March 7, 2010

Poland: Ekstraklasa, 2009-10. With UEFA Euro 2012 venues.

Filed under: Football Stadia,Poland — admin @ 10:42 am

The Polish Ekstraklasa returned from it’s long, November to late February winter break on the last weekend of February. Leaders are Wisla Kraków, who won last season’s championship, and have won 6 of their 12 titles in the last decade. Wisla Kraków draw around 12,000 per game. Three other clubs have a shot at the 2009-10 title. They are the low-drawing (~6,000-per game) Legia Warszawa (who have 8 titles, their most recent from 2006); Lech Poznan, who are the current highest-drawing club in Poland, at around 16,000-per game, and who have won 5 titles (most recently in 1993); and Ruch Chorzów. Ruch Chorzów, from the Silesian Voivodeship (a voivideship is like a province), are joint all-time titles leaders in Poland. Ruch Chorzów have won 14 championships, but the club has not won the crown for 20 years now. Ruch Chorzów drew 8,900 per game last season. They share the most titles with another Silesian club, Górnik Zabrze, who were relegated last May. Górnik Zabrze have the second largest fan base in Poland behind Lech Poznan, and drew 14,600 last season. Górnick Zabrze are drawing 11,000 per game in the second division this season, but the club might not bounce right back to the top flight, as they are in 6th place there (2 or 3 clubs are relegated/promoted each season between the Ekstraklasa and the second division, which is called the Polish First League).

Poland’s Ekstraklasa, fixtures, results, and table, at, Ekstraklasa matches and table.


The long and drawn-out corruption scandal in Polish football is still casting a pall. The corruption began being exposed in 2005, and the investigations and arrests are still ongoing. The culture of corruption there was pretty widespread, in terms of referees being paid by club officials to control outcomes of games through favorable calls to one team, and of players being paid to throw games. Eight clubs have been implicated {see this}.
Here is short article from August, 2009, from The News from Poland site, ‘Two more netted in football corruption scandal’.

The roots of the Polish corruption scandal go back to the early 1990′s, centered on the-then 4th level club Amica Wronki, from the small (~12,000 population) town of Wronki in western Poland, which is 50 km. (30 miles) north-west of Poznan. A man who ran a local barbershop became associated with the club, helped create a merger between them and another club, and began managing the new club, using his contacts throughout the lower divisions…players, club officials, and referees…to manipulate outcomes. In other words, this individual who became known as The Barber “took care” of referees. Amica Wronki rose through the league pyramid, and won the Polish Cup title three years straight, from 1998 to 2000. To say that there were some very “friendly” calls that benefitted Amica Wronki when they won these three successive national cup titles would be understating it.
Meanwhile it wasn’t just Wronki that were benefitting from the bent refs. As the Barber’s corruption network became more widespread, clubs throughout Poland began relying on the Barber’s help, whether they were battling relegation or competing for the title. Amica Wronki had gained promotion to the top flight in 1995. The club wanted to distance themselves from the Barber, so they sacked him in in 1998, but his dire influence over the Polish game remained.
Finally, in 2005, someone’s conscience got the better of him. Piotr Dziurowicz, the 29-year old owner of then-top flight club GKS Katowice, decided to collaborate with the police. He had inherited ownership of the club from his recently deceased father. The latter, known in his time as the Magnate, had taught his son all he knew about fixing games. Piotr admitted to having “bought” several matches, but had come later to regret the hypocrisy and corruption of his position. Sting operations ensued, first resulting in two arrests…of referee Antoni F. (full names not allowed due to Polish law), who had accepted a 16,500-pound payoff to fix two league matches; and the arrest of Polish FA official Marian D., for collusion. Information from the suspects led to more arrests… over 70 arrests by May, 2007.
Here is an article from The, from 6 February, 2007, by Jonathon Wilson, “Backhanders, bullets, and bent refs as Polish football reaches a crisis’.
It’s interesting to note that when you go to the Wikipdeia page of Amica Wronki, not one iota of this is mentioned. Most of the above details were gleaned from an article in the May, 2007 issue of World Soccer, written by Dariusz Kurowski.
Amica Wronki merged with Lech Poznan after the 2005-06 season, and maintains an amateur squad. The Barber has been detained since 2006. By April, 2009, over 200 people had been detained in connection with the corruption scandal, and there were only 15 referees left in Poland who could still work top flight matches…see this, from ‘More arrests likely in Polish corruption probe,’(27 April, 2009, by Patryk Wasilewski and Gabriella Baczynska).
By September, 2009, over 230 people had been charged for being involved in martch fixing in Poland. Those charged are from a group comprising players, club officials, referees, and members of the Polish Football Federation (PZPN). See this, from a Belarussian blog called Polish Police and Administrative Corruption, ‘Footballers get prison in match fixing scandal’,(26 September, 2009).

