- They took the name FC Schalke 04 and adopted the now familiar blue and white kit from which their second nickname would derive, Die Königsblauen (English: The Royal Blues). The following year, the club became the dominant local side, based on a style of play that used short, sharp, man-to-man passing to move the ball.
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Fußballclub Gelsenkirchen-Schalke 04 e. V., commonly known as FC Schalke 04 (German: [ɛf tseː ˈʃalkə nʊl fiːɐ̯]), Schalke 04, or abbreviated as S04 (German: [ˈɛs nʊl fiːɐ̯]), is a professional German football and multi-sports club originally from the Schalke district of Gelsenkirchen, North Rhine-Westphalia.
Schalke 04 TV Schedules and Live Streaming listings, matches, live scores, results, tables, players,history, news and more.
- Schalke’s Early Years
- Rise to Dominance
- The Championship Years 1934–42
- Post-War Football
- Entry to The Bundesliga
- The Bundesliga Scandal of 1971
- Crisis and Recovery
The club was founded on 4 May 1904 as Westfalia Schalke by a group of high school students and first wore the colours red and yellow. The team was unable to gain admittance to the Westdeutscher Spielverband and played in one of the “wild associations” of early German football. In 1912, after years of failed attempts to join the official league, they merged with the gymnastic club Schalker Turnverein 1877 in order to facilitate their entry. This arrangement held up until 1915 when SV Westfalia Schalke was re-established as an independent club. The separation proved short-lived and the two came together again in 1919 as Turn- und Sportverein Schalke 1877. The new club won its first honours in 1923 as champions of the Schalke Kreisliga. It was around this time that Schalke picked up the nickname Die Knappen– from an old German word for “miners” because the team drew so many of its players and supporters from the coalmine workers of Gelsenkirchen. In 1924, the football team parted ways...
The popular club built a new stadium, the Glückauf-Kampfbahn, in 1928, and acknowledged the city’s support by renaming themselves FC Gelsenkirchen-Schalke 04. They won their first West German championship in 1929, but the following year were sanctioned for exceeding salary levels set by the league and, in an era that considered professionalism in sport to be anathema, found themselves banned from play for nearly half a year. However, the ban had little impact on the team’s popularity: in their first game after the ban against Fortuna Düsseldorf, in June 1931, the team drew 70,000 to its home ground. The club’s fortunes begun to rise from 1931 and they made a semi-final appearance in the 1932 German championship, losing 1–2 to Eintracht Frankfurt. The year after, the club went all the way to the final, where Fortuna Düsseldorf proved the better side, winning 3–0. With the re-organisation of German football in 1933 under Nazi Germany, Schalke found themselves in the Gauliga Westfalen,...
Schalke’s first national title came in 1934 with a 2–1 victory over favourites 1. FC Nürnberg. The next year, they successfully defended their title against VfB Stuttgart with a 6–4 win. The club missed the 1936 final, but would make appearances in the championship match in each of the next six years, coming away victorious in 1937, 1939, 1940 and 1942. Three of those national finals were against Austrian teams –Admira Wien, Rapid Wien, and First Vienna– which played in Germany’s Gauliga Ostmark after Austria’s incorporation into the Reich through the 1938 Anschluss. Die Königsblauenalso made frequent appearances in the final of the Tschammerpokal, but enjoyed much less success there. They lost the inaugural Tschammerpokal 0–2 to 1. FC Nürnberg in 1935. They also made failed appearances in the 1936, 1941, and 1942 finals with their only victory coming in 1937 against Fortuna Düsseldorf. Over a dozen seasons, from 1933 to 1945, Schalke won 162 of 189 Gauliga matches, drawing 21 and l...
With Germany in chaos towards the end of World War II, Schalke played just two matches in 1945. They resumed regular play following the war and, for a time, continued to compete as a strong side. They set a record in a national championship round match with a 20–0 drubbing of SpVgg Herten, but that spoke more to the weakened condition of German football than the ability of the team. Schalke’s play fell off and the best they could manage in the new Oberliga West in 1947 was a sixth-place finish; within two years, they slipped to 12th place. It would take Schalke until the mid-1950s to recover their form. They finished third in a tight three-way race for the 1954 Oberliga West title, decided on the last day of the season. The following year, they appeared in theDFB-Pokal final, where they lost 2–3 to Karlsruher SC. The club’s next, and to date last, German championship came in 1958 with a 3–0 victory over Hamburger SV. The strong fanbase of the club is as well documented in a local ch...
Schalke continued to play well, delivering a number of top four finishes, in the years leading up to the 1963 formation of the Bundesliga, West Germany’s new federal, professional league. Those results earned them selection as one of sixteen sides admitted to the top-flight league. Their first years in the Bundesliga were difficult. In 1964–65, they escaped relegation only through the expansion of the league to 18 teams. A number of finishes at the lower end of the league table followed, before a marked improvement in 1971–72, culminating in a second-place finish to Bayern Munich and after having led the league for much of the season. In the same season, Schalke won the DFB-Pokal for the second time in its history.
Despite their improved results, the seeds of a major reversal had already been sown. A number of the team’s players and officials were accused of accepting bribes as part of the widespread Bundesliga scandal of 1971. Investigation showed that Schalke had deliberately played to lose their 17 May, 28th-round match against Arminia Bielefeld by a score of 0–1. As a result, several Schalke players were banned for life, including three —Klaus Fischer, “Stan” Libuda and Klaus Fichtel— who regularly played for the German national team at the time. Even though the penalties were later commuted to bans ranging from six months to two years, the scandal had a profound effect on what might have possibly become one of the dominant German teams of the 1970s.
In 1973, the club moved to the Parkstadion, newly built for the 1974 FIFA World Cup and having a capacity of 70,000 spectators. In the wake of the scandal, the club’s performance was uneven. They managed another second-place result in 1976–77, finishing just one point behind champions Borussia Mönchengladbach. In the early 1980s, Die Knappenran into trouble and found themselves relegated to the second division of the Bundesliga for the 1981–82 season and, after promotion, again in 1983–84. They returned to the top flight in 1984 but slipped once more to the second tier in 1988. They returned to the Bundesliga in the 1991–92 season and have stayed in the top flight ever since. The club earned their first honours since the DFB-Pokal win of 1972 with a victory in the final of the 1996–97 UEFA Cup over Inter Milan on penalties. Coached by the Dutch coach Huub Stevens, the 1997 Schalke squad earned the nickname “Euro Fighters”, which is still in use among fans. Stevens, who was widely un...
The last few years have been more successful for Schalke, who finished in the second place in 2005, a result that led to Schalke making its second appearance in the UEFA Champions League. There, Schalke finished in third place during the group stage and continuing into the UEFA Cup, where they were eliminated by the eventual winners Sevilla in the semi-finals. In 2005–06, Schalke finished in fourth place in the Bundesliga and a year later they again finished as runners-up for the third time in seven seasons. In the 2007–08 season, Schalke progressed past the Champions League group stage for the first time and advanced to the quarter-finals after beating Porto on penalties in the round of 16. They were stopped by Barcelona in the quarter-finals, losing both home and away games 0–1. On 9 October 2006, Russian oil company Gazprom became the club’s new sponsor. The company stated it expects to invest as much as €125 million in the club over a five-and-a-half year period. Gazprom’s spons...
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