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Berliner FC Dynamo

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Berliner FC Dynamo (commonly BFC Dynamo or BFC) is a German football club based in the locality of Alt-Hohenschönhausen in Berlin. BFC Dynamo is the record champion of East Germany with ten consecutive championships from 1979 through 1988.

Berliner FC Dynamo
BFC Dynamo - 2009.svg
Full nameBerliner Fussball Club Dynamo e. V.
Nickname(s)"The Wine Reds"
Founded15 January 1966; 53 years ago (1966-01-15)
GroundFriedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark
Capacity19,708
ChairmanNorbert Uhlig
ManagerChristian Benbennek
LeagueRegionalliga Nordost (IV)
2018–1912th

HistoryEdit

BackgroundEdit

Berliner FC Dynamo began as a football department of SC Dynamo Berlin, and its origins goes back to the controversial relocation of Dynamo Dresden to Berlin.

SC Dynamo Berlin was founded as a sports club in East Berlin on 1 October 1954.[1][nb 1] As all clubs bearing the name Dynamo, it was part of SV Dynamo, the Sports Association for the security agencies. The president of SV Dynamo was Erich Mielke, at the time Deputy State Secretary of the State Secretariat for State Security, commonly known as the Stasi. Erich Mielke was a huge football enthusiast, who saw football as a way of aggrandizing East Germany and socialism.[4][5]

In order to establish a competitive side in Berlin, the team of Dynamo Dresden was relocated to East Berlin, to play as SC Dynamo Berlin. Political factors and pressure from Erich Mielke were probably the main reasons behind the relocation.[6][3][nb 2] The relocation was designed to provide the capital with a team that could rival Hertha BSC, Blau-Weiß 1890 Berlin and Tennis Borussia Berlin, which were still popular in East Berlin and drew football fans to West Berlin.[9][6][3]

Some of the players transferred from Dynamo Dresden, Johannes Matzen, Herbert Schoen and Günter Schröter, had a few years earlier been ordered to leave SG Volkspolizei Potsdam for Dresden. In Dresden they had joined the new football team SG Deutsche Volkspolizei Dresden, which replaced the popular, but bourgeois, SG Friedrichstadt. SG Deutsche Volkspolizei Dresden soon became a dominant side in East German football and was renamed Dynamo Dresden in 1953. The city of Dresden had two sides in the DDR-Oberliga in the 1953–54 season, as BSG Rotation Dresden (then BSG Sachsenverlag Dresden) had qualified for league in 1950. Berlin hade none, and this did not please Erich Mielke.[8] Berlin was the capital of the republic, and he felt it needed a strong football team to represent it.[5]

 
The team of SC Dynamo Berlin after winning the 1959 FDGB-Pokal, at the Bruno-Plache-Stadion in Leipzig.

The team finished its first league season as SC Dynamo Berlin on seventh place. It was relegated to the DDR-Liga in 1957, but returned to the top level after only one season, and finished the 1959 DDR-Oberliga on third place. SC Dynamo Berlin then won its first trophy in the 1959 FDGB-Pokal, defeating SC Wismut Karl-Marx-Stadt in the final. The first leg ended 0–0, but the second leg was won 3–2, with two goals scored by Christian Hofmann and one penalty goal scored by Günter Schröter.

SC Dynamo Berlin had some success in the first seasons of the 1960s, with a second place in the 1960 DDR-Oberliga season and an appearance in the 1961 FDGB-Pokal final. But SC Dynamo Berlin would find itself overshadowed in the capital by the army sponsored ASK Vorwärts Berlin, who had captured the league title in 1958 and 1960, and would go on to capture four more league titles over the coming years. The team of SC Dynamo Berlin of the 1960s was relatively weak.[10] Their play had fallen off by 1963, and they became a lower table side. The former Dresden players had also started to age, and a second relegation to the DDR-Liga would eventually occur.[11]

 
Günter Schröter, Horst Kohle and Martin Skaba, during a match between ASK Vorwärts Berlin and SC Dynamo Berlin at the Walther-Ulbricht-Stadion in 1959.

A bitter dispute erupted in 1965 between SC Dynamo Berlin and SG Dynamo Schwerin, over the delegation of three players from SG Dynamo Schwerin to SC Dynamo Berlin. Local SED politicians and SV Dynamo functionaries in Schwerin wanted to transform the city into a major footballing center, and complained the reduction of SG Dynamo Schwerin into a feeder club. The disparity between SC Dynamo Berlin and SG Dynamo Schwerin was significant. The wage bill of officials and players was 315,559 Marks at SC Dynamo Berlin in the 1964-65-season, compared to 19,428 Marks at SG Dynamo Schwerin. When SC Dynamo Berlin tried to exercise its right to draw talented players from SG Dynamo Schwerin through delegation, members of the local SED Regional Administration Executive Committee and local SV Dynamo functionaries put up fierce resistance. SV Dynamo and Erich Mielke was conscious of the mass appeal of football and the role of SC Dynamo Berlin in the reputation of the Stasi.[10] The delegation was eventually cancelled, but the dispute caused antipathy between the two Dynamo clubs.[12][13][14]

East German football was re-organized in the middle of the 1960s, when some football departments were made independent from their umbrella sports clubs to create ten football clubs. These ten football clubs and Dynamo Dresden were designated as focus clubs, so-called Schwerpunktclubs. They were elite clubs meant to provide stability to the game at the top level and to supply the national team with talent. Promising players would be ordered to play for them. As part of this re-organization, the football department of SC Dynamo Berlin was separated from the Sports Club in 1966 and reformed into football club Berliner FC Dynamo.[15][3][16] SG Dynamo Hohenschönhausen was also disbanded, and joined with BFC Dynamo. SG Dynamo Hohenschönhausen was made the reserve team of BFC Dynamo.

SG Dynamo Hohenschönhausen had been founded in 1952 under the name SG Dynamo Berlin. After the founding of SC Dynamo Berlin, there were two football teams in Berlin bearing the name "Dynamo Berlin". SG Dynamo Berlin was therefore renamed SG Dynamo Berlin-Mitte. SG Dynamo Berlin-Mitte merged with the reserve team of SC Dynamo Berlin in 1957 and reformed into SG Dynamo Hohenschönhausen. SG Dynamo Hohenschönhausen had consisted mostly of young talents and former players of SC Dynamo Berlin.

FoundingEdit

Berliner FC Dynamo was founded on 15 January 1966. Elected as honorary president was Erich Mielke.[17]

The club was formed as an elite club, and was planned to become a figurehead and flagship of East German football. The players were meant to become socialist heroes, and the team was destined to compete on European level, boosting East German self-confidence and international prestige.[18][10][19] This was to be achieved through concentration of sports performance, politically justified. Supported by Erich Mielke and SV Dynamo, BFC Dynamo would over the years be given access to the best training facilities, equipment, coaching staff and talents, but it would also be delegated some of the best players from other teams.[18]

"Football success will highlight even more clearly the superiority of our socialist order in the area of sport."

Erich Mielke[4]

Delegation of football players and concentration of the best players in one team was common practice in East Germany, as in the Eastern Bloc.[nb 3] This was part of a sports system, where talents and the best players were delegated to elite clubs or concentrated in centers of excellence.[20][18] Focus clubs, such as BFC Dynamo, had access to talents within a designated geographical and administrative region, and permission to draw on the best players in the country.[3] But football in East Germany was also a contested sphere. Teams were relocated and frequently renamed, and players were delegated from one team to another, in accordance with political criteria, or due to machinations of powerful political leaders or interest groups at regional or central level.[21] The backing of a sponsor was crucial to the development of a team and many political leaders took interest in football and used their connections and resources to promote their favorite team and boost the prestige of their region or organization.[22][7] Dynamo Dresden was helped to remain a top club by Hans Modrow, long time SED First secretary in Bezirk Dresden, among other local politicians.[23][13] And the club also had support from Horst Böhm, the Head of the Regional Administration of the Stasi in Dresden.[12][13] The favoring of BFC Dynamo was not uncontested in the East German sports political establishment, not even within SV Dynamo itself. But despite opposition, Erich Mielke would manage to ensure that some of the best players were concentrated in Hohenschönhausen.[20][18]

Beginning and riseEdit

The 1966–67 season ended with relegation to the second tier DDR-Liga. A match between SG Dynamo Schwerin and BFC Dynamo in Schwerin during the 1967–78 DDR-Liga season ended in serious disorder among home fans. Going back to the dispute over player delegations in 1965, feelings between the two clubs had been tense. But the decisive factor causing the riots was perceived manipulation of the game by the referee. BFC Dynamo would win the match narrowly by 2–1. A Stasi investigation revealed that a sense of injustice was share also by members of the regional Stasi and that some members, who had attended the game, had either left the ground or followed the events passively.[10][14][12]

BFC Dynamo would dominate the 1967–68 DDR-Liga and immediately bounce back to the DDR-Oberliga. The club would initially struggle to reach the top of the league, before it finally captured a second place in 1971–72 season. But this period also saw Dynamo Dresden return to dominance. Dynamo Dresden had been severely weakened by the establishment of SC Dynamo Berlin in 1954 and also suffered relegation the same year. The club managed to return to the DDR-Oberliga in 1962 and won the championship in 1971. Dynamo Dresden would become one of the main rivals of BFC Dynamo, and the 1970s would largely belong to Dynamo Dresden, followed by 1. FC Magdeburg. But another rival would at the same time disappear when the Stasi outmaneuvered the army in 1971 and FC Vortwärts Berlin was relocated to Frankfurt an der Oder. Erich Mielke regarded FC Vortwärts Berlin as a competitor to BFC Dynamo in the capital, while Erich Mückenberger, his fellow Politburo member and SED First Secretary in Bezirk Frankfurt, anticipated a boost for the Frankfurt and der Oder region.[2] BFC Dynamo reached the final of the 1970–71 FDGB-Pokal, but lost 2–1 to Dynamo Dresden at the Kurt-Wabbel-Stadion in Halle. The club then made its first appearance in the European Cup Winners' Cup in the following season. BFC Dynamo reached the semi finals of the 1971–72 European Cup Winners' Cup, but was eliminated by Dynamo Moscow on a penalty shootout.

