to whom?] Even in 2011–12,[vague] 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.[vague] Arminia's matches during the 2013–14 2. Bundesliga were attended by 16,890 on average.[60] These numbers only count league matches. Arminia's matches in the 2014–15 DFB-Pokal were attended by 21,763 on average. The core[according to whom?] 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.[according to whom?] There are around 140 fanclubs, mostly from Ostwestfalen-Lippe.[according to whom?] However, there are fanclubs in Berlin, Stuttgart, London, Birmingham, Taunton, Austria and the Netherlands.

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

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.[according to whom?] One year later, the stadium was nearly sold out in that derby. An earlier rival was VfB 03 Bielefeld from the east of Bielefeld, but the rivalry lessened, and, nowadays,[when?] 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 "fashion rivalries" with other clubs from the Ruhr, because that area also belongs to Westphalia.[61] Many SC Paderborn 07 supporters consider Arminia as their main rival, but Arminia fans generally do not feel the same about them.[62][63] Also the matches against VfL Osnabrück are a small derby (somehow oscillating between friendship and rivalry).[vague] There are friendly relations to the supporters of the Hamburger SV,[vague] with both clubs sharing the same colours (black, white and blue), resulting in the chant "Schwarz, weiß, blau – Arminia und der HSV" (Black, white, blue – Arminia and HSV) among supporters of both clubs. For many fans this friendship also involves friendly ties to Hannover 96, whose fans share a friendship with Hamburg as well. All three clubs are sometimes dubbed the "Nordallianz" (Northern Alliance), despite the fact that Bielefeld (other than Hamburg and Hannover) is not located in what is considered Northern Germany.


Current squad

As of 5 June 2024[64]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK Germany GER Jonas Kersken (on loan from Mönchengladbach)
3 DF Denmark DEN Joel Felix
4 DF Germany GER Louis Oppie
5 DF Germany GER Semi Belkahia
6 DF Germany GER Can Özkan
7 MF Germany GER Nicklas Shipnoski
8 MF Germany GER Sam Schreck
9 FW Germany GER Fabian Klos (captain)
10 MF Morocco MAR Nassim Boujellab
11 FW Germany GER Aygün Yıldırım
14 FW Germany GER Thaddäus-Monju Momuluh (on loan from Hannover 96)
16 MF United States USA Mael Corboz
17 MF Germany GER Merveille Biankadi
19 MF Germany GER Maximilian Großer
No. Pos. Nation Player
22 GK Germany GER Leo Oppermann (on loan from Hamburger SV)
23 DF Germany GER Leon Schneider
24 DF Germany GER Christopher Lannert
25 MF Japan JPN Kaito Mizuta
27 DF Germany GER Gerrit Gohlke
28 MF Germany GER Lucas Kiewitt
29 FW Germany GER Henrik Koch
30 MF Germany GER Henry Obermeyer
34 MF Germany GER Leandro Putaro (on loan from VfL Osnabrück)
37 FW Germany GER Noah Sarenren Bazee
38 MF Germany GER Marius Wörl (on loan from Hannover 96)
39 FW Germany GER Manuel Wintzheimer (on loan from Nürnberg)
40 GK Germany GER Jonah Busse

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
MF Germany GER Tom Geerkens (at Wuppertaler SV until 30 June 2024)
No. Pos. Nation Player
FW Germany GER Christopher Schepp (at SV Meppen until 30 June 2024)

100 year team

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the club's formation, a fan poll was taken to determine the club's greatest starting XI, as well as seven substitutes and a manager. The following players were chosen:[65]

Starting XI



Arminia players in national teams

The player who has won the most international caps while at the club (from 1997 to 2000) is Karim Bagheri with 28 for Iran.[66] He and his team-mate Ali Daei were important Iranian players in the 1998 FIFA World Cup. They are the only footballers having taken part in a World Cup's final tournament while playing for Arminia. Other remarkable Arminia players who represented foreign countries while at the club are Pasi Rautiainen, Artur Wichniarek, Markus Weissenberger, Fatmir Vata, Isaac Boakye, Delron Buckley, Sibusiso Zuma, Rowen Fernández, Christopher Katongo, Jonas Kamper, Ritsu Dōan and Alessandro Schöpf.[67]

