Meet Widzew Lodz: The Polish 4th Tier Club With More Fans Than Most of England

Sam Sank

​It's not every day that you hear about a fourth tier side with a national fan-base bigger than most clubs in the top flight, yet that is the case with Polish side Widzew Lodz.

Four times the champions of Poland, the club filed for bankruptcy in 2015 and were forced to join the fifth tier of Polish football, IV Liga, accordingly, which they consequently won at the first attempt.

They currently sit in 4th place in III Liga, with local rivals LKS Lodz on course to gain promotion to the second division. However, being stuck in the lower leagues won't stop Widzew from filling out their brand new 18,000+ capacity stadium, Stadion Widzew, each week, after it was opened this season.

One of the most historically rich clubs in Poland, Widzew boast former great Zbigniew Boniek as a former player, and played in Europe multiple times; playing against the likes of Manchester United and Juventus in the 1980/81 UEFA Cup and eventual winners Borussia Dortmund in the 1996/97 Champions League.

With a new stadium and a strong following that consists of supporters from all over the country, Widzew are expected to reach the top once again (much in the same vain as Juventus and Rangers) and compete with Legia Warsaw in the hsitoric Derby of Poland.

This week marked the opening of the new state-of-the-art stadium, where a 2-0 win over Motor Lubawa helped to commemorate the special event. Boniek, who came third in the 1982 Ballon d'Or, was one of the 18,000 people present in the historic event. 

Widzew also made the news for a number of records they broke this campaign, including the most amount of season tickets ever sold in Poland (15,310), which is thought to be the most ever for a fourth tier side apart from the aforementioned Rangers. 


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