“You can change him, politics, religion, but never, never change the club you support.” This Eric Cantona saying is as colorful as it is false. Loyalty to one club among those who consider themselves football fans is lower than the percentage of marriages ending in divorce. According to a European Union survey of football clubs, only 38 percent of fans support one club, the rest are football bigamites or even polygamists. And either way, it’s not known what the ending is, as the research doesn’t say whether this one club is for life or if it changes from time to time.
Nobody wants to cheer on the losers
Let’s look at research in Poland. The number one among Polish fans was Widzew, Wisa Krakw, Lech Pozna and Legia Warszawa – depending on who was at the top and who represented Poland in Europe with little success. If Lech went through the rounds of one of the European cups now, he would probably climb to the top. More than the Cantona charter, the saying goes that the winning teams have the most fans.
The slightly older fans will remember that well. When the Polish national team played poorly, 4.5 thousand viewers saw the last match of the 2010 World Cup with Slovakia at the Silesian Stadium. As you can see, the popular supporter’s caption is “whether you win or not, I love you anyway”, even in the case of the Polish national team. Nobody wants to encourage the losers.
The hearts of Polish fans are abroad
And the number of defeats grew to the Premier League clubs, as they were beaten in European cups year after year. The last time the Polish club is in the international arena lasts until the spring five years ago, when Legia lost the equalizer to Ajax in the Europa League. Meanwhile, our teams have been knocked out by forces like the teams from Luxembourg, Azerbaijan and Latvia.
And it got to the point that when we look at the above-mentioned European Clubs’ Association survey, only 21 percent of Polish fans have a heart in Poland. 45 percent first of all like a foreign club and another 33 percent have no favorite club at all. This shows how difficult conditions – with competition that cannot be met – the functioning of Polish clubs is.
How do you get fans of the winning teams?
In Wile, Legia or Lech, I can only dream: oh, if these fans localized their fans’ feelings locally, how much more would we sell tickets, club t-shirts, TV subscriptions, etc. Polish clubs would afford better footballers, and this would translate into better results in the cups. And better results in the cups would mean that the clubs would have even more fans. The machine would drive itself.
So many dreams and the scenario unfolded for potential investors. It really doesn’t work that way. To attract fans of the winning teams, it must first be a success, and then it must be repeated and repeated. Wisa Krakw is the best example. Years ago, an investor appeared – Bogusaw Cupia -, successes began. All of Poland supported Wile. When Cupia withdrew, the team also fell from the pedestal of Poland’s most popular club. Now it’s being heard that he may not even be able to handle it, even in first class.
How much can you bear these Polish failures?
So much for the so-called investment potential in Poland. Yes, he is great. On paper. We have many football fans in the country in Poland. The best proof is the fact that we have a number of different sports TV stations that stay in the market and compete with each other for fan interest: Canal Plus Sport, Eleven Sports, Polsat Sport and also Viaplay on the dope. These are the most important. Few countries have such competition in this segment.
However, when it comes to the competition, it turns out that the most important is someone like Cupia, Dariusz Mioduski from Legia, Micha Wierczewski in Raków or Piotr Rutkowski in Lech – the investor. Who, who keeps the team, if there are no more successes, and fans of the winning teams, transfer their passion to the new favorite. Mostly foreign, because how many Polish losses can be tolerated. This is how it works.