March 21, 2010

Czech Republic: 1.Liga (aka Gambrinus Liga), 2009-10 season.

Filed under: Czech Republic — admin @ 11:44 am

The Czech Republic’s Gambrinus Liga is the top tier of football in the country, and has been around since the late summer of 1993, which was half a year after the Czech Republic and Slovakia peacefully separated. That was two and a half years after the modern, 20th century Russian empire, also known as the Soviet Union, collapsed (hallelujah), in August 1991. Which was 20 months after the Vaclav Havel-led Czechoslovakian “Velvet Revolution” occurred, in 1989, at a similar point in time as when the Berlin Wall fell (in November, 1989).
Sparta Prague’s Generali Arena
The most successful club in both the new Czech Republic, and the old Czechoslovakian nation is and was Sparta Prague (known in their homeland as Sparta Praha). Sparta Prague have won 10 of the 16 Czech titles, but not the last two championships. Those were won by city rivals Slavia Prague (or Slavia Praha), who have now won 3 Czech titles, after their back-to-back titles in 07/08 and 08/09. Slavia Prague have a nice, new 21,000-seat stadium (Stadion Eden) that opened in May, 2008.
The other clubs that have won Czech titles are Slovan Liberec (twice, most recently in 2006) and Baník Ostrava, who won the 2004 title. Slovan Liberec are from Liberec, the 5th-largest Czech city (105,000 population {2009}). FC Baník Ostrava are from Ostrava, in the eastern side of the country in the Moravian-Silesian Region. Ostrava is the third largest city in the Czech Republic, with a population of 336,000 {2009}. [Note Brno is the second-largest Czech city (population, 405,000 {2009}.]


The Gambrinus Liga is at exactly the two-thirds mark, with 20 of the 30 matches played. The race can be called a three-way race with two more in touching distance. The three top teams are leader Sparta Prague, with Teplice and Jablonec two points off the pace. Sparta just took the lead Saturday, 20th March from Teplice. Six points off the pace are Viktoria Plzn and Banik Ostrava. A couple of the teams battling for the title have never won a Czech or a Czechoslovakian title…FK Teplice, Jablonec (who really need to design a logo that doesn’t look like it was made from clip-art), and Viktoria Plzn. Teplice are from the spa-town of the same name close to the Ore Mountains and the German border about 75 kilometers (45 miles) north-west of Prague. FK Teplice have won the national cup twice, and are current holders, having won the competition last spring.

Like the lion’s share of top flight clubs in the Czech Republic, FK Teplice does not draw more than 5,000 per game…they averaged 3,847 per game last season, but this season they have seen a 70 percent gate increase to 6,792 per game after 7 home games… 2009-10 attendances (E-F-S site)}.

Many clubs in the Czech top flight have compact stadia smaller than 10,000-capacity (there are ten sub-10K grounds in the league this season). The three highest drawing clubs are course the two big Prague clubs, Slavia Prague and Sparta Prague, plus Banik Ostrava.

Slavia Prague’s Stadion Eden (aka Synot Tip Arena)-

On the strength of the new stadium, Slavia Prague had the highest turnstile count in 2009-10, drawing 11,971 per game. Sparta Prague drew second best in 09/10, at 8,642 per game. Baník Ostrava was third highest, at 7,822. Czech clubs can have widely divergent gate figures from year to year, depending on league form. For example, in recent years, Baník Ostrava have drawn as high as 15,000 per game (in their title-winning season of 2003-04), but they range more between 11,000 and 6,000 per game, with a 7,822 per game figure in 2009-10.
Banik Ostrava’s Bazaly-

Slovan Liberec and Sigma Olomouc can also pull in higher-than -6,000 gates in good years. The only other Czech club that has an above-average fan base is venerable club Bohemians 1905, of Prague, who had a near-winding up in 2005 and then endured two separate top flight relegations, but are now back in the Gambrinus Liga. In the interim, while relegated, the club somehow ended up in the position of selling their insignia to another Prague club, FC Strizkov Praha 9, who are now known as Bohemians Praha (Strizkov). So since Bohemians 1905 won promotion last year, there are now two clubs in the Czech top tier that have a green kangaroo as their crest and are called Bohemians…Bohemians 1905 and Bohemians Praha.
From the Voices In Football site, here is a write-up with photos, of the August, 2009 Champions League 2nd Round Qualifier between Slavia Prague and Moldova’s Sheriff Tiraspol, written by Damon Main, ‘A new sheriff in Town, Match Report- Slavia Prague 1, Sheriff Tiraspol 1′.

Thanks to, for location help, Footiemap- Czech Republic.
Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia,
2009-10 Gambrinus Liga page.
Thanks to, for some of the logos, European football Club Logos.
Thanks to, for the Prague map,
Thanks to the invaluable European Football Statistics site, for attendance figures, E-F-S, attendance figures.
Thanks to Demis of Netherlands, for the base map, Demis Web Map Server.
Thanks to Joaquin, who made a comment here earler this month, asking for Czech top flight map.
Thanks to Gruner83 at Flickr, ‘Generali Arena, Prague (Czech Republic)’.
Thanks to Banik Ostrava site, [panoramic photos of Bazaly]-Bazaly in Ostrava, panoramic photos.

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