 
Hans-Jürgen Riediger during a match against Dynamo Dresden in 1975.

BFC Dynamo finished runners up in the 1971–72 DDR-Oberliga, and qualified for the UEFA Cup for the first time. The club reached the third round of the 1972–73 UEFA Cup, where it faced Liverpool FC. The team managed a 0–0 draw before 20,000 spectators at the Dynamo-Stadion im Sportforum, but suffered a 3–1 defeat at Anfield, with a single goal scored by Wolf-Rüdiger Netz.[24] The club only finished in sixth place in the following two seasons, but captured a second place in the 1975–76 DDR-Oberliga season. The team qualified for the 1976–77 UEFA Cup but was eliminated by Shakhtar Donetsk in the first round.

Dynamo Dresden would capture their third league title in a row at the end of the 1977–78 season. What happened after is subject to various rumors. Formal title celebrations took place in June 1978 at the hotel and restaurant Bastein at Prager Straße in Dresden. Erich Mielke paid a visit on behalf of SV Dynamo to congratulate the team to the title, and Dynamo Dresden player Reinhard Häfner recalls how Erich Mielke held a speech where he said that he would prefer if the BFC was champions. And according to other versions of the same event, he proclaimed that everything will be done so that in the coming year, the champion will come from Berlin, and that it was now the turn of the BFC.[25][26][27][28] But it is also rumoured that Erich Mielke made a remark about bringing the title to Berlin after a fractious encounter between Dynamo Dresden and BFC Dynamo in December 1978, when he allegedly walked into the locker room of Dynamo Dresden, and told the players that "You must understand, the capital city needs a champion!".[29]

Golden eraEdit

 
The team of BFC Dynamo after winning its first league title on 6 June 1979.

The 1978-79 DDR-Oberliga marked a change in East German football. BFC Dynamo, since 1977 trained by Jürgen Bogs, opened the season with ten consecutive wins and finally captured its first league title in 1979. The title was secured after a 3–1 win against Dynamo Dresden in the 24th match day in front of 22,000 spectators at the Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark.[30] The team had managed an astounding 21 wins, four draws and only one loss. Hans-Jürgen Riediger became second placed league top goal scorer with 20 goals.

Winning the league title, BFC Dynamo qualified for its first appearance in the European Cup. BFC Dynamo eliminated Ruch Chorzów and Servette FC in the first two rounds of the 1979-80 European Cup. The team reached the quarter finals, where it faced Nottingham Forest led by Brian Clough. BFC won the first leg 1–0 away, with a single goal scored by Hans-Jürgen Riediger but was eliminated on aggregate goals, after a 1–3 loss in front ot 30,000 spectators at the Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn Sportpark.[31] Nottingham Forest would later go on and become champions. The win against Nottingham Forest away, made BFC Dynamo the first German team to defeat an English team in England in the European Cup.

 
BFC Dynamo - Hamburger SV in the 1982–83 European Cup at the Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark.

The success continued and BFC Dynamo won the league also in the following years. BFC Dynamo was set for a prestigious encounter with the West German champions Hamburger SV in the first round of the 1982-83 European Cup. The first leg was to be played at the Friedrich-Ludwig-Jan Sportpark and many fans were looking forward towards the match. But fearing riots, political demonstrations and spectators expressing sympathies for West German football stars such as Felix Magath, the Stasi imposed restrictions on ticket sales. Only 2,000 tickets were allowed for carefully selected fans. Most seats were instead allocated to Stasi employees, Volkspolizei officers and SED functionaries.[32][33][34] BFC Dynamo managed a draw, but was eliminated after a 0–2 loss in Hamburg.

The players of BFC Dynamo had political training and were held under a strict discipline, demanding both political reliability, obedience and a moral lifestyle. No contacts with the West was allowed.[35][36][37] The players were also under surveillance by the Stasi. A top football player in East Germany defecting to the West would be a huge loss of prestige the regime. The players would have their telephones tapped, their rooms at training camps tapped and be accompanied by personnel from the Stasi at almost all occasions during international trips.[38] The Ministry of Interior and the Stasi had employees integrated in the club and it is likely that some individual players were recruited as informants, so called Unofficial collaborators (IM), with the task of collecting information about other players.[39][38] During an away trip to Belgrade for a match against Partizan Belgrade in the 1983-84 European Cup, players Falko Götz and Dirk Schlegel defected to West Germany. With help from the West German Consulate general in Zagreb, they received false passports and managed to escape to Munich.[40][41] East German state news agency ADN reported that Falko Götz and Dirk Schlegen had been "wooed by West German managers with large sums of money" and "betrayed their team".[41]

 
The team of BFC Dynamo celebrating the title after the 1983-84 season.

BFC Dynamo had a run of 36 league matches without defeat in 1982-1984, including the entire 1982-83 season. Only after one and a half years of dominance did FC Karl Marx Stadt manage to defeat the team in the seventh match day of the 1983-84 season. The last defeat had occurred against Dynamo Dresden in the 22nd match day of the 1981–82 season. Rainer Ernst became league top goalscorer in the 1983-84 and 1984-85 DDR-Oberliga seasons.