Here are clubs who have recieved penalties and/ or relegations since the corruption investigation began in 2005. [Note- clubs who have regained promotion to the Ektraklasa, or who have remained there, are highlighted in bold...
Penalized clubs after the 2006-07 season...
Arka Gdynia-relegated to 2nd Level in 2006-07 as result of corruption scandal/ -5 points for 2007-08. {Since have regained promotion.}.
Gornick Leczna- relegated from 1st to 3rd Level in 2006-07/ -6 point for 2007-08.
Gornick Polkowice- relegated from 2nd to 4th Level/ 70,000 zloty penalty [100,000 zloty=around 17,000 pounds]/ -6 points for 2007-08.
Ostrowiec Swietokryzynski- relegated from 2nd to 3rd Level in 2006-07/ -6 points for 2007-08.
Penalized clubs after the 2007-08 season…
Zaglebie Sosnowiec- after 2007-08, were relegated from 1st Level to 3rd Level (one relegation by finish, plus one relegtion as punishment for corruption).
Korona Kielce- after 2007-08, were relegated to 2nd Level for corruption. {Since have regained promotion.}
Zaglebie Lubin- *Polish champion in 2006-07.- after 2007-08, were relegated to 2nd Level for corruption.
Club penalized after 2008-09 season…
Jagellonia Bilaystock- started 2009-10 season at -10 points/ fined 300,000 zloty.

I have included a list of all-time champions, but take it with a grain of salt, because there is no way you are going to get me to believe that the widespread corruption in Polish top flight football only began in the mid 1990′s, and ended around 2007. And even if it did only begin with the Barber, in the mid-1990′s, in Wronki, that still ends up smearing around 11 or 12 seasons of Polish football at the very least (when you factor in the fact that Amica Wronki got to the first division in 1995, and serious investigations into the corruption scandal began in 2006). This basically calls into question, at minimum, the legitimacy of all those titles won betweeen 1995-96 to 2006-07. In fact, one of the champions during this time period, Zaglebie Lubin in 2007, were caught for corruption, and penalized one season after their title.
Let’s focus on the present, and the future, of Polish football. And since that immediate future includes a co-hosting with Ukraine of the UEFA Euro 2012 competition, my hope is that the glare of the media spotlight will help to prevent a return to corruption in professional Polish football.

Below are the 4 Polish venues for the UEFA Euro 2012 competition, to be co-hosted by Poland and Ukraine.
The first venue shown (Warsaw) will become the primary home of the Polish national football team, once the Euro 2012 competition is finished. The other three venues, post-Euro 2012, will become the homes of three different Polish clubs…Lechia Gdansk, Lech Poznan, and Slask Wroclaw.

Here is the site connected with the construction of the Polish National Stadium, which in Polish is called Stadion Narodowy, Stadion Narodowy w Warszawie .
‘Progress of works at the National Stadium- pictures from 1st March’



Pitch, ‘Stadium Spotlight: Gdansk, Euro 2012′, by Tom Dunmore.


Poznan…, ‘Euro 2012 stadiums- Lech Poznan’.



At , thread: ‘Stadiums, Wroclaw (Slask)’, submitted by Rozsbisurmaniony on Dec, 1, 2009, Wroclaw stadium: architectural renderings, photos, and info.


From the Voices In Football site, here is a nice article illustrated with photographs, of a trip to a Lower Silesian/Upper Silesian derby between Slask Wroclaw and Ruch Chornów, the match being held in Wroclaw [no date given on this, but I believe this is from December, 2009, by Damon Main]… ‘Slask Wroclaw v Ruch Chornów’.


Thanks to the contributors to the pages at and
Ekstraklasa page at ;
Ekstraklasa w pilce noznej.
Thanks to World Soccer magazine World
Thanks to E-F-S site, for attendance figures

Thanks to Demis World Map Server, Demis World Map Server.

Thanks to, for the aerial photo of the Poznán Stadion construction [transl.].

WordPress database error: [Table 'bil072291136157.wp_comments' doesn't exist]
SELECT * FROM wp_comments WHERE comment_approved = '1' AND comment_post_ID = 3874 ORDER BY comment_date_gmt ASC


No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress