|Full name|| Kolejowy Klub Sportowy |
Lech Poznań, S.A.
|Nickname(s)||Kolejorz (The Railwayman)|
|Founded||19 March 1922|
|Ground|| Stadion Miejski (Poznań)|
|Head Coach||Dariusz Żuraw (caretaker)|
|Website||Club home page|
Lech Poznań is a Polish professional football club based in Poznań and currently competing in the Ekstraklasa, the nation's highest division. The club is named after Lech, the legendary founder of the Polish nation.
The club was established in 1922 as Lutnia Dębiec, later changing its name several times. From 1930 until 1994, the club was closely linked to Polish State Railways (PKP). As a result, its popular nickname is Kolejorz, which means The Railwayman in local slang. The club's debut in the Polish top division took place in the year 1948. The brightest era of Lech was in the early 1980s and early 1990s. Lech has won the Polish league a total of seven times, most recently in 2015, and is the most popular football club in the Greater Poland region.
The club is said to have been registered on March 19th, 1922. Therefore, that date is considered to be the official birthday of the club.
The beginnings of Lech's history are linked to an organization that wasn't directly connected to the sport - Catholic Youth Society. In 1920 the youth finally decided to abandon the relatively passive society and form its own football team. The registration of the club took place on a Sunday, on March 19th, 1922. Therefore, that is the date considered as the official birthday of Lech.
The name of the club has been changed to Sport Association Dębiec League.
On August 4th 1922 the name of the club was changed to Sport Association Dębiec League. On September another success came as the founding members managed to lease a land for a pitch at 17 Grzybowa Street. On September 17th 1922 the first match, played against Sparta Poznań, took place and ended with a 1:1 draw. The team had to begin from the lowest levels, thus the C-class.
Jan Dyzman, a treasurer who sang in a choir during his free time, suggested that the club was named Lutnia (the choir he was a member of was called the same, too). The idea was approved by his teammates, however on September 4th the club was renamed to Sport Association Dębiec League. The name was significant since most of the youth that played at the club inhabited Dębiec district. Jan Nowak was the first chairman, but he occupied the seat for a few months only, having been called by the army. On September 4th when the final decision about the new name of the club had to be taken, Antoni Stachowski became the chairman. On June 29th, 1924 the team debuted in the league and won with Ruch Poznań 5:3. The result was later verified and changed to a 3:0 win since the rival's squad did not fully obey the rules of the game. Similarly to many other clubs, Sport Association Dębiec League had problems with the payment of obligatory dues and has been suspended for a specific period of time. In January 1925 Dębiec district became an official part of Poznań city and the club changed its name to Sport Association Poznań League. During this period of time the fight for power took place. In 1925 Leon Nowicki became the chairman of the club, just to be replaced by Stanisław Dereziński a few months later. In the mean time, the club strengthened and soon was considered one of the best in its region. In 1927 Sport Association Poznań League won 17 out of 22 matches (and drew three of them). On April 10th 1927 the club beat Helios Czempiń 9:0. Łucjan Kunz scored 7 goals in that game. It was the best results achieved by an individual player in the history of the club, until Włodzimierz Jakubowski came along and produced a similar score. That same season the club was promoted to B-class. In the mean time a reserve team was created, which only empowered the rivalry. The players at the club fought of the games as an opportunity to promote themselves and be noticed by another team at which they could earn a living. At Sport Association Poznań League wages were only Dereziński's distant plans. In 1928 the B-class league was relatively solid, with 5 qualification groups. At that point Sport Association Poznań League performed really well, losing to the winners of the group only (1928, 1929), which placed them second. The club still lacked official colors and a crest. At first the team wore red shirts sewed by Buchert company. The blue colors were adopted when the club was linked to the railway and moved to the stadium located at Dzierżyńskiego Street. However, that only took place about 30 years after the club's been formed. Lech finally got promoted to the highest-ranked league in the region in 1932. Later the regulations were changed and the teams from A-class got a chance to qualify to the I national league. The players from Dębiec failed to join the top of the national football before the II World War began, but another historical event took place in the mean time. In Autumn 1933 KPW (Railway Army Training Organization) formed a sports club that shortly after the end of the war searched for a way to bring football back to life in Poznań. Lech was the first club that has been reactivated after the war!
Stanisław Dereziński wanted the club to develop constantly. His position at the railway as the manager of the Technical-Traffic Raport enabled him to initiate a cooperation between the club and his employer. In 1929 a paramilitary organization - KPW (Railway Army Training Organization) - was formed and it soon gained wide-spread popularity. Lech became a part of it in May 1930 and since then the club was officially called KPW Sport Club Poznań Railway Station. The aim of the club remained the same - qualify to the A-class. In 1930 the team won its qualification group, but failed in the crucial clash and therefore stayed in the B-class. However, a year later the club finally moved up the ladder. KPW Sport Club Poznań Railway Station was ranked third, but since Posnania's matches sent people striking on the streets, the club was taken away three points and that changed the table, at last allowing KPW Sport Club Poznań Railway Station to qualify to A-class. Since the league was a hinterland to Ekstraklasa, the winner was awarded a chance to fight for the national championship. Not only did KPW Sport Club Poznań Railway Station gain popularity, but also success. On November 29th, 1931 the club faced the Polish Champion, Warta Poznań, and won 6:1. It is worth emphasizing that Warta sent its best starting lineup against Lech. After the qualification to the A-class, the club decided to hire a coach. Stanisław Kwiatkowski was the first man to lead KPW Sport Club Poznań Railway Station and guided them to success. In 1932 the club was ranked second, in 1933 third and in 1934 fifth. In 1933 the club's name was changed for the last time before the war. KPW Sport Club Poznań Railway Station was renamed to KPW Sport Club Poznań and Józef Chrobak, a member of KPW, became its chairman. In December 1934 he was replaced by Stanisław Trygalski. The league's organizational forces changed the system of the competition before the season in 1934 kicked off. The league used to last from spring to autumn, but now the season began in autumn and ended in spring. In order to assure a smooth transition and adaptation process, in 1934 the season wasn't divided into 2 rounds. In 1934 Edmund Słomiak was the first footballer competing for KPW Sport Club Poznań to be named a representative of Poznań. The same player later joined Warta Poznań, which fought in the highest-ranked league in the country. The change in the league system did not influence the players positively and the form gradually degraded. In 1935 a 15 year-old Edmund Białas debuted and for the next 56 years and 125 days, right until his death on July 24th, 1991, the footballer remained involved with the club. In the same year KPW Sport Club Poznań suffered the highest loss in the history. HCP Poznań beat the club 12:4. In Autumn 1936 A-class was renamed to Regional League. Another change took place in the mean time. Kwiatkowski was replaced by a Hungarian coach László Marcai. In 1936/37 HCP Poznań assured itself the highest rank in the Regional League, while KPW Sport Club Poznań fought for the second place with Legia Poznań. The rivalry between the two clubs continued for the next two seasons, but it was Legia Poznań that turned out to be better, twice. While HCP Poznań and Legia Poznań both failed to achieve success in the highest-ranked league, the fans of KPW Sport Club Poznań hoped their club could do better, especially that the team performed really well in friendly matches (e.g. won with Polonia Warsaw (5:0), Bronia Radom (3:2), Unia Sosnowiec (7:2) and Gryf Toruń (3:0)). The league's launch on August 27th, 1939 was postponed a week due to the political situation. However, season 1939/40 never took off...
