UPDATED FOR 2023-24 - AUGUST 2023
1.FC SCHWEINFURT 05
Founded: May 5, 1905
Club Members: 1,050
Nickname: Die Schnüdel
Coach: Marc Reitmaier
Captain: Lukas Billick
Regionalliga Bavaria: 1
Regionalliga Süd: 1
Bayernliga Nord: 1
Landespokal Bavaria Winner: 3
Unterfranken Cup: 4
In the late 19th-century, Germany was dominated by the Prussian ideals of discipline and order; and football was initially viewed with disdain as players were branded 'Traitors to the Fatherland'. By the turn of the century however, interest in the new English sport was gaining traction and after Berlin, Bremen and Hamburg had been established as 'islands of football' in the north of the country, the game's growing popularity spread south leading to the formation on 5th May 1905 of probably the only German club that hasn't changed its original name or crest - 1.FC Schweinfurt 05.
Die Schnüdel (Franconian parlance for the point on a pig bladder where it was filled with air and tied in early footballs) spent their formative years making slow but steady progress before being promoted to the top-flight Kreisliga Nordbayern in 1919. It was a brief stay however and after an immediate relegation, growing financial pressures saw a short-lived attempt to merge them with well-heeled local club Turngemeinde Schweinfurt von 1848. After regaining their autonomy in 1923, FC 05 lifted their first silverware in 1927 when the Unterfranken Cup was won before being crowned Kreisliga Unterfranken champions a couple of years later after beating near neighbours VfR 07 Schweinfurt 4-1 in a play-off.
The Nazi rise to power in 1933 saw an overhaul of German football which created 16 first division leagues called Gauliga, and after a third-place finish in the Bezirksliga (the highest division in Bavaria at the time), Schweinfurt 05 became one of the founder clubs in the Gauliga Bayern. After a Bayern Pokal (Bavarian Cup) triumph in 1933, FC 05 began to challenge 1.Nürnberg and SpVgg Greuther Fürth as one of Bavaria's top clubs during the inter-war years and enjoyed a run to the Tschammer-Pokal (the precursor to today's DFB Pokal) semi-final in 1936 before a narrow 2-3 defeat in Gelsenkirchen to the dominant side of the era, FC Schalke 04. The club moved into the Willy Sachs Stadion that year and with early stars of the game like Albin Kitzinger and Andreas 'Ander' Kupfer leading them on the pitch, Schweinfurt 05 established themselves as a solid performer under the Third Reich - winning their maiden Gauliga Bayern title in 1939 before retaining it three years later. As the second world war turned against Germany however; player shortages, travel problems and damage to grounds from Allied bombing raids meant that clubs were forced to play their matches closer to home and Schweinfurt 05 merged with Luftwaffen SV Schweinfurt in 1943 to form a wartime side (Kriegsspielgemeinschaft ) called KSG Schweinfurt.
Allied tanks on the streets of Berlin brought Hitler's 'Thousand Year Reich' to an end in 1945 as a policy of de-Nazification in occupied Germany forced all sports clubs to disband. As football and dictatorship began to untangle themselves after the conflict, the club duly reformed and emerged from the 'Stunde null ' (zero hour) in the newly created first-division Oberliga Süd. They struggled to replicate their Gauliga success and spent the next 18 seasons as a mid-to-lower table side - although they showed some cup pedigree by making quickfire, albeit losing, Süddeutscher Pokal (South German Cup) final appearances against Bayern München in 1957 and VfB Stuttgart a year later. Despite being one of only six clubs to be an ever-present in the Oberliga Süd however, their overall influence on the German game by that point had been pretty minimal and it wasn't any great surprise that the German FA (DFB) didn't include them in the original band of brothers that formed the inaugural Bundesliga season in 1963. Having missed the cut for the new pan-Germanic league, Schweinfurt 05 found themselves in the second-tier Regionalliga Süd instead where the DFB's decision appeared justified as the club began a slow and sedate decline that saw them come to rest in the fourth tier Landesliga Nord by 1983.
Die Nullfünfer (the 05 'ers) then joined the ranks of Germany's 'Elevator Clubs' and spent the next couple of decades bouncing between the third and fourth tiers before promotion to Bundesliga.2 was secured after the Bayernliga title was won under coach Werner Lorant. Life back in the German second tier was brief however and a memorable 1-0 triumph over Ruhr giants FC Schalke 04 was the only highlight of a despondent season that saw them finish rock-bottom with only 13 points. After a third-place Regionalliga Süd finish in 2001, they returned to Bundesliga.2 for another single-season cameo but by now dark clouds were gathering over the Willy Sachs Stadion as declining on-field performances played out against a growing financial crisis that threatened the club's very existence. During the 1990s, then-chairman Gerhard Hertlein had bailed out Schweinfurt 05 when they'd run into financial trouble but, having run into money problems himself and unable to support the club, there was no guarantee now that the club's fall from grace would end with relegation to the fourth-tier Bayernliga which came in 2004. Without Hertlain's deep pockets, the ever-increasing gap between profit and loss and the lack of a large enough fanbase to sustain the club eventually became unsustainable and in 2004, plans to celebrate the club's centenary the following year were torn up as 1.FC Schweinfurt 05 filed for insolvency and an exodus of players and staff headed out of the Willy Sachs Stadion.
After reforming in 2005, FC 05 have started to climb back up the football pyramid and they returned to the Regionalliga Bayern when Gerd Klaus led them to the Bayernliga Nord title in 2013. Markus Wolf became the new club president in 2016 with the avowed aim of bringing 3.Liga football to Schweinfurt, and after clearing the club's debts, he oversaw a restructure that saw FC 05 turn professional. His investment helped finance the signings of established players Marco Haller, Marius Willsch and Adam Jabiri and the Wolf era has been defined by consistently strong Regionalliga Bayern campaigns and DFB-Pokal matches against the likes of Eintracht Frankfurt, FC Schalke 04 and SV Sandhausen.
Wolf very nearly delivered on his promise of bringing 3.Liga football to this part of Franconia when, after another strong campaign, FC 05 came agonisingly close to promotion from the Regionalliga Bayern in 2021 - losing 0-2 on aggregate to TSV Havelse in a play-off. For now, at least, the Sachs Stadion (the stadium was renamed in 2021) continues to host fourth tier football as Die Schnüdel look to write the next chapter of their long and eventful history.
Ground Name: Sachs Stadion
Architect: Paul Bonatz
Construction Costs: RM 1m
Built: 1934 - 1936
Year Opened: 1936
Renovations: 2001, 2014
Capacity: 16,500 (15,600 standing)
Record Attendance: 22,500 (1954)
Undersoil Heating: No
Running Track: Yes
Floodlights: 1000 lux
LED Video Screen: 30m²
Playing Surface: Natural Grass
Pitch Size: 105m x 68m
Stadion am Hutrasen (1905 - 1919)
Ludwigsbrücke (1919 - 1936)
Willy Sachs Stadion (1936 - 2021)
Sachs Stadion (2021 - ) *
* Stadium Renamed
Long tainted by its association with the iniquities of Hitler and Nazism, the ghosts of Germany's past haunt the Sachs Stadion and its name continues to court controversy amidst claims of anti-Semitism and fascist ideology.
Plans for the stadium were first drawn up in 1934 when local industrial magnate and club patron Willy Sachs donated land to the city and commissioned architect Paul Bonatz to build a sports complex on it with a showpiece stadium at its heart. Sachs, who owned the Fichtel & Sachs company - one of Germany's biggest manufacturers of automobile parts - however was also a fully paid-up member of the Nazi party and as an honorary SS officer, the opening ceremony of the new 'Willy Sachs Stadion' on 23rd July 1936 (just a week before the Olympic Games in Berlin) became a full-blown pageant for Nazi propaganda. SS Chief Heinrich Himmler, Hermann Göring, Robert Ley and Franz Ritter von Epp were amongst the NSDAP hierarchy to attend the event and Adolf Hitler sent Sachs a congratulatory telegram. The stadium was considered one of the finest in Germany at the time and the first official match took place three days later when 1.FC Schweinfurt 05 and then-German champions FC Schalke 04 played out an entertaining 2-2 draw.
