SV Darmstadt 98

Sportverein Darmstadt 1898 e.V. is a German football club based in Darmstadt, Hesse. The club was founded on 22 May 1898 as FC Olympia Darmstadt. Early in 1919, the association was briefly known as Rasen-Sportverein Olympia before merging with Darmstädter Sport Club 1905 on 11 November that year to become Sportverein Darmstadt 98. Merger partner SC was the product of a 1905 union between Viktoria 1900 Darmstadt and Germania 1903 Darmstadt. The footballers are today part of a sports club which also offers its approximately 5,500 members[1] athletics, basketball, cheerleading, hiking, judo, and table tennis.

Darmstadt 98
Full nameSportverein Darmstadt 1898 e.V.
Nickname(s)Die Lilien (The Lilies)
Founded22 May 1898 (1898-05-22)
GroundMerck-Stadion am Böllenfalltor
ChairmanKlaus Rüdiger Fritsch
ManagerDimitrios Grammozis
League2. Bundesliga
WebsiteClub website

The football department competed in the Bundesliga for the 2015–16 and 2016–17 seasons after a 33-year run in lower leagues.


Early history

Olympia played as a lower table side in the Westkreisliga between 1909 and 1913. In the late 20s and early 30s the club played as SV Darmstadt in the Kreisliga Odenwald and Bezirksliga Main-Hessen, Gruppe Hesse, but struggled to stay in top flight competition. In 1933, German football was reorganized under the Third Reich into sixteen premier divisions known as Gauligen. Darmstadt was not able to break into upper league play until 1941 when they joined the Gauliga Hessen-Nassau, Gruppe 2. Their stay was short-lived and they were relegated after their second season of play at that level. By 1944–45 the division had collapsed in the face of the advance of Allied armies into Germany.

Darmstadt enjoyed a long run as a second division team through the 50s and then again from the time of the formation of the Bundesliga in 1963 on into the 70s. However, they were never better than a lower to mid-table side until they finally managed a breakthrough in 1973 with a Regionalliga Süd championship and participation in the promotion rounds for the Bundesliga where they finished a distant second to Rot-Weiss Essen.

From the Bundesliga to insolvency

A side with limited resources, Darmstadt eventually managed two seasons in the Bundesliga (1978–79 and 1981–82). They narrowly missed a third turn in the top league in 1988 when they lost in a lengthy relegation-promotion play-off to Waldhof Mannheim in extra time of the third match between the two clubs. In the following years Darmstadt 98 escaped relegation to the Amateur Oberliga Hessen (III) in 1991 when Essen was refused a 2. Bundesliga licence for financial reasons. However, by 1997, SV had themselves become victims of financial mismanagement, slipping to the third and fourth divisions.

The team's most recent successes include wins in the Hessen Pokal (Hessen Cup) in 1999, 2001, 2006, 2007 and 2008 as well as three consecutive Possmann-Hessen Cup wins from 2000 to 2002. In the DFB-Pokal, Darmstadt advanced as far as the third round in 1989 and 2001, and to the quarter-finals in 1986. In 2004, the club claimed the Oberliga Hessen (IV) championship under manager and former player Bruno Labbadia and were promoted to the Regionalliga Süd (III).

Financial problems limited their options and they were relegated to the Oberliga Hessen (IV) at the end of the 2006–07 season. The club's stated aim was to reach the new 3. Liga within five years. However, on 6 March 2008 Darmstadt entered insolvency proceedings with debts of around 1.1 million making the future of the club uncertain. After the 2007–08 Oberliga Hessen Championship, Darmstadt played in the Regionalliga Süd. Darmstadt took various measures to avert bankruptcy, for example a friendly benefit match against Bayern Munich, donations etc. In addition, the former management of the club (e.g. former president, former tax advisor) made vital financial contributions which secured the club's future.

Rise to the Bundesliga

After winning the 2010–11 Regionalliga Süd in dramatic fashion, Darmstadt were promoted to the 3. Liga. In 2012, Dirk Schuster was appointed as head coach, and he signed Darmstadt's future captain, Aytaç Sulu. In the 2012–13 season, the club was initially relegated but their fiercest rivals Kickers Offenbach were refused a 3. Liga licence due to going into administration and were relegated to the Regionalliga instead. Darmstadt 98 took Offenbach's place.[2]

In 2013–14, having finished third in league and thus gaining entry into the promotion-relegation play-offs, Darmstadt defeated Arminia Bielefeld in the second leg through away goals after losing 1–3 in the first leg at home to secure promotion to 2. Bundesliga for the first time in 21 years in dramatic circumstances.