Due to the war and the fact that many players were involved on the war fronts, the league was suspended. Nevertheless, the hunger for the football entertainment remained and in August 1940 an Organizational Committee of City Football Championships was created. Most of the footballers were forced to leave Poznań, and therefore couldn't compete, but those who stayed, played whenever could. In 1940 the City Championships, by many considered unofficial, were won by Chwaliszewo, who turned out to be better than its three rivals - Strzelecka, Woźna and Wilda. In 1941 9 teams participated in the competition and two seperate groups were formed. The tournament lasted 5 weeks and footballers from Górczyn and Dębiec KPW won their groups. On September 7th 1941 Dębiec and Strzelecka met in the final, but gendarme stopped the match and it was never resumed. A year later the championships did not take place and in 1943 they were aborted once again. On March 1945 the final from 1941 was repeated. As the war approached an end, people began to think of a way to resume the league. On February 28th 1945 Leopold Krzyżanowski, once of the KPW members from before World War II, began working at the railway again. He received a permission to take over the stadium in the Dębiec region and even though it hasn't been clearly stated, KPW Poznań League was brought to life once again. On March 16th 1945 Józef Chrobak was named as the new chairman of the Railway Sport Club. As the club rose back to its feet, new chairmen were chosen, mostly from the railway employment structures. The club participated in the repetition of the City Championships from 1941. In the final Railway Sport Club beat Warta Poznań 1:0. The league was resumed in July 1945. In the first league clash after the war the future star Teodor Anioła debuted. Railway Sport Club faced Polonia Jarocin and won 11:1. 28 teams participated in the qualification to the top Polish league in 1948. The clubs were divided into three groups. The winner of each groups advanced to Ekstraklasa. Before the first qualification match took place, the official 'fusion' of Railway Sport Club and Pogonia Sport Club was confirmed. One of the conditions of the 'fusion' was a new name which contained the word Pogon. Nevertheless, the journalists remained using the name Railway Sport Club. A year later after the name was approved by the board, another change came and the club was renamed again. The word 'Pogoń' was dropped and the club which was founded in 1914 vanished from the map, never to be reborn. The fight for the qualification to Ekstraklasa was exhilarating. Railway Sport Club was ranked fourth, but after a reexamination of the match against Polonia Bytom, the club moved a place up the rank. In January 1948 one of Polonia Świdnica players testified under the oath that two footballers in Polonia's squad played under a false name. Ekstraklasa now consisted of 14 teams, two more than before, and therefore Railway Sport Club qualified to the top league. In the first Ekstraklasa match played on March 14th 1948, Railway Sport Club lost against Widzew 4:3. The team from Łódź had a great kick-off, but many losses followed and eventually they fell to the lower league. The famous newspaper "Start" criticized the match of the two recently qualified clubs and undermined their competence to play in Ekstraklasa. Nevertheless, the club from Dębiec was ranked sixth, won the award "for the fairest playing team in 1948", while its three players, Czapczyk, Anioła and Białas gradually became stars. The famous ABC trio scored 40 goals in 1949 (Anioła - 20, Białas - 12, Czapczyk - 8). That same season the club was placed third in the league.
The 1950 season was a successful one for the club, especially thanks to Teodor Anioła who scored 20 goals and became the top scorer in the league. He achieved similar numbers three seasons in a row. Moreover, the average 2,72 goals per match is an impressive statistic, too. The club was placed third that year due to the poor performances away from home. Another interesting anecdote: the match against Szombierki Bytom (August 11th, 1950) began at 10 o'clock which is the earliest kick-off time in the history of the club from Dębiec. The third place wasn't exactly a dream result and therefore the club hired a new coach. Antoni Bottcher was replaced by Adam Walter, but the latter couldn't lead the club higher than the 8th place and that is why Bottcher was given another chance a season later. Lech's performance weakened and the club failed to stabilize their situation. Numerous changes of the coach – most of them leaving after a season – positions no higher than the 6th rank and the end of the ABC trio resulted in a degradation of the form. In 1953 Czapczyk retired in the match against Wisla Cracow. That same year the longest match in the history took place. On November 15th the club from Dębiec faced Stal Mielec in the Polish Cup. The game lasted 128 minutes and at last Lech lost 1:2. The next season wasn't any better. Lech played 20 matches and in 10 of them the team failed to score. In total, Lech scored 14 goals only and 11 of them thanks to Anioła. However, there were a few glimpses of hope. For instance, in 1956 after the fourth league round the team was placed first. Nevertheless, the "Black Friday" had a big influence on the players and at last they did not achieve anything spectacular in 1956. The interest in the club remained and in 1957 the board decided to expand the stadium to a capacity of 20,000 people However, that same season Lech fell to the lower league and three goalkeepers left the squad. The 17 year-old Marian Wilczyński, who played at the club for 4 years, took advantage of the situation. The youngster appeared in all 22 matches of the next season. After the degradation, the club decided to fire Mieczysław Tarka who has been the coach for the past three years. Lech was determined to return to the top league as quickly as possible, but in the end it took the team three years to qualify again. In 1959 Anioła, the club's best player, expressed interest in a transfer to Warta Poznań, the local rival. The footballer even took part in the team's training session. The board responded with a 6-month suspension of the player. Anioła joined the first team on November 8th 1959 and scored 8 goals in the clash against Polonia (final score – 15:1).
