It’s been several days, but don’t think I’ve forgotten about you, or this series of posts. Yes, that’s right folks, it’s time for part three of my attempt to find English equivalents of Polish clubs (part one and part two are here). This time round I present four clubs and their English versions.
8) GKS Belchatów = Crystal Palace
Again GKS Belchatów were not an easy side to find an English equivalent for but I think the best fit is Crystal Palace. Although GKS were only established in 1977, 72 years after Palace, the two clubs have a good amount in common. Both clubs are dwarfed by more illustrious neighbours, Belchatów by Widzew Łódź, and Palace by a number of London sides and both clubs are relatively unfashionable. Both clubs have yo-yoed principally between the top two tiers but have also spent periods of time even lower down their respective countries’ football pyramid. Finally both have achieved several notable successes and then have fallen into relative mediocrity – Palace finishing third in the first division in 1991, Belchatów 2nd in the Ekstraklasa in 2007.
GKS Belchatów ultras. Or is it the Holmesdale Fanatics?
9) Piast Gliwice = Swansea City
Piast Gliwice have a lot in common with Swansea City. Both sides have spent the great majority of their histories in the second and third tiers of their respective football pyramids, both suffered precipitous falls due to financial problems before making their way to the top tier in the last ten years. In addition both clubs made their bows in European competitions in the 2013-4 season after surprising many seasoned observers. Finally both clubs are well liked and seen as ‘nice clubs’ by the footballing community.
Piast’s coach Ángel Pérez García is a bit different to Garry Monk but their clubs are generally well liked
10) Pogoń Szczecin = Burnley
The next port of call in our odyssey is the never-before-compared duo of Pogoń Szczecin and Burnley. Both clubs have spent large parts of their histories in the top tier of their respective countries’ football pyramids, have fallen for a variety of reasons to the fourth tier (Burnley in 1985 and Pogoń in 2007) and made their way back up to the elite. Both clubs play in relatively dilapidated stadiums by top tier standards, oh and most importantly both Pogoń and Burnley’s main club colours are the rather fetching claret and blue.
Pogoń’s Stadion Floryian Kryger: A bit like Turf Moor
11) Górnik Łęczna = Wigan Athletic
Wigan are in many ways the English equivalent of Górnik Lęczna. Górnik were formed in the late 1970s, at around the same time as when Wigan finally made it into the football league, both clubs come from small towns and despite this both have spent relatively long periods in the top flight (Górnik 2002-7 and 2014-, Wigan from 2005-2013). The big difference between the two is Łęczna look well set to stay in the Ekstraklasa for the foreseeable future whereas Wigan seem to be in free fall, with relegation from the Championship looming large on the horizon.
Łęczna – nothing like Wigan but few would have predicted either town could have produced a top-flight club
The bell has gone for the end of the round, rightbankwarsaw will enter the ring for one more comparison-fest in the near future, be there when it happens.