In the following 2. Bundesliga season, Darmstadt secured the second-place position in the league and therefore promotion to the Bundesliga after a 33-year absence. In their final league match, against FC St. Pauli, the club won 1–0 at home through a 70th minute free-kick by Tobias Kempe. This was the second consecutive promotion for the team, led again by coach Schuster and captain Sulu.

Darmstadt reached the Round of 16 of the 2015–16 DFB Pokal. On 8 March 2016, long-term fan Jonathan Heimes died of cancer and posthumously, Darmstadt's stadium was renamed into "Jonathan-Heimes-Stadion am Böllenfalltor" for the 2016–17 season. Darmstadt finished the 2015–16 season in 14th position, mainly due to a positive away record.

Coach Dirk Schuster announced his decision to join FC Augsburg, whereas Norbert Meier was appointed as head coach for the 2016–17 season. After being defeated in the second round of the 2016–17 DFB Pokal and only scoring 8 points in 12 games, Maier was sacked on 5 December 2016. On 27 December 2016, former Bundesliga player and Werder Bremen assistant manager Torsten Frings was presented as new head coach. However, the team was incapable of securing the next season in the Bundesliga after a 0–1 defeat to Bayern Munich in the 32nd matchday of the season, and was relegated to the 2. Bundesliga.

After a poor start to the 2017/18-second Bundesliga season, Torsten Frings was removed from his position and on 11 December 2017 the vacant manager's position was again filled by Dirk Schuster who returns to the Darmstadt club for his second spell as manager.


The club's honours:

  • Won by reserve team.

Recent seasons

The recent season-by-season performance of the club:[3][4]

Season Division Tier Position
1963–64 Amateurliga Hessen III 1st ↑
1964–65 Regionalliga Süd II 14th
1965–66 Regionalliga Süd 13th
1966–67 Regionalliga Süd 14th
1967–68 Regionalliga Süd 14th
1968–69 Regionalliga Süd 8th
1969–70 Regionalliga Süd 18th ↓
1970–71 Hessenliga III 1st ↑
1971–72 Regionalliga Süd II 7th
1972–73 Regionalliga Süd 1st
1973–74 Regionalliga Süd 4th
1974–75 2. Bundesliga Süd 10th
1975–76 2. Bundesliga Süd 7th
1976–77 2. Bundesliga Süd 6th
1977–78 2. Bundesliga Süd 1st ↑
1978–79 Bundesliga I 18th ↓
1979–80 2. Bundesliga Süd II 4th
1980–81 2. Bundesliga Süd 1st ↑
1981–82 Bundesliga I 17th ↓
1982–83 2. Bundesliga II 7th
1983–84 2. Bundesliga 12th
1984–85 2. Bundesliga 15th
1985–86 2. Bundesliga 10th
1986–87 2. Bundesliga 4th
1987–88 2. Bundesliga 3rd
1988–89 2. Bundesliga 11th
1989–90 2. Bundesliga 16th
1990–91 2. Bundesliga 17th
1991–92 2. Bundesliga Süd 8th
1992–93 2. Bundesliga 24th ↓
1993–94 Oberliga Hessen III 9th
1994–95 Regionalliga Süd 11th
1995–96 Regionalliga Süd 15th
1996–97 Regionalliga Süd 13th
1997–98 Regionalliga Süd 16th ↓
1998–99 Oberliga Hessen IV 1st
1999–00 Regionalliga Süd III 9th
2000–01 Regionalliga Süd 5th
2001–02 Regionalliga Süd 14th
2002–03 Regionalliga Süd 17th ↓
2003–04 Oberliga Hessen IV 1st ↑
2004–05 Regionalliga Süd III 5th
2005–06 Regionalliga Süd 5th
2006–07 Regionalliga Süd 16th ↓
2007–08 Oberliga Hessen IV 1st ↑
2008–09 Regionalliga Süd III 15th
2009–10 Regionalliga Süd 15th
2010–11 Regionalliga Süd 1st ↑
2011–12 3. Liga III 14th
2012–13 3. Liga 18th
2013–14 3. Liga 3rd ↑
2014–15 2. Bundesliga II 2nd ↑
2015–16 Bundesliga I 14th
2016–17 Bundesliga 18th ↓
2017–18 2. Bundesliga II 10th
2018–19 2. Bundesliga 10th