Four players were capped by Germany during their time with Arminia: Walter Claus-Oehler in 1923, Stefan Kuntz in 1996, Ronald Maul in 1999 and Patrick Owomoyela in 2004 and 2005. He played six matches for Germany in this time and thus holds the record. Some of the most famous former Arminia players played for their national teams only between their times with Arminia (Uli Stein and Jörg Böhme) or after their years with Arminia (Dieter Burdenski, Thomas Helmer, Arne Friedrich, Heiko Westermann and Jonathan Clauss).


League titles

Regional titles


Management and staff

Current staff

As of 19 March 2024[69]
Coaching staff
Germany Michél Kniat Manager
Spain Daniel Jara Assistant managers
Germany Oliver Döking
Germany Janik Steringer Assistant manager and Video-Analyst
Germany Steffan Süssner Goalkeeping coach
Fitness coaches
Germany Niklas Klasen Fitness Coach
Germany Malte Hornemann Rehabilitation Coach
Medical department
Germany Dr. Andreas Elsner Team doctors
Germany Dr. Tim Niedergassel
Germany Dr. Stefan Budde
Germany Mario Bertling Physiotherapists
Germany Arne Böker
Sport management and organisation
Germany Sandra Hausberger Team Manager
Germany Rainer Schonz Kit Manager
Germany Sebastian Wolf Bus Driver

