BFC Dynamo Berlin

Where to start? This is undoubtedly the most hated team in Germany, and perhaps the world. And yet, this club dominated East German soccer, winning the title 10 years in a row 1979-1988. The problem is, they cheated. Dynamo was the team of the Staatssicherheit, the Stasi, the hated GDR secret police. As a result, they manipulated results and otherwise cheated to win the titles. No wonder!

From 1954-66, the club was simply known as Dynamo Berlin. The club was officially founded as BFC Dynamo in 1966, and really didn't do much until the late 1970s. Despite being the official club of the secret police, apparently the club was allowed to play on it's own terms. However things started going crooked once Erich Mielke, the head of the Stasi, decided that he wanted championships. So whenever they needed a result, they got it. Losing the game? Have the ref call a "penalty." Need another player? Have him transferred to BFC Dynamo. It's not surprising that the club proved unstoppable. Title after title followed. Fans throughout the GDR expressed their hatred to BFC Dynamo, but were forced to grin and bear it.

After reunification, the ties to the Stasi were obviously cut, and a newly constituted FC Berlin was formed in 1990. Obviously, the burden of history was a hard thing to live down. Management attempted to emphasize youth soccer and get away from the disgraceful past of the club. Despite a concentration on youth teams, encouraging fun and fair play, the change was hardly accepted.

In May 1999, the members voted to bring back the old name BFC Dynamo. Some of the reasons were to "capture the glorious past" and attract more sponsors. I guess they figured they couldn't pull the wool over anybody's eyes anyway.

The 1998-99 season was uneventful, as FC-Dynamo ended up midtable. Nevertheless, this really was their best showing since GDR days. However, the next season turned out to be an unmitigated disaster. By mid campaign the team went into a tailspin and never recovered. The goal of reaching the new combined Regionalliga was never even threatened, and in fact they would have been relegated regardless. While most other ex-GDR teams gleefully gloated, Dynamo had to regroup one division lower. That they did, winning the Oberliga. However, they crashed out in the promotion playoffs, and in any case, announced that they didn't have the financial resources to pursue promotion anyway.

During the 2001-02 season, BFC Dynamo was forced into bankruptcy proceedings. All league games were therefore annulled and the club was automatically relegated. However, the federation also took the bizarre decision to force BFC to play out it's remaining games as "mandatory friendlies." Since all player contracts were disolved, all the first team players left the club. The 2nd team was in a battle to stay in the Landesliga, so it was kept intact. Therefore the 3rd team took over the 1st team duties, and was soon losing these games by scores of 11-0 etc. Why this travesty was allowed is unclear, although perhaps the rest of the eastern clubs saw an opportunity to exact some revenge, however minor.

Address Sportforum, Steffenstraße, 13053 Berlin
Phone: (030) 975 1178 Fax: (030) 971 1044
City Berlin (Berlin). Pop: 3,388,434 (2002)
Colors Black and red vertical striped jersey, or white jersey with black lettering.
Nickname How about the Cheaters? They call themselves "der etwas anderes club" (the something-other club, no kidding!)
Stadium Sportforum Berlin-Höhenschönhausen Capacity: 12,000 (2,500 seats)
Built around 1970.
Tickets No problem getting any.
Supporters A releatively small but vocal hardcore. Often accused of fascist tendencies by other clubs. You have to wonder when one of their official sponsors is "Pro-Violence Streetwear".
Actually, before the Stasi started cheating, they were quite popular, averaging almost 17,000 when they finished 2nd in 1975. That number was cut in half by the end of the cheating era in 1989, and today they draw under 1,000. Averaged 479 in 2004 (Verbandsliga).
Friends None, excepting unrepetant communists around the world.
Foes As befits their legacy, they are generally despised by other ex-GDR teams. However, the rivalry with Union Berlin is especially virulent.
Heroes Some 39 GDR internationals. Among the best were Thomas Doll (29 caps) and Andreas Thom (51 caps), from the 1980s. Thom was also capped 10 times for Germany.
Zeroes Anyone associated with club management from the late 70s on. And of course Erich Mielke, whose cheating started the whole mess.
Pub Grub
The Net A fan site called BFC-Online, at , turned into the official site, and is nicely done.


Recent History:

		BFC Dynamo Berlin

1965-66	(*)	DDR-Oberliga		9th
1966-67	(*)	DDR-Oberliga		13th
1967-68	(**)	DDR-Liga, St. Nord	1st
1968-69	(*)	DDR-Oberliga		10th
1969-70	(*)	DDR-Oberliga		6th
1970-71	(*)	DDR-Oberliga		9th
1971-72	(*)	DDR-Oberliga		2nd
1972-73	(*)	DDR-Oberliga		6th
1973-74	(*)	DDR-Oberliga		6th
1974-75	(*)	DDR-Oberliga		4th
1975-76	(*)	DDR-Oberliga		2nd
1976-77	(*)	DDR-Oberliga		4th
1977-78	(*)	DDR-Oberliga		3rd
1978-79	(*)	DDR-Oberliga		1st
1979-80	(*)	DDR-Oberliga		1st
1980-81	(*)	DDR-Oberliga		1st
1981-82	(*)	DDR-Oberliga		1st
1982-83	(*)	DDR-Oberliga		1st
1983-84	(*)	DDR-Oberliga		1st
1984-85	(*)	DDR-Oberliga		1st
1985-86	(*)	DDR-Oberliga		1st
1986-87	(*)	DDR-Oberliga		1st
1987-88	(*)	DDR-Oberliga		1st
1988-89	(*)	DDR-Oberliga		2nd

		FC Berlin

1989-90	(*)	DDR-Oberliga		4th
1990-91	(*)	NOFV-Oberliga Nordost	11th 
1991-92	(III)	Am.Oberliga Nordost	1st
1992-93	(III)	Am.Oberliga Nordost	4th
1993-94	(III)	Am.Oberliga Nordost	4th
1994-95	(III)	Regionalliga Nordost	11th
1995-96	(III)	Regionalliga Nordost	13th
1996-97	(III)	Regionalliga Nordost	13th
1997-98	(III)	Regionalliga Nordost	11th

		BFC Dynamo Berlin

1998-99	(III)	Regionalliga Nordost	8th
1999-00	(III)	Regionalliga Nordost	17th
2000-01	(IV)	Oberliga Nordost-Nord	1st
2001-02	(IV)	Oberliga Nordost-Nord	18th
2002-03 (V)	Verbandsliga Berlin	3rd
2003-04 (V)	Verbandsliga Berlin	1st
2004-05	(IV)	Oberliga Nordost-Nord	6th
2005-06	(IV)	Oberliga Nordost-Nord	6th
2006-07	(IV)	Oberliga Nordost-Nord	9th
2007-08	(IV)	Oberliga Nordost-Nord

(c) Abseits Guide to Germany: