Alemannia Aachen is a German football club from the western city of Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia. A long time fixture of the country's second division 2.Bundesliga, Alemannia enjoyed a three-year turn in the top-flight Bundesliga in the late 1960s and, after a successful 2005-06 campaign, returned to first division play for a single season in 2006-2007.
The city of Aachen is near the Belgian and Dutch borders and as a result Alemannia has had frequent contact with clubs from those countries. Their first game was against the Belgian side R. Dolhain F.C., one of that country's earliest clubs. The team played in the Rhineland-Westphalia FA and won its first championship there in 1907, before joining the newly formed Westdeutsche Fussball Verband in 1909. The club grew steadily as interest in football increased. They qualified for the Rheingauliga in 1921, built their own stadium in 1928, and earned admittance to the Oberliga the following year.
The club enjoyed some success in the early 30s by advancing to the final four of the Westdeutsche championship playoffs. In 1933, German football was re-organized under the Third Reich into sixteen top-flight Gauligen. Alemannia played several seasons in the Gauliga Mittelrhein in the late 30s and early 40s. They finished atop their division in 1938 and advanced to the national final rounds. This was in spite of a protest by SV Beuel 06 which ultimately saw that club awarded the division championship, but too late to allow Beuel to play in the national playoff in Aachen's stead.
Alemannia is known as one of the few of this dark era to offer any challenge to the Nazi regime's purge of Jews from the country's sports organizations by demanding the release of a jailed Jewish member.
After the formation of the Bundesliga, Germany's new professional football league, in 1963, Alemannia found themselves in Regionalliga West (II). In 1965, they had another good run in German Cup competition, earning another final appearance – but were once again unsuccessful – this time losing 0:2 to Borussia Dortmund.
The club captured their division in 1967 and were promoted to the Bundesliga (I) for the 1967-68 season. They enjoyed their best ever result the next year with a second place finish behind champion Bayern Munich. However, the following season was a disaster: the team earned only one point in play away from home and toppled to an 18th place finish. They returned to play in the Regionalliga West (II), and in 1990 fell still further to the third division.
The first years in the 2.Bundesliga were tough for Aachen, both on the field and financially. The club struggled for several seasons and the situation was worsened when financial irregularities were uncovered showing the club was near bankruptcy.
The turnaround came with a new executive board under president Horst Heinrichs, trainer Dieter Hecking and manager Jörg Schmadtke. Through improved financial management, shrewd player signings, and clever game tactics, Aachen became a power once again in the 2003-04 season. They played their way to their third German Cup final appearance, knocking off 1860 München, Bayern Munich, and Borussia Mönchengladbach, before losing 2:3 to Bundesliga champions Werder Bremen. As league champions Bremen already held a place in the UEFA Champions League, thereby making room for Aachen to take part in the UEFA Cup competition. They delivered a decent performance, advancing to the Round of 16 before going out to eventual semi-finalists AZ Alkmaar. The club's participation in the German Cup and UEFA Cup play helped to significantly improve their financial situation.
|1999-2000||2. Bundesliga (II)||8th|
|2005-06||2. Bundesliga||2nd (promoted)|
|2006-07||Bundesliga (I)||17th (relegated)|
|2007-08||2. Bundesliga (II)||7th|
For recent transfers, see List of German football transfers summer 2008.