It’s time to finally bring this drawn-out series to a conclusion, so let’s plunge once more into our last set of dodgy comparisons with some big boys still to come – the previous three instalments are here here and here.
12) Lechia Gdańsk = QPR
There’s only one real criteria which leads the football observer to compare Lechia and QPR, their catastrophic use of resources. QPR have been at it longer than Lechia, with several seasons of throwing money at a host of past it, or never going to cut it players, whereas the club from Poland’s North coast have only gone transfer mad since last summer. The other thing that links the clubs is the failure of these transfers. Lechia have a very large budget by Esktraklasa standards but may well not even reach the top eight which would allow them a shot at European football, QPR on the other hand will most probably drop out of the Prem, despite their considerable financial outlays.
Grzegorz Wojtkowiak, Lechia’s Rio Ferdinand?
13) Korona Kielce = Stoke City
In many ways Korona and Stoke City are a similar pair to Podbeskidzie Bielsko-Biała and Hull City, although with a longer history of achievement. Both clubs are unfashionable and can be considered as punching above their weight in the grand scheme of things. Both clubs were formerly known for direct, physical football and a no-nonsense approach under their previous managers, Leszek Ojrzyński and Tony Pulis and both teams have softened their style of football somewhat under Ryszard Tarasiewicz and Mark Hughes. Despite this, not many neutrals would tune in especially to catch their matches.
Korona’s Olivier Kapo, a bit like Peter Crouch
14) Cracovia = Spurs
When I started this series, it was patently obvious that these two clubs would be paired with each other. Both clubs have famous histories, but their glory days are long behind them – although Spurs have certainly been a lot more successful in the present than Cracovia who currently are a bit of a yo-yo club. The main reason for comparing the two clubs is the general perception of them as being ‘Jewish.’ Whatever the historical merits of this, it’s common for both clubs’ supporters to see themselves as Jewish in a football sense – although this is often a defensive reaction to anti-Semitic chanting directed towards their own supporters.
Israeli flags sometimes appear at Cracovia games, just like at Spurs’ matches
15) Ruch Chorzów = Everton
The similarities between Ruch and Everton are quite numerous. Both clubs come from peripheral industrial areas which in fact make up the heartlands of the Polish and English national games. Both play in resplendent blue shirts and both have long and successful histories but have not achieved very much in the present – Ruch won a flurry of titles in the 1930s, 50s and 70s, whereas Everton were most successful in the 1930s, 60s and 80s. Both clubs play in old stadiums which need a considerable facelift, and finally both have struggled in the league this season after excelling in European competition.
Cicha 6, in need of a make-over just like Goodison Park
16) Zawisza Bydgoszcz = Blackburn Rovers
Zawisza are another tricky club to find an English equivalent for. My main criteria this time for comparing them to Blackburn is the ownership chaos that reigns at both clubs. Zawisza are run by the belligerent Radosław Osuch, who has entered into a fierce conflict with the club’s supporters. The outcome of this being die-hard fans have boycotted matches and even led one group to break into their ground and place crosses adorned with penises on the pitch! Fan disillusionment at Blackburn with the Indian Venky family has come a long way from the times of Steve Kean but their fans have certainly not fallen back in love with the club. In a recent FA cup tie against Swansea under 6,000 fans filled their 30,000 stadium.
Penises on crosses, the Polish equivalent of the Blackburn chicken on the pitch
And at that you all breathe a sigh of relief, no more comparisons….for the moment anyway!