The stadium escaped damage from Allied bombing raids during World War 2 and as Germany began to rebuild itself after the conflict, a record crowd of 22,500 saw 1.FC Schweinfurt 05 take on 1.FC Kaiserslautern in 1954. A year later, 13,000 fans descended on Ander Kupfer Platz as Die Schnüdel celebrated their 50th anniversary by taking on Everton in a friendly which saw the Merseysiders held to a 1-1 draw.
Sachs' affiliation with the Third Reich has long courted controversy though and after promotion to Bundesliga.2 in 2001 brought the club to the attention of a wider audience, the stadium name raised eyebrows and drew criticism in the national media. The strength of feeling was such that Israeli champions Maccabi Haifa refused to play a friendly at the ground that summer and a campaign headed up by the local Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper and German football author Werner Skrentny was launched calling for the Willy Sachs Stadion to be renamed. However, despite the stadium's history being so closely tied to an ideology that destroyed a country and poisoned a continent, local public approval for the proposed name change was lukewarm and a number of Willy Sachs' descendants also voiced their objection. In June 2021 however, Schweinfurt's city council voted to rebrand the stadium as the Sachs Stadion - ostensibly in recognition of the role the Fichtel & Sachs company had played in the development of the city .... not (they insist) in honour of one of Franconia's most infamous National Socialists.
Ringed by two rows of tall linden trees, the Sachs Stadion has remained virtually unchanged since Nazi leaders sat in the stands and along with Berlin's Olympiastadion, it's one of the few German stadiums built during the 1930s to have been given heritage status. Being subject to preservation orders though has ensured that it remains a rather basic, lower-league venue and it forms part of a multi-sports complex which includes several training fields, tennis courts, an ice rink and the 'Soccerdome'. The Bauhaus
architecture of the single tier main stand marks it out as a focal point of the ground and it was given a makeover in 2019 when 860 seats in the green and white of Schweinfurt's club colours replaced the bank of pastel coloured seating installed in 1994. Perspex sheeting acts as wind breaks along the back and at either end and it's where you'll also find the dugouts, changing rooms, media facilities and club offices. The remaining sides of the low-slung ground offer concrete terraces open to the elements (at least the trees will provide some shelter) and a well-maintained athletics track around the perimeter sets the ends behind each goal a fair distance from the action. Four 38-metre-tall floodlights installed in 2001 to meet Bundesliga.2 stadium requirements peer inquisitively into the oval shaped ground and a 30m² LED
scoreboard was added above the Marathon Gate in 2022.
Die Schnüdel 's most vocal support gather on the Gegengerade terrace, with away followings given a few seats in the main stand (Block F) along with a section of terracing in the north-west corner. Despite its name change, links with Germany's fascist past are still evident at the Sachs Stadion and one of the first things you see on arrival at the gates of the stadium is a controversial National Socialist stele - complete with eagle and a plaque 'honouring' Willy Sachs.
In addition to being home to 1.FC Schweinfurt 05, the stadium played host to near neighbours TSV Großbardorf during the 2008-09 Regionalliga season after their Sportzentrum Unterhofer Straße (now known as the Bioenergy Arena) home fell short of stadium capacity requirements. During the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the stadium was also used by the Tunisian national team as a training base.
It was a venue for the 1972 'Fistball' World Championship (it's similar to volleyball in case you were wondering) and its sporting duality often sees it used for national athletics championships.
In addition to sporting events, the stadium was used by the US Army garrison in Schweinfurt for military parades and ceremonies until 2014. And since 1990, it's hosted a number of major pop concerts with the likes of the Backstreet Boys, Die Toten Hosen, The Scorpions and German singer Herbert Grönemeyer performing their hits to crowds of up to 25,000.
2022-2023: 974 (Regionalliga Bayern)
2021-2022: 713 (Regionalliga Bayern) *
2020-2021: 1,437 (Regionalliga Bayern) *
2019-2020: N/A *
2018-2019: 1,105 (Regionalliga Bayern)
* Season affected by COVID pandemic
Expected Ticket Availability
Die Schnüdel have historically been a club with a small fanbase and their current Regionalliga status means that there's no need for a mad scramble - even for the visit of public enemy No.1 FC Würzburger Kickers to decide the Mainfrankenderby. Therefore, you'll be able to keep things traditional by presenting yourself at the ticket offices outside the ground about an hour before kick-off and asking for a ticket of your choosing.