Although speculations on referee manipulation in favor of BFC Dynamo would never be completely be eliminated, it remains a fact that BFC Dynamo achieved its sporting success much on the basis of its successful youth work, which is recognized today. Its top performers of the 1980s came mainly from its own academy and junior teams, such as Andreas Thom, Frank Rohde, Rainer Ernst, Bernd Schulz, Christian Backs and Bodo Rudwaleit. These players would influence the team for years. The only major transfers to BFC Dynamo from other clubs during its most successful period, were Frank Pastor from then relegated Hallescher FC Chemie in 1984 and Thomas Doll from then relegated Hansa Rostock in 1986.[20] These transfers would often be labeled delegations by fans of other teams, but Thomas Doll left Hansa Rostock to ensure a chance to play for the national team, and had the opportunity to choose between BFC Dynamo and Dynamo Dresden, but wanted to go to Berlin to be able to stay close to his family and because he already knew players in BFC Dynamo from the national youth teams.[42]

In the league, there had been controversial refereeing decisions in favor of BFC Dynamo, which gave rise to speculations that the dominance of BFC Dynamo was not solely due to athletic performance, but also due to match-fixing. However, allegations of referee bias was nothing new in East German football, and was not isolated to matches involving BFC Dynamo. Alleged referee bias as a source of unrest was a thread that ran from the very first matches of the DDR-Oberliga, and had caused unrest already back in 1950, when Horst Zwickau defeated SG Friedrichstadt 5–1 in a match which decided the title in the 1949–50 DDR Oberliga season. Another example occurred in 1960, when ASK Vorwärts Berlin defeated SC Chemie Halle away in Halle.[43][44][45] German sports historian Hanns Leske claims that referees throughout the history of East German football had a preference for the teams sponsored by the armed and security forces.[45]

BFC Dynamo and its predecessor, SC Dynamo Berlin, was deeply unpopular in Dresden since the controversial relocation of Dynamo Dresden in 1954.[46] And the club came to be widely disliked and even hated around the country for its privileges, and for being a representative of the capital and the Stasi. Because of this, BFC Dynamo was viewed with more suspicion than affection.[47] The sense that BFC Dynamo benefited from referee bias did not, as popularly believed, arise first after 1978. It had already existed for years, as shown by the riots among fans of SG Dynamo Schwerin during a match between the two teams in 1968. The disapproval was kept in check as long as the club was relatively unsuccessful, but complaints increased and feelings became inflamed as the club grew successful.[48][49] A turning point was the fractious encounter between BFC Dynamo and Dynamo Dresden in Dresden in December 1978, which ended with unrest at the Rudolf-Harbig-Stadion, with 35 to 38 fans of both teams arrested. BFC Dynamo won the match 2–1. Hans Modrow, then SED First secretary in Bezirk Dresden, blaimed the unrest on "inept officiating", and there were accusations from Dresden that manipulation of the match was yet another form of discrimination against the city.[48][50][46]

The privileges of BFC Dynamo and its overbearing success in the 1980s made fans of opposing teams easily aroused as to what they saw as manipulation by bent referees.[48] Numerous petitions to authorities were written by citizens, fans of other teams and even members of the SED, complaining referee bias and outright match fixing in favor of BFC Dynamo.[48][51] And hatred towards the club had been growing since its first league titles and would become widespread.[52][53] The team was met at away matches with aggression and shouts such as "Bent champions!" or ”Stasi swine!”.[46][53] Fans of BFC Dynamo would even be taunted by fans of opposing teams with "Jews Berlin!".[52][54][55]

Controversial referee decisions in favor of BFC Dynamo included last minute penalties, offside goals allowed, fouls of BFC Dynamo ignored, penalties and correct goals for opposing teams denied. Complaints against referee bias accumulated.[56] The German Football Association of the GDR (DFV), under its General secetary Karl Zimmermann, commissioned a secret study on the problems with referee performance and behavior in relation to the matchs involving BFC Dynamo, Dynamo Dresden and 1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig in the 1984–85 season.[56][57][58][nb 4] The study came to the conclusion that BFC Dynamo was systematically favored and had gained at least 8 points due to alleged referee bias.[57][59] The study found several referees allegedly favoring BFC Dynamo.[58] The study found a direct advantage of BFC Dynamo in ten matches and a disadvantage of its two closest competitors, Dynamo Dresden and 1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig, in eight matches together.[45][56] The study showed that 45 yellow cards had been handed out to Dynamo Dresden and 36 to 1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig, compared to 16 yellow cards for BFC Dynamo, and that yellow cards had been handed out to key players in Dynamo Dresden and 1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig prior matches against BFC Dynamo, so that they were banned from the next match.[60][56] The scandal surrounding alleged referee bias in East German football had now so undermined the credibility of the national competitions, that Egon Krenz, Rudolf Hellmann and the DFV were forced to restructure the referee commission and impose penalties on referees for poor performance.[48]

 
1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig - BFC Dynamo on 22 March 1986.