In 1960 Lech returned to the top Polish league, but in 1963 another degradation took place and this time the club needed 9 years to qualify again. In the mean time, Lech fell to the III league, also referred to as the League of the Voivodeships. Jerzy Kopa was the most successful figure of the period. He took over the team in 1976 when the club was occupying the last rank in the league. The coach took the team to a grouping, also called "The Miracle in Błażejewko", since not only did Lech manage to stay in the league, but also qualified to the international competition and was placed third!
Lech's debut on the international arena took place on September 13th, 1978 in a match against MSV Duisburg. The Polish team lost twice, 0:5 and 2:5, and was given a lesson of great football. The successes that followed are linked to Wojciech Łazarka who took over the team in 1980. That same year Lech reached the final of the Polish Cup (lost against Legia 0:5). Two years later the team from Poznań won the Polish Cup final, this time against Pogoń (1:0). In 1983 and 1984 Lech triumphed in the country. Two championships, another cup and a few international matches against the rivals like Aberdeen, Athletic Bilbao and FC Liverpool emphasize the achievements of the period. In 1988 the team from Poznań won another Polish Cup, this time against Legia (penalty shootout). That same year one of the most exhilarating international clashes took place. In the second round Lech faced Cruyff's FC Barcelona. Two draws (1:1) led to a penalty shootout that Lech at last lost.
In 1990, 1992 and 1993 Lech won the championship. The club's most exhilarating matches of the last decade all date back to Autumn 1990. Back then the famous Olympique Marseille visited Poznań and lost 2:3. The second leg wasn't as successful since the Frenchmen won 6:1, however a food poising is said to be the reason of Lech's poor performance. Since 1993 and on every next season seemed to be worse than the previous one. Financial troubles forced the club to sell many great players. In 2000 an inevitable degradation took place and Lech left the top league for the first time in 28 years. The first season in the II league was terrible and the team was on the edge of further degradation. However, the year that followed Lech was promoted back to Ekstraklasa. The team from Poznań had one aim: secure a place in the top league. However, the season began poorly. Czesław Michniewicz was appointed as the coach 5 rounds into the season and it turned out to be a great decision since Lech ended the league on the 6th rank and won the Polish Cup, beating Legia Warsaw in the final. Two weeks later the fans celebrated the Super Cup. Although the next seasons weren't as successful, Lech always remained in the top part of the league rank.
In 2005/06 changes in the ownership of the club took place. Holding Amica Wronki S.A. decided to invest in the club and since then a new name – KKS Lech Poznań S.A. – has been used. The team, now led by Franciszek Smuda, aimed at the championship, but was placed 6th in 2006/07 season. However, everyone knew that some time would pass before the team became great once again. One of the most unforgettable moments in the club's history is the two-leg clash with Austria Vienna. Lech, after an exhilarating second leg, advanced to the UEFA Cup group phase (2008/09). It was Murawski's last-minute shot that allowed the team from Poznan to stay in the game. The group phase was a success too. Lech was better than its two group rivals, Nancy and Feyenoord Rotterdam and therefore advanced further, where Udinese was already waiting. However, the Italians turned out to be better. Even though Lech did not win the championship in 2008/09, the club won the Polish Cup for the first time since 2004. Lech beat Ruch Chorzów in the final (1:0) thanks to goal from Peszko. Two months later another trophy was added to the closet. This time Lech won the Super Cup final where the team from Poznań faced Wisła Cracow (penalty shootout). The first months of the 2009/10 season weren't too hopeful. Under the lead of the new coach, Jacek Zieliński, the team was eliminated by Club Brugge from Europa League and failed to reach the Polish Cup final after Stal Stalowa Wola, a lower-ranked team, beat Lech. However, the second round in the league was a great one and Lech managed to surpass all its rivals, winning the first championship since 1993. Moreover, Robert Lewandowski, Lech's forward, became the best goal-scorer of the season.
