Schalke relegated from Bundesliga after loss at Bielefeld

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Schalke relegated from Bundesliga after loss at Bielefeld

Schalke 04 were relegated from the Bundesliga for the first time in 33 years on Tuesday after losing 1-0 to fellow strugglers Arminia Bielefeld to stay in last place, 13 points off the relegation playoff spot with only four matches remaining.

Fabian Klos’s powerful 50th-minute strike sealed the fate of Schalke, who have managed only two wins in the entire season.

The Royal Blues, among the most fiercely supported clubs in Germany with a usual average attendance of over 60,000 per game, were relegated three times in the 1980s — the last time in 1988.

They enjoyed more success in the following decades, winning the UEFA Cup in 1997 and reaching the Champions League semi-finals in 2011.

The visitors were left with 10 men when Malick Thiaw was sent off for a second booking in the 71st minute and keeper Ralf Faehrmann had to save a penalty in the 80th.

On the final whistle Schalke players were left crying, swearing or just looking on in complete shock.

“This is a very bitter hour for all Schalke supporters,” said Schalke coach Dimitrios Grammozis, who took over last month.

“We are brutally disappointed that we now know for certain that we have to go to the second division. Despite this disappointment we have to look ahead and field a team that will make our fans proud once more.”

Having gone through five coaches in the current campaign, Schalke have conceded 76 goals, more than any other team in an entire season since 2000.

Earlier in the season they narrowly missed equalling the worst run in Bundesliga history by a game, having gone 30 consecutive league matches without a win.

They enjoyed more success in the following decades, winning the UEFA Cup in 1997 and reaching the Champions League semi-finals in 2011.

The seven-time champions have never won the Bundesliga since the introduction of the top division in 1963 with their last German league title dating back to 1958.