The controversies peaked during the match between 1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig and BFC Dynamo on 22 March 1986, which practically decided the 1985-86 DDR-Oberliga season.[61] 1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig led the match 1-0 into extra time, when BFC Dynamo was awarded a dubious penalty by referee Bernd Stumpf in the 94th minute. Frank Pastor converted the penalty and equalized. The penalty, which was later known as "The shame penalty of Leipzig", caused general outrage and a wave of protests.[57] The DFV, under Karl Zimmerman, took action. Bernd Stumpf was made an example and received a lifetime ban from refereeing. Two SV Dynamo representatives in the referee commission were also replaced. The sanctions against Bernd Stumpf were approved by Erich Honecker.[62][57][45] However, a video recording was sent to Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (MDR) in 2000. The video recording had been filmed by BFC Dynamo for training purposes and showed the situation from a different angle. The video recording showed that decision by Bernd Stump was correct and that the sanctions against him were unjustified.[63][55]

"I can imagine there was referee manipulation due to the immense pressure from the government and Ministry for State Security. That could have made some referees nervous and influenced their decisions. But we were the strongest team at the time. We didn't need their help."

Falko Götz[18]

It was later known that several referees, including Bernd Stumpf and others, had been Stasi informants. But there is no proof that referees stood under direct orders from Stasi and no document has been found in the archives that gave the Stasi a mandate to bribe referees.[64][65][61][50] However, the benefit of controlling important matches in Western Europe, gift to wives and other forms of patronage, might have put indirect pressure on referees to take preventative action, in so called pre-emptive obedience.[61][65][47][66][45] In order to pursue an international career, a referee would need a travel permit, confirmed by the Stasi.[45][58][67] The German Football Association (DFB) has concluded that "it emerged after the political transition that Dynamo, as the favorite club of Stasi chief Erich Mielke, received many benefits and in case of doubt, mild pressure was applied in its favor".[68] However, the picture that the success of BFC Dynamo relied upon referee bias has been challenged by ex-coach Jürgen Bogs, ex-goalkeeper Bodo Rudwaleit and others associated with the club. Some of them admit that there might have been cases of referee bias. But they insist that it was the thoroughness of their youth work and the quality of their play that earned them their titles.[69] In an interview with CNN, Jörn Lenz said: "Maybe we had a small bonus in the back of referees' minds, in terms of them taking decisions in a more relaxed way in some situations than if they'd been somewhere else, but one can't say it was all manipulated. You can't manipulate 10 league titles. We had the best team in terms of skill, fitness and mentality. We had exceptional players".[18]

 
Andreas Thom during a match against Dynamo Dresden in 1988

BFC Dynamo won its tenth league title in a row in the 1987-88 season. The club also reached the final of the 1987-88 FDGB-Pokal and defeated Carl Zeiss Jena 2–0 in front of 40,000 spectators at the Stadion der Weltjugend, securing the double and winning its first cup title since SC Dynamo Berlin captured the title in 1959. The duo Andreas Thom and Thomas Doll, paired with sweeper Frank Rhode, were one of the most effective goal scorers in the late 1980s of East German football. Andreas Thom became league top goalscorer during the 1987-88 season.

The club was drawn against West German champions Werder Bremen in the first round of 1988-89 European Cup. BFC Dynamo won a surprising 3–0 victory home at the Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark in the first leg, but was eliminated after an equally surprising 5–0 loss in Bremen. The return match would be known in West Germany as the "Second miracle at the Weser".

Average home attendance fell from 15,000 to 9,000 during the 1980s. Many fans grew disillusioned by the alleged Stasi involvement. And notably aggravating were the restrictions on tickets sales imposed by the Stasi at international matches, were only a small number of tickets were allowed for ordinary fans, with the vast majority instead allocated to a politically handpicked audience.[70] BFC Dynamo saw the emergence of a well organized hooligan scene during the 1980s, which came to be increasingly associated with skinhead fashion and right-wing extremism in the middle of the 1980s.[52][71][55]

 
Celebrations after the final of the 1988–89 FDGB-Pokal.

BFC Dynamo saw a decline in the 1988-89 DDR-Oberliga season and finished runners-up behind Dynamo Dresden. The team defeated FC Karl Marx Stadt 1-0 in the final of the 1988-89 FDGB-Pokal and secured its third cup title. As cup winners, BFC Dynamo was set to play the DFV-Supercup against league champions Dynamo Dresden. Jürgen Bogs was removed as head coach after the 1988–89 season, and replaced by Helmut Jäschke, who had previously served as head coach of the reserve team. The DFV-Supercup was played on 5 August 1989 at the Stadion der Freundschaft in Cottbus. BFC Dynamo defeated Dynamo Dresden 4-–1, with two goals scored by Thomas Doll, and won the title.

Post-unificationEdit

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 and due to the supporters' desire they again took up the name BFC Dynamo. Without its powerful patron, the assistance of corrupt referees 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 club filed for insolvency in 2001 but was rescued by a number of supporters. The insolvency proceedings were successfully closed in 2004.