Managers since 1922

Coach Nationality from to Significant events
František Zoubek Czechoslovakia 1922 1923 West German Champion 1923
Gerd Wellhöfer Germany 1923 1924 Westfalen Champion 1924
František Zoubek
Gerd Wellhöfer
1924 1925 Westfalen Champion 1925
Gerd Wellhöfer Germany 1925 1926 Westfalen Champion 1926
František Zoubek 1926 1933 Westfalen Champion 1923, 1933
Westfälischer Cup Winner 1932
Qualification to the Gauliga Westfalen 1933
Otto Faist Germany 1933 1935 Relegation from Gauliga 1934
Karl Willnecker Germany 1935 1938 Promotion to Gauliga 1938
Erich Brochmeyer Germany 1938 1939
Ferdinand Swatosch Austria 1939 1940 Vice Champion of the Gauliga
Otto Kranefeld[70] Germany 1940 1942
Karl Wunderlich Germany 1942 1945
Erich Brochmeyer Germany 1945 1946 Relegation to the Landesliga
Ferdinand Swatosch Austria 1946 1947
Karl Wunderlich Germany 1947 1948 Promotion to the Landesliga
Alois Münstermann Germany 1948 1949 Promotion to the Oberliga
Friedrich Otto Germany 1949 1950 Relegation to the 2. Liga West
Fritz Kaiser Germany 1950 1951
Hellmut Meidt Germany 1951 1953
Donndorf Germany 1953 1955 Relegation to the Landesliga 1954
Otto Westphal Germany 1955 1958
Arthur Gruber Germany 1958 19 March 1961 first Coach sacking
Josef Rasselnberg Germany 20 March 1961 1961
Jakob Wimmer Germany 1961 April 1963 Promotion to the 2. Liga West 1962
Hellmut Meidt Germany April 1963 1965 Qualification to the Regionalliga 1963
Robert Gebhardt Germany 1965 1966 Westdeutscher Cup Winner
Westfälischer Cup Winner
Hans Wendlandt Germany 1966 November 1969
Egon Piechaczek Poland November 1969 December 1971 Promotion to the Bundesliga 1970
Hellmut Meidt Germany January 1972 January 1972
Jan Notermans Netherlands February 1972 October 1972 Relegation to the Regionalliga
Willi Nolting Germany October 1972 February 1973
Norbert Lessle Germany February 1973 September 1973
Karl-Heinz "Harry" Garstecki Germany September 1973 October 1973
Willi Nolting Germany October 1973 Januar 1974
Rudi Faßnacht Germany January 1974 1974 Qualification to the 2. Bundesliga
Westfälischer Cup Winner
Erhard Ahmann Germany 1974 1976
Karl-Heinz Feldkamp Germany 1976 1978 Promotion to the Bundesliga
Milovan Beljin Yugoslavia 1978 October 1978
Otto Rehhagel Germany October 1978 October 1979 Relegation to the 2. Bundesliga 1978
Willi Nolting Germany October 1979 October 1979
Hans-Dieter Tippenhauer Germany October 1979 September 1980 Promotion to the Bundesliga
Willi Nolting Germany September 1980 December 1980
Horst Franz Germany December 1980 1982
Horst Köppel Germany 1982 1983 Place 8 in the Bundesliga
Karl-Heinz Feldkamp Germany 1983 March 1984
Gerd Roggensack Germany March 1984 February 1986 Place 8 in der Bundesliga 1984
Relegation to the 2. Bundesliga 1985
Horst Franz Germany February 1986 November 1986
Fritz Fuchs Germany November 1986 December 1987
Joachim Krug Germany December 1987 April 1988
Ernst Middendorp Germany April 1988 October 1990 Relegation to the Oberliga 1988
Champion of the Oberliga Westfalen 1990
Franz Raschid Germany October 1990 1991
Fritz Grösche Germany 1991 1992
Ingo Peter Germany 1 July 1992 1 February 1994
Theo Schneider Germany 2 February 1994 30 June 1994 Qualification for the Regionalliga West/Südwest
Wolfgang Sidka Germany 1994 September 1994
Ernst Middendorp Germany September 1994 16 August 1998 Promotion to the 2. Bundesliga 1995
Promotion to the Bundesliga 1996
Relegation to the 2. Bundesliga
Thomas von Heesen Germany 17 August 1998 1999 Promotion to the Bundesliga
Hermann Gerland Germany 1999 October 2000 Relegation to the 2. Bundesliga
Benno Möhlmann Germany October 2000 16 February 2004 Promotion to the Bundesliga
Relegation to the 2. Bundesliga
Thomas von Heesen Germany 17 February 2004 29 February 2004
Uwe Rapolder Germany 1 March 2004 10 May 2005 Promotion to the Bundesliga
Frank Geideck Germany 11 May 2005 2005
Thomas von Heesen Germany 2005 11 February 2007
Frank Geideck Germany 11 February 2007 13 March 2007
Ernst Middendorp Germany 14 March 2007 9 December 2007
Detlev Dammeier Germany 10 December 2007 31 December 2007
Michael Frontzeck Germany 1 January 2008 17 May 2009
Jörg Berger Germany 19 May 2009 24 June 2009 Relegation to the 2. Bundesliga
Thomas Gerstner Germany 24 June 2009 11 March 2010
Frank Eulberg & Jörg Böhme Germany 11 March 2010 26 May 2010
Christian Ziege Germany 26 May 2010 6 November 2010
Ewald Lienen Germany 7 November 2010 30 June 2011 Relegated to the 3. Liga
Markus von Ahlen Germany 1 July 2011 20 September 2011
Stefan Krämer Germany 21 September 2011 23 February 2014 Promotion to the 2. Bundesliga
Norbert Meier Germany 24 February 2014 10 June 2016 Promotion to the 2. Bundesliga
semi-final in the 2014–15 DFB-Pokal season
Rüdiger Rehm Germany 15 June 2016 22 October 2016
Carsten Rump Germany 23 October 2016 15 November 2016
Jürgen Kramny Germany 15 November 2016 14 March 2017
Jeff Saibene Luxembourg 19 March 2017 10 December 2018
Uwe Neuhaus Germany 10 December 2018 1 March 2021 Promotion to the Bundesliga
Frank Kramer Luxembourg 2 March 2021 20 April 2022
Marco Kostmann Germany 20 April 2022 3 June 2022
Uli Forte Italy 3 June 2022 17 August 2022
Daniel Scherning Germany 18 August 2022 7 March 2023
Uwe Koschinat Germany 9 March 2023 30 June 2023 Relegated to the 3. Liga
Michél Kniat Germany 1 July 2023



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