Can Arminia Bielefeld avoid Bundesliga relegation?

Arminia Bielefeld will be playing Bundesliga football in 2020-21 following their surprise promotion as 2. Bundesliga champions this past season.

Uwe Neuhaus guided Die Blauen to what seemed like the impossible just 12 months ago, as Arminia ran away with the second tier in the end, finishing 10 points ahead of runners-up VfB Stuttgart, and with both the best goals tally and defensive records.

However, the club from North Rhine-Westphalia were playing 3. Liga football just five years ago. Fabian Klos was top scorer for the club that season, just like he was in helping the club to promotion back to the top flight for the first time since 2009. Odds for 2020-21 Bundesliga relegation have yet to be published, but when you check in a couple of weeks’ time you can expect Arminia to be the odds-on favourites.

The club haven’t had much money to play with in recent years and won’t have a great wage or transfer budget next season too, hurt more by the recent pandemic. They have spent more time in the third tier than the first in recent seasons.

Indeed, Arminia Bielefeld have bounced around the divisions 14 times since 1994, when they finished that campaign with promotion from the then newly reformatted Regionalliga West/Südwest. Back-to-back promotions saw two seasons in the Bundesliga before they yo-yo’d between the top and second division for a number of years.

Financial problems hurt them a decade ago and relegation back to the third tier came at the end of the 2010-11 campaign. And even a promotion two years later ended up with relegation back to the 3. Liga at the first attempt.

How things have changed and changed quickly. Whilst the likes of Hamburger SV, FC Nürnberg and Fortuna Düsseldorf will all be playing in the 2. Bundesliga next season, the minnows of Arminia Bielefeld will be playing the likes of Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04.