|Full name||Offenbacher Fußball-Club Kickers 1901 e. V.|
|Founded||27 May 1901|
Offenbacher Kickers, also known as Kickers Offenbach, is a German association football club in Offenbach am Main, Hesse. The club was founded on 27 May 1901 in the Rheinischer Hof restaurant by footballers who had left established local clubs including Melitia, Teutonia, Viktoria, Germania and Neptun. From 1921 to 1925 they were united with VfB 1900 Offenbach as VfR Kickers Offenbach until resuming their status as a separate side, Offenbacher FC Kickers. Since 2012, Kickers Offenbach's stadium has been the Sparda Bank Hessen Stadium.
The club became one of the founding members of the Nordkreis-Liga in 1909, where it played until the outbreak of the war. In post-First World War Germany, Kickers played in the Kreisliga Südmain (I), winning this league in 1920, 1922 and 1923.
The club played as a mid-table side in the Bezirksliga Main-Hessen through the late 1920s and early 1930s. German football was re-organized in 1933 under the Third Reich into sixteen first division Gauligen. Kickers joined the Gauliga Südwest, where the team immediately captured the title and entered the national playoffs for the first time. They fared poorly there, but did manage to raise their overall level of play in the following seasons, going on to win five consecutive divisional championships from 1940 to 1944.
In the early 1940s, the Gauliga Südwest had been split into the Gauliga Westmark and the Gauliga Hessen-Nassau, where Kickers played. Their best post-season result came in 1942 when the team was able to advance as far as the semi-finals in the national championship rounds before they were decisively put out 0:6 by Schalke 04, who were on their way to their sixth championship as the era's most dominant side. By 1944, Allied armies were rolling through Germany and the Gauliga Hessen-Nassau did not play the 1944–45 season. In their 1953 Asian Tour, they played twelve matches.
The club found itself in the new Regionalliga Süd (II) and play in the Bundesliga would have to wait until 1968. The team was immediately relegated, but returned to the upper league for play in 1970–71. In addition to their return to the Bundesliga, the club would win one of its few honours in 1970 with a 2:1 German Cup victory over 1. FC Köln.
However, the end of the 1971 season would find Kickers Offenbach at the centre of the Bundesliga scandal. The club president, Horst-Gregorio Canellas, went to the German Football Association (Deutsche Fussball Bund or German Football Association) after being approached by a player from another team looking for a cash bonus for that club's effort in beating one of Offenbach's rivals in the fight against relegation. Receiving no help from league officials, Canellas began gathering evidence of how widespread the payoffs were. In the end more than fifty players from seven clubs, two coaches, and six game officials were found guilty of trying to influence the outcome of games through bribes, but Canellas was unable to save his club from relegation. The club central to the scandal – Arminia Bielefeld – would not be punished until the following season, too late to save Offenbach.
The scandal had a negative effect on the young league and contributed to plummeting attendance figures. One outcome of the whole affair was the further evolution of German football; salary restrictions were removed and the 2. Bundesliga also became a professional league. Kickers immediately returned to the top level. The best finish was 7th in the 1972–73 season. They were leaders for 5 rounds and beat Bayern Munich 6–0 in the 1974–75 season but were relegated to the second level in the 1975–76 season.
Kickers spent the next seven years in the 2. Bundesliga before making a return to the Bundesliga for just a single season in 1983–84. In 1985, financial problems led to the club being penalized points and driven into the third division amateur Oberliga Hessen. They recovered, only to be denied a licence in 1989, and were sent back down again. By the mid-1990s they again slipped into the Oberliga Hessen (IV). They appeared in the final of the national amateur championship in 1994 where they lost 1–0 to Preußen Münster. Offenbach returned the 2. Bundesliga in 1999 and were immediately relegated after a 17th-place finish. In each of these seasons the team took part in the national amateur championship, winning the title in 1999.
The club next appeared in the 2. Bundesliga in 2005. After two lower table finishes, Kickers were relegated to the 3. Liga on the final day of the 2007–08 season following a 3–0 defeat to fellow strugglers VfL Osnabrück.
On 18 July 2012, the club's new ground, the Sparda Bank Hessen Stadium, was opened with a pre-season friendly against Bayer Leverkusen. The club was refused a 3. Liga licence at the end of the 2012–13 season and was relegated to the Regionalliga, with SV Darmstadt 98 taking its place. The club, €9 million in debt, could have faced insolvency and a restart at the lowest level of the German football league system.
The club won the Regionalliga Südwest in 2014–15 and earned the right to take part in the promotion round to the 3. Liga, where they missed out on promotion to Magdeburg. The loss was overshadowed by approximately 40 Offenbach supporters storming the field in the 84th minute and forcing a twenty-minute interruption to the return leg.
The recent season-by-season performance of the team:
Kickers Offenbach II
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
The managers of the club:
|Kurt Baluses||1965 – Feb. 1968|
|Kurt Schreiner||Mar. – Jun. 1968|
|Paul Oßwald||Jul. 1968 – Nov. 1969|
|Kurt Schreiner||Dec. 1969|
|Willi Keim||Dec. 1969|
|Zlatko Čajkovski||Jan – Jul. 1970|
|Kurt Schreiner||Aug. 1970|
|Aki Schmidt||Sep. 1970|
|Rudi Gutendorf||Sep. 1970 – Feb. 1971|
|Kuno Klötzer||Feb. 1971 – Jun. 1972|
|Gyula Lóránt||Jul. 1972 – Mar. 1974|
|Otto Rehhagel||Apr. 1974 – Dec. 1975|
|Zlatko Čajkovski||Jan. – Oct. 1976|
|Udo Klug||Nov. 1976 – Jun. 1978|
|Horst Heese||Jul. 1978 – Jun. 1980|
|Franz Brungs||Jul. 1980 – May 1982|
|Lothar Buchmann||Jun. 1982 – Mar. 1984|
|Hermann Nuber||Mar. 1984 – Jun. 1984|
|Fritz Fuchs||Jul – Dec 1984|
|Horst Heese||Dec 1984 – Jun 1985|
|Wilfried Kohls||Jul 1985 – Jun 1986|
|Franz Brungs||Jul 1986 – May 1987|
|Robert Jung||May 1987 – Jun 1987|
|Dieter Renner||Jul 1987 – Mar 1989|
|Nikolaus Semlitsch||Mar 1989 – Dec 1989|
|Hans-Günter Neues||Dec 1989 – Apr 1990|
|Kurt Geinzer||Apr 1990 – Jun 1992|
|Lothar Buchmann||Jul 1992 – Oct 1994|
|Valentin Herr||Oct 1994 – Apr 1995|
|Wilfried Kohls||Maz 1995 – Jun 1995|
|Wolfgang Uschek||Jul 1995 – Dec 1995|
|Ronny Borchers||Jan 1996 – Apr 1997|
|Wilfried Kohls/Jörg Hambückers||Apr 1997 – Jun 1997|
|Hans-Jürgen Boysen||Jul 1997 – Oct 1999|
|Peter Neururer||Oct 1999 – Aug 2000|
|Dragoslav Stepanovic||Aug 2000 – Sep 2000|
|Knut Hahn||Sep 2000 – Oct 2000|
|Wilfried Kohls||Oct 2000 – Oct 2000|
|Knut Hahn||Nov 2000 – Nov 2000|
|Dieter Müller/Oliver Roth||Nov 2000 – Dec 2000|
|Ramon Berndroth||Dec 2000 – Aug 2003|
|Lars Schmidt||Aug 2003 – Mar 2004|
|Hans-Jürgen Boysen||Mar 2004 – Jan 2006|
|Wolfgang Frank||Jan 2006 – Oct 2007|
|Jørn Andersen||Nov 2007 – May 2008|
|Hans-Jürgen Boysen||May 2008 – Oct 2009|
|Steffen Menze||Oct 2009 – Feb 2010|
|Wolfgang Wolf||Feb 2010 – Feb 2011|
|Thomas Gerstner||Feb 2011 – May 2011|
|Arie van Lent||May 2011 – Feb 2013|
|Rico Schmitt||Feb 2013 – Jan 2016|
|Oliver Reck||Jan 2016 – Jun 2018|
|Daniel Steuernagel||Jul 2018 – Sep 2019|
|Steven Keßler||Sep 2019 – Dec 2019|
|Angelo Barletta||Dec 2019 – Dec 2020|
|Sreto Ristić||Jan 2021 –|
Source: Book "Kickers Offenbach – die ersten hundert jahre" ("Kickers Offenbach – the first hundred years")
The club's honours:
Main article: Kickers Offenbach II
Kickers second team played in the Amateurliga Hessen (III) from 1971–74 until being disbanded after the 1973–74 season. The reconstituted side reappeared in the Amateuroberliga Hessen (III) in 1984, but were sent down after the relegation of the senior side from the 2. Bundesliga. The amateur's next appearance of note was in the Oberliga Hessen (IV) in 1999 in a campaign that ended in relegation after a 15th-place finish. In 2008–09, it returned to the Hessenliga and finished in fourth place. After six seasons in the league the team finished 18th in the Hessenliga in 2014 and was relegated to the Verbandsliga.
Recent managers of the team:
|Steffen Menze||1 July 2005||30 June 2006|
|Ramon Berndroth||1 July 2006||30 June 2008|
|Steffen Menze||1 July 2008||30 June 2009|
|Jürgen Baier||1 July 2009||30 June 2010|
|Günter Stiebig||1 July 2011||30 June 2013|
|Alexander Conrad||1 July 2013||Present|