Successes came, expectations followed. In 2010/11 Lech was meant to qualify to Champions League group stage. However, Sparta Prague stopped Lech from reaching its aim. The team from Poznan beat Dnipro and advanced to Europa League group phase where Manchester City, Juventus and FC Salzburg were waiting. Lech surprised the whole continent and ended the group phase second, just behind Manchester City. However, due to poor results in the league, Zieliński was replaced by former Barcelona player, Jose Mari Bakero. The great adventure on the European arena ended with a loss to Sporting Braga. The 5th rank in the league did not meet the expectations. In addition, Lech lost in the Polish Cup final to Legia Warsaw. 2011/12 season began really well. Bakero's team came close to the top spot, but gradually the form degraded and a terrible series of lack of goals began. Nevertheless, it wasn't until February 2012 that Bakero was fired. Mariusz Rumak, the assistant coach, replaced the Spaniard. There were little expectations, but the coach led the team to a series of great matches and only in the last round did Lech lose its chance to win the championship. The fourth rank gave Lech a chance to qualify to the European competition. Artiom Rudnev scored 22 goals that season and joined HSV Hamburg in the summer. The next season began with Europa League qualifications in July. Lech beat the team from Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, but was stopped by the Swedish AIK Solna. A few days later Lech was eliminated from the Polish Cup by Olimpia Grudziądz. Thus before the season really began, the team from Poznań was fighting on one front only. Nevertheless, Lech completed the highest number of points in away matches, setting a historical record. Poor performances at home meant that the championship slipped through the fingers. The season 2012/13 is considered a historical one since it was the first time ever that Lech was a runner-up in the fight for the national championship. The next season Lech was placed second too. This time it wasn't perceived as a success, but rather as a failure, since Lech not only lost to team from Vilnius in III Europa League qualification round, but was also eliminated from the Polish Cup by Miedź Legnica. Next season Lech was humiliated on the international arena by Stjarnan F.C. – a loss that ended Rumak's career as a coach of Lech Poznań and for the next three months Krzysztof Chrobak led the team On September 1st, 2014 Maciej Skorża was named as the new coach. Despite initial difficulties, the season was a successful one, both on the national and international arena. For the first time in a few years Lech qualified to the final of the Polish Cup. However, what counts the most is the win in the fight for the championship and the opportunity to compete for the Champions League group stage.
2015 - today
Lech lost in the II qualification round and it was FC Basel that took a step closer to the Champions League. Nevertheless, the fans from Poznań could watch their team compete in Europa League group phase. The competition was a glimpse of hope, since at the time Lech was placed last in the league. The club decided to fire Maciej Skorża and replace him with Jan Urban. The new coach brought the team back to life. Lech even managed to beat Fiorentina 2:1 and leave the relegation zone. Nevertheless, spring was less successful and Lech ended the season on the 7th rank. The only achievement of the season was the Polish Cup final, in which Lech eventually was beaten by Legia Warsaw. The 2016/17 season began with an impressive 4:1 win with Legia Warsaw in the Super Cup final.
1922-1934 Grzybowa Street
The football pitch was built on a land leased by Wicherkiewicz family. Today the street is named Grzybowa. Rye used to grow on the leased land which made it hard to prepare the soil for the construction. However, the commitment and determination eventually led to a success. The ground was sprinkled with sand and gravel and two hand-made goals were put on each end. The goals were often hidden at night in Kazimierz Krych's shed in order to avoid theft. The dressing room was a small place located close to Stanisław Grzesiak's and Jerzy Tritt's restaurant. In 1927 the pitch was surrounded by a fence and since then the fans had to pay a small amount to watch a game from the stands. The first recorded match in the history of the club was a clash with Sparta Poznań, on September 17th, 1922. The game ended with a draw, 1:1. Sport Association Dębiec League used the field until the club was taken over by KPW Poznań. The last match played at the football pitch at Grzybowa Street was a clash with Polonia Leszno. The game took place on September 2nd, 1934. Józef Gośliński scored the last goal at Grzybowa Street. The club was forced to change its home base since the 12 year-old lease was about to expire. Wicherkiewicz family wasn't fond of football and therefore as soon as the club moved, the family started using the land for agriculture again.