 
Historical chart of BFC Dynamo league performance

BFC 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 1–0, thus qualifying for the national cup of the DFB, the DFB-Pokal.[72] 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 DFB. While Dynamo's Christoph Köhne came close after hitting the inner post in the 31st minute, Vedad Ibišević won the game for Stuttgart with goals in the 40th and 75th minutes (a penalty), resulting in a 0–2 defeat.

In the 2013–14 Oberliga 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.[73] 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.[74]

Following promotion, BFC Dynamo finished the 2014–15 Regionalliga season in fifth place. During the season, coach Volkan Uluc was replaced by former Hamburger SV player and coach of SSV Jahn Regensburg, Thomas Stratos. Under Stratos, BFC Dynamo secured yet another Berlin Cup trophy, thus qualifying again for the DFB-Pokal. The crowd of 6,914 spectators during the 2015 cup final against Tasmania Berlin (1–0 victory) at the Friedrich Ludwig Jahn Sportpark set another record for a Berlin Cup final.

The 2014–15 season marked the return of the club to live television (pay TV had broadcast the DFB-Pokal cup matches against 1.FC Kaiserslautern in 2011 and VfB Stuttgart in 2013) with its Regionalliga matches against Carl Zeiss Jena and 1. FC Magdeburg being broadcast by Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk television.

The 2015 DFB-Pokal match was lost 0:2 against 2. Bundesliga side FSV Frankfurt. Rockenbach da Silva missed a penalty for BFC.[75]

René Rydlewicz, a former Bundesliga player who had started his career at the club, took over as BFC coach in May 2016. The Regionalliga seasons 2015–16 and 2016–17 brought mixed results. However, BFC secured another Berlin Cup trophy in 2017, thus qualifying for DFB-Pokal season 2017–18. FC Schalke 04 was drawn as first-round opponent for the match scheduled 14 August 2017. 12,000 tickets were sold in advance.

StadiumsEdit

The long-time home and training ground of the club has been the Sportforum Hohenschönhausen. Its outdoor stadium has a capacity of 10,000 spectators, including 2,000 seated, 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 the training ground for the Eisbären Berlin professional ice hockey team, formerly SC Dynamo Berlin.

The team played most European Cup matches and most seasons (1971–1992) at the Friedrich Ludwig Jahn Sportpark in Prenzlauer Berg, close to the former Berlin Wall. Following the 2014 promotion to Regionalliga Nordost, BFC moved permanently back to the Prenzlauer Berg stadium, next to the Mauerpark.[76] The stadium currently has a capacity of 19,708 spectators.

The Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark is under planning for a complete redevelopment. The estimated cost for the redevelopment of the whole area is estimated at up to €170 million, including €85 million for a new stadium. The current stadium will be demolished by 2020.[77]

Club culture, supporters and rivalriesEdit

In the 1980s and 1990s, BFC Dynamo supporters became known to include skinheads, with far right political views. In the early 1990s, BFC Dynamo gained a reputation of having the strongest hooligan element in Germany.[78]

It was the broader BFC supporter scene that managed to rescue the club during its insolvency proceedings in 2004. Today its supporter scene includes Ultra-groups and other supporter groups with various political or non-political views.

The BFC has rivalries with Dynamo Dresden and Union Berlin while enjoying friendly relations with Scottish side Aberdeen,[79] and partially with Eintracht Braunschweig, Polish club Pogoń Szczecin and Swedish club GAIS.

Club crestEdit

Ownership of the BFC crestEdit

After German re-unification many East German clubs rushed to drop the names they were bearing during the Communist era. BFC 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, thus returning to them due to supporters' pressure and based on a members' decision.

The situation of BFC Dynamo was complicated as they had neglected to copyright their old crest. In 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 assisted in the period following the club's insolvency in 2001. This was the cause of concern for the beleaguered football association as the pair were known to have links to the Hells Angels motorcycle club.

BFC Dynamo has been working to recover the rights to its familiar traditional crest. Several alternative crests have been developed and registered in the event that they are unsuccessful in the attempt. The disputed image continued to be used by BFC Dynamo on the 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.[80] In 2009, in response to the problem, the club decided to introduce the current logo that abandoned the traditional stylized "D" in favour of the Berlin bear. However, the club and most of its fans identify with the traditional logo.

Championship stars controversyEdit

In 2004, the DFB 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. BFC Dynamo petitioned the league to have their East German titles recognized, but received no reply.[81] 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, 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. The DFB governs the use of championship stars and a club must have that governing body's approval before displaying any such badge.

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

PlayersEdit

Current squadEdit

As of 24 August 2019[82]

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 Damian Schobert
3   DF Max Grundmann
4   DF Michael Blum
5   DF Kristian Taag
6   DF Kosuke Hatta
7   MF Philip Schulz
8   MF Andreas Pollasch
9   MF Lukas Krüger
10   MF Ronny Garbuschewski
11   FW Will Siakam
13   FW Chris Reher
15   MF Julian Hodek
No. Position Player
16   FW Steve Braun
17   MF Marvin Kleihs
18   MF Luca Radecke
19   MF Daniel Schaal
20   DF Lucas Brumme
21   DF Toni Stelzer
22   MF Bahadir Özkan
23   FW Mateusz Lewandowski
24   MF Deniz Citlak
27   MF Andor Bolyki
79   GK Kevin Sommer

Notable past playersEdit

Many players of BFC Dynamo of the 1970s and 1980s played for the East German national football team or the German national football team or became players or coaches in the Bundesliga.

CoachesEdit

Current staffEdit

As of 24 August 2019[83][84]
Coaching staff
  Christian Benbennek Head coach
  Martino Gatti Assistant coach
Medical department
  Adrian Marklowski Physiotherapist
Sport management and organisation
  Jörn Lenz Team manager
  Frank Radicke Kit manager
  Stefan Malchow Kit manager
  Thomas Hayn Kit manager
  Danny Kukulies Head of Scouting
  Martin Richter Spokesperson

Coaches since 1966Edit

SC Dynamo Berlin had six different head coaches until the founding of BFC Dynamo in 1966. The first head coach was Helmut Petzold, who was delegated along with the team of Dynamo Dresden to SC Dynamo Berlin and took office on 21 November 1954. Other head coaches of SC Dynamo Berlin were Istvan Orczifalvi, Fritz Bachmann, János Gyarmati and Fritz Gödicke. Fritz Bachmann served as head coach of SC Dynamo Berlin during the sucessfull 1959 DDR-Oberliga season.

 
Jürgen Bogs, head coach from 1 July 1977 to 30 June 1989, who brought BFC Dynamo to ten consecutive league titles.
No. Coach Period Notes
1   Karl Schäffner 1965-1966
2   Bela Volentik 1966-1967
3   Karl Schäffner 1967-1969
4   Hans Geitel 1969-1971
5   Günter Schröter 1972-1973
6   Harry Nippert 1973-1977
7   Jürgen Bogs 1977-1989
8   Helmut Jäschke 1989-1990
9   Peter Rohde 1990-1990
10   Jürgen Bogs 1990-1993
11   Helmut Koch 1993-1995
12   Dieter Fuchs 1995-1996
13   Werner Voigt 1996-1998
14   Ingo Rentzsch 1998-1998
15   Henry Häusler 1998-1999
16   Ingo Rentzsch 1999-1999 Temporary
17   Norbert Paepke 1999-1999 Temporary
18   Klaus Goldbach 1999-1999
19   Jürgen Bogs 1999-2001
20   Mario Maek 2001-2002
21   Dirk Vollmar 2002-2003
22   Sven Orbanke 2002-2004
23   Christian Backs 2004-2005
24   Rajko Fijalek 2005-2005 Co-Head coach, Temporary
24   Bodo Rudwaleit 2005-2005 Co-Head coach, Temporary
25   Jürgen Piepenburg 2005-2005
26   Rajko Fijalek 2005-2005 Co-Head coach, Temporary
26   Bodo Rudwaleit 2005-2005 Co-Head coach, Temporary
27   Rajko Fijalek 2006-2006
28   Nico Thomaschewski 2006-2006 Co-Head coach, Player-coach, Temporary
28   Jörn Lenz 2006-2006 Co-Head coach, Player-coach, Temporary
29   Ingo Rentzsch 2006-2007
30   Nico Thomaschewski 2007-2007 Co-Head coach, Player-coach, Temporary
30   Jörn Lenz 2007-2007 Co-Head Coach, Player-coach, Temporary
31   Volkan Uluç 2007-2009
32   Hakan Pinar 2009-2009
33   Christian Backs 2009-2010
34   Heiko Bonan 2010-2011
35   Rene Gritschke 2011-2011
36   Igor Lazić 2011-2011
37   Rene Gritschke 2011-2012
38   Volkan Uluç 2012-2014
39   Thomas Stratos 2014-2016
40   René Rydlewicz 2016-2018
41   Matthias Maucksch 2019-2019
42   Christian Benbennek 2019-

HonoursEdit

Dynamo Berlin was East Germany's most successful club, capturing ten national titles, and those ten titles came consecutively – a feat no other team in East Germany has matched. After German Reunification, DDR-Oberliga had dissolved and replaced by Bundesliga as the German Democratic Republic (GDR/DDR/East Germany) joined the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG/West Germany) to form the reunited nation of (Germany).

DomesticEdit

RegionalEdit

DoubleEdit

DDR-Oberliga and FDGB-Pokal:

  • 1988

Seasons of GDREdit

Year Division Level Position
1967–68 DDR-Liga II 1st
1968–69 DDR-Oberliga I 10th
1969–70 DDR-Oberliga I 6th
1970–71 DDR-Oberliga I 9th
1971–72 DDR-Oberliga I 2nd
1972–73 DDR-Oberliga I 6th
1973–74 DDR-Oberliga I 6th
1974–75 DDR-Oberliga I 4th
1975–76 DDR-Oberliga I 2nd
1976–77 DDR-Oberliga I 4th
1977–78 DDR-Oberliga I 3rd
1978–79 DDR-Oberliga I 1st
1979–80 DDR-Oberliga I 1st
1980–81 DDR-Oberliga I 1st
1981–82 DDR-Oberliga I 1st
1982–83 DDR-Oberliga I 1st
1983–84 DDR-Oberliga I 1st
1984–85 DDR-Oberliga I 1st
1985–86 DDR-Oberliga I 1st
1986–87 DDR-Oberliga I 1st
1987–88 DDR-Oberliga I 1st
1988–89 DDR-Oberliga I 2nd
1989–90 DDR-Oberliga I 4th
1990–91 NOFV-Oberliga I 11th

