FC Groningen was founded on June 16, 1971 and emerged from the outsourced professional football department of GVAV ( Groninger Voetbal en Atletiek Vereniging ). The club started in the Ehrendivision, but had to relegate to the Eerste Divisie three years later . In 1980 the Groningen champions of the Eersten Divisie were promoted again. In the season 1983/84 was first played in European Oosterpark. In the UEFA Cup , Atlético Madrid were first defeated before they had to admit defeat to Inter Milan in the second round . A total of 24 games were played in European competition. The 1990/91 season is considered to be the best playing time for FC Groningen, when they played for the national championship title up to four match days before the end of the season. In the end it was only enough for third place.
This was followed by a gradual decline in sport. In the 1997/98 season, FC Groningen rose to the Eerste Division after 18 years of honorary division . While Sparta Rotterdam had to give way in the first year of the second division , they were promoted again in 2000. In the 2006/07 and 2007/08 seasons you could again qualify for the UEFA Cup.
On May 3, 2015, FC Groningen celebrated the first success in the club's history when they won the Dutch Football Cup with a 2-0 win over defending champion PEC Zwolle . On June 27, 2020, the club announced that Arjen Robben would return to his youth club for the 2020/21 season .