Current squad

As of 6 September 2019[5]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 GK Marcel Schuhen
2 DF Mandela Egbo
3 DF Sebastian Hertner
4 MF Victor Pálsson
5 DF Patric Pfeiffer
6 MF Marvin Mehlem
7 FW Felix Platte
8 MF Fabian Schnellhardt
9 FW Johannes Wurtz
11 MF Tobias Kempe
13 GK Carl Klaus
14 MF Paik Seung-ho
15 DF Mathias Wittek
18 MF Mathias Honsak
19 FW Serdar Dursun
No. Position Player
20 MF Marcel Heller
21 DF Immanuel Höhn
22 FW Ognjen Ožegović
24 GK Ihor Berezovskyi
25 MF Yannick Stark
27 MF Tim Skarke
31 GK Florian Stritzel
32 DF Fabian Holland (Captain)
33 FW Braydon Manu
34 MF Leon Müller
35 DF Dario Đumić (on loan from Utrecht)
37 DF Patrick Herrmann
38 GK Carl Leonhard
40 MF Erich Berko

On loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
FW Silas Zehnder (at Viktoria Aschaffenburg until 30 June 2020)

Current technical staff

As of 21 March 2019[6]
Position Name
Manager Dimitrios Grammozis
Assistant manager Iraklis Metaxas
Assistant manager Sven Thur
Goalkeeping coach Dimo Wache
Fitness coach Kai-Peter Schmitz
Head physiotherapist Dirk Schmitt
Club doctors Dr. med. Michael Weingart
Dr. med. Thomas Saltzer
Dr. med. Alexander Lösch
Team officials Helmut Koch
Utz Pfeiffer
Academy directors Björn Kopper
Ramon Berndroth
Academy Chief Coach Ramon Berndroth
Academy Coordinator Tim Kuhl
Under-19s coaches Ramon Berndroth
Ali Sevim
Under-17s coach Patrick Kurt
Under-16s coach Carsten Neuberth

Former managers

The managers of the club:[7]

Start End Manager
1968 1970 Heinz Lucas
1971 1976 Udo Klug †
1978 1979 Lothar Buchmann
1979 1979 Klaus Schlappner
1979 1980 Jörg Berger
1981 1982 Werner Olk
1982 1983 Manfred Krafft
1983 1984 Timo Zahnleiter
1984 1984 Lothar Kleim
1985 1986 Udo Klug †
1986 1987 Eckhard Krautzun
1987 1988 Klaus Schlappner
1988 1989 Werner Olk
1989 1989 Eckhard Krautzun
1989 1990 Dieter Renner
1990 1990 Uwe Klimaschefski
1990 1991 Jürgen Sparwasser
1994 1996 Gerhard Kleppinger
1996 1996 Max Reichenberger
1996 1998 Lothar Buchmann
1999 2000 Eckhard Krautzun
2000 2002 Michael Feichtenbeiner
2002 2003 Hans-Werner Moser
2003 2006 Bruno Labbadia
2006 2006 Gino Lettieri
2006 2009 Gerhard Kleppinger
2009 2010 Živojin Juškić
24 March 2010 2 September 2012 Kosta Runjaić
5 September 2012 17 December 2012 Jürgen Seeberger
2012 2016 Dirk Schuster
1 July 2016 5 December 2016 Norbert Meier
5 December 2016 27 December 2016 Ramon Berndroth (interim)
3 January 2017 9 December 2017 Torsten Frings
12 December 2017 18 February 2019 Dirk Schuster
24 February 2019 present Dimitrios Grammozis


  1. "Mitglieder-Boom beim SV 98 – 5.000er-Marke geknackt" (in German). 11 June 2015. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
  2. Ruhl: "Ein bitterer Tag für den OFC" (in German), published: 3 June 2013. Retrieved 4 June 2013
  3. Das deutsche Fußball-Archiv (in German) Historical German domestic league tables
  4. – Ergebnisse (in German) Tables and results of all German football leagues
  5. "Kader: Darmstadt 98" (in German). SV Darmstadt 98. 3 July 2015. Retrieved 9 August 2015.
  6. "Die Trainer". SV Darmstadt 98. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  7. SV Darmstadt 98 .:. Trainer von A-Z (in German) Retrieved 6 December 2011
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