If you prefer to secure a ticket in advance, then you can buy E-tickets (Print@Home or Mobile Ticket) via the online ticket shop Schweinfurt run with their ticketing partners 'Reservix'. There's no English language option but, fortunately, Google Chrome’s translation feature makes booking tickets a straightforward process if your German isn't quite up to it.
With this being the German fourth tier, the price of a ticket is determined by where in the ground you want to watch the action from rather than the quality of opposition facing Schweinfurt. 'Standard' tickets for full-paying adults are €17 for a seat in the main stand or it's €13 to watch the action from the terraces. Discounts are given to club members, children (aged 8-16), students, seniors, disabled persons, unemployed people etc and children under 8 years of age can go on the terraces free of charge or, if their parents are willing to part with €9, have a seat in the main stand.
Note: There's a €2 service and delivery charge applied to all ticket prices.
GETTING THERE & AWAY
Ander Kupfer Platz 2
If you're coming by car, the simplest advice is to put the stadium address in your Sat-Nav and follow its guidance. There's a free car park right across from the stadium on Niederwerrner Straße.
Public transport options for football fans in Schweinfurt are limited and the only service likely to be of use is Bus 25 (Direction: Niederwerrn - Oberwerrn) which takes 8 minutes to make the run from ZOB Roßmarkt (bus stop L) in the city centre to the Volksfestplatz stop outside the stadium. If you've arrived at the Hauptbahnhof, note that there's no direct bus route to the ground, so you'll need to hop on Bus 11 to ZOB Roßmarkt where you can change to Bus 25. Public transport isn't included in the cost of your match ticket and so unless you're heading to the city centre in search of pre-match food and drink, you're probably better off walking (see directions below) to the Sachs Stadion from the station or even jumping in a taxi.
You can walk to the Sachs Stadion and it will take you about 20 minutes to cover the mile or so from the main train station. Exit Schweinfurt Hauptbahnhof onto Bahnhofsplatz and follow it north as it becomes Stresemannstraße. After half-a-mile or so, you'll come to a set of traffic lights. Turn right here and follow John F Kennedy Ring for about a mile until you reach the junction with Niederwerner Straße and you'll see the Sachs Stadion immediately in front of you.
FAN SHOP, MUSEUM & STADIUM TOURS
There's a small fan shop open on matchdays in front of the main stand (Ander Kupfer Platz 2, 97424 Schweinfurt ) with final sales being made about half-an-hour after full-time.
There's also a fan shop in the city centre:
1.FC Schweinfurt 1905 (Am Graben 23-25, 97421 Schweinfurt; 11am-5pm, Mon-Tue, 11am-3pm, Fri )
For a wider stock range though, head to Die Schüdel 's online store here.
FOOD & DRINK OPTIONS
For cheap beer and a free chat with members of Schweinfurt's support, then head over to the 'Soccerdome' (Willi Kaidel Straße 3, 97421 Schweinfurt ) where the club pub opens a couple of hours before and after each match. Right outside the ground on the forecourt, Paul's Diner does its best to make Schweinfurt's American ex-pat community feel right at home by serving up hamburgers, fries, ribs etc - tell us how you get on if you try the 'T-Rex' burger which weighs in at nearly 2kg!
Inside the Sachs Stadion itself, you'll find the usual fast food kiosks and unsurprisingly you can pay for typical German football food and drink with cash - no need to worry about stadium cards.
OTHER CLUBS IN THE AREA
BUNDESLIGA: Eintracht Frankfurt, FC Augsburg, FC Bayern München, SV Darmstadt 98
BUNDESLIGA 2: 1.FC Nürnberg, SpVgg Greuther Fürth, SV Wehen Wiesbaden
3.LIGA: FC Ingolstadt 04, SpVgg Unterhaching, SSV Jahn Regensburg, TSV 1860 München