Seasons since end of GDREdit

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
2014–15 Regionalliga Nordost IV 5th
2015–16 Regionalliga Nordost IV 4th
2016–17 Regionalliga Nordost IV 15th
2017–18 Regionalliga Nordost IV 4th
2018–19 Regionalliga Nordost IV 12th

European CupEdit

Season Competition Round Country Club Score
1971–72 Cup Winners' Cup 1st round   Cardiff City 1–1, 1–1, 6–5 (p)
1/8 final   K. Beerschot V.A.C. 3–1, 3–1
quarter-final   Åtvidabergs FF 2–0, 2–2
semi-final   Dynamo Moscow 1–1, 1–1, 1–4 (p)
1972–73 UEFA Cup 1st round   Angers 1–1, 2–1
2nd round   Levski Sofia 3–0, 0–2
1/8 final   Liverpool 0–0, 1–3
1976–77 UEFA Cup 1st round   Shakhtar Donetsk 0–3, 1–1
1978–79 UEFA Cup 1st round   Red Star Belgrade 5–2, 1–4
1979–80 European Cup 1st round   Ruch Chorzów 4–1, 0–0
1/8 round   Servette 2–1, 2–2
quarter-final   Nottingham Forest 1–0, 1–3
1980–81 European Cup 1st round   APOEL 3–0, 1–2
1/8 final   Baník Ostrava 0–0, 1–1
1981–82 European Cup 1st round   Zürich 2–0, 1–3
1/8 final   Aston Villa 1–2, 1–0
1982–83 European Cup 1st round   Hamburger SV 1–1, 0–2
1983–84 European Cup 1st round   Jeunesse Esch 4–1, 2–0
1/8 final   Partizan 2–0, 0–1
quarter-final   Roma 0–3, 2–1
1984–85 European Cup 1st round   Aberdeen 1–2, 2–1, 5–4 (p)
1/8 final   Austria Wien 3–3, 1–2
1985–86 European Cup 1st round   Austria Wien 0–2, 1–2
1986–87 European Cup 1st round   Örgryte IS 3–2, 4–1
1/8 final   Brøndby 1–2, 1–1
1987–88 European Cup 1st round   Bordeaux 0–2, 0–2
1988–89 European Cup 1st round   Werder Bremen 3–0, 0–5
1989–90 Cup Winners' Cup 1st round   Valur 2–1, 2–1
1/8 final   Monaco 0–0, 1–1

NotesEdit

  1. ^ The founding of SC Dynamo Berlin was part of general re-organization of sport in East Germany in the middle of the 1950s, in which 21 Sports Clubs were set up under different Sports Associations (SV), such as SV Dynamo and SV Lokomotive, entirely separate from the older enterprise sports community system, the so called Betriebssportgemeinschaft (BSG) system. The Sports Clubs were envisioned as centers of excellence for the promotion of elite sport. Membership in any of these Sports Clubs was only possible through delegation by the appropriate Sports Association and each Sports Association was allotted a regional center, a so called Schwerpunkt, for the development of talented performers and players in the region.[2][3]
  2. ^ This was not the first and last relocation of entire football teams in East Germany. Among several examples: SV Vorwärts der Kasernierten Volkspolizei (KVP) Leipzig was relocated to East Berlin in 1953 to play as SV Vorwärts der KVP Berlin (later known as ASK Vorwärts Berlin and then FC Vorwärts Berlin), which was then relocated to Frankfurt an der Oder in 1971 to play as FC Vorwärts Frankfurt.[7][3] The successful BSG Empor Lauter was relocated to Rostock in 1953, to play as SC Empor Rostock, which later became FC Hansa Rostock.[8]
  3. ^ Examples: Five players from SG Volkspolizei Potsdam were delegated to Dresden in 1950 to play as SG Deutsche Volkspolizei Dresden, which later became Dynamo Dresden. In total, 17 players from 11 different cities had been picked to form the nucleus of SG Deutsche Volkspolizei Dresden.[6][8] Seven players from BSG Chemie Leipzig were delegated to SV Vorwärts der Kasernierten Volkspolizei (KVP) Leipzig in 1952.[6]
  4. ^ DFV, 3 May 1985: "Zusammenstellung von Informationen zur Problematik mit der Schiedsrichtersleistungen und verhaltenswiesen in Zusammenhang mit den Spielen des BFC Dynamo, der SG Dynamo Dresden und dem 1. FC Lok Leipzig in der Saison 1984/85", SAPMO (BArch) DY 30/IV 2/2.039/247

ReferencesEdit

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