Lech hosted III Railway Men Olympic Games, and therefore hoped for a donation to support the construction of a new stadium. However, it soon became clear that KPW Poznań board wasn't able to invest more than 20,000 zł – much less than expected and too little to complete the construction of a stadium in Dębiec region. Nevertheless, the building took off. Warsaw provided money needed to build a single stand (able to fit 1,200 people) only. People collaborated and thanks to immense commitment and determination, the stadium was finished by September 1934. The stadium was equipped in full-dimension field, four-track treadmill and a few ground-based stands able to fit more than 10,000 people. Later on an additional wood stand with a roof was constructed. The first match to be played at the new stadium began at noon, on September 23rd, 1934. In the A-class clash KPW Poznań won with the reserve team of Warta Poznań 4:0. Edmund Białas was the one to score the first goal in the history of the stadium. In autumn 1949 a clock controlled by an electrical board was installed on the grounds. 6 years later at the same stadium a historical match took place. The club faced Lokomotiw Sofia and the pitch was floodlit by artificial light for the first and last time ever. 24 giant reflectors hung on pine poles provided light for the fans. Nevertheless, when the sun set, the lighting was poor and therefore the construction was soon demolished. The West Stand contained a wooden box (meant to imitate modern press stands) that could fit 3 journalists. In 1951 the box burned down and the only seat at the whole stadium was destroyed by the fire too. Soon enough the stadium became too archaic to meet the growing club's needs. The stands were too small, the dressing rooms and sanitary devices of poor quality and changes were required. A decision to renovate the stadium was taken. In a record short time the renovations were completed and the stadium became much more functional. The treadmill vanished and the stands were widened, which expanded the capacity to 22,000 people. A tunnel leading to the pitch was built, a few cashes were attached at the front of the already-existing construction, basketball pitch was designed and new training pitches with separate dressing rooms were constructed. In May 1960 the highest attendance was recorded. About 25,000 people came to watch the clash with Śląsk Wrocław. Shortly afterwards a clubhouse was built where a medical clinic was situated. When Lech got promoted to Ekstraklasa in 1972 the stadium once again became too small for the needs of an ambitious club. Romuald Chojniacki was Lech's last player to score on the pitch located in Dębiec region. The last match played at the stadium took place in November 1996. Due to the riots at Bułgarska Street during the match with Legia Warsaw, the Polish Football Association banned Lech from performing in front of the audience. Therefore, the footballers played the last match – against Stomil Olsztyn – without the fans' support and lost 0:1 after a goal from Paweł Gadziała.
1956-1980 July 22nd
In 1929 the Common National Exhibition was supposed to take place in Poznań,but the city needed a well-suited location for the opening ceremony. After a profound analysis, the city government commissioned a construction of a city stadium near Łęgi Dębińskie. The contractors had 9 months to complete the project, which turned out to be to short of a period to construct a solid and modern stadium. On May 16th 1929 the official inauguration took place and 120 thousand people gathered at the new stadium. Before the ceremony began, crack and ruptures at the newly built but overweighed stand were noticed. However, it was too late to evacuate people. A tragedy was avoided, but the stadium was closed down for the next 10 years. In 1938 a renovation began. The old stands were meant to be demolished and new, more solid ones built instead. World War II put the reconstruction to a halt and the Nazis converted the stadium in a Jewish labor camp. The first selections and executions took place at the former sport construction. A statue built near the North Stand in 1983 stands as a memorial for the Jews executed at the stadium. The opening of a new stadium took place in July 1954 and back then the sport structure was named "July 22nd" (the date of a Polish communist holiday in memory of PKWN Manifest from 1944). The next and last renovation began in 1974. A drive-in entry to the pitch was built by the East Stand, but it was used only once when a cycling Race of Peace was organized. A reception pavilion was built on the western side of the stadium. On this stadium Lech debuted on the international area against the German MSV Duisburg. The stadium never belonged to Lech, but there was no other team that aroused such an interest of the fans. The highest attendance in a second-league match was recorded at this stadium. 60 thousand people came to watch Lech's clash with Zawisza in 1972. The first game that Lech played on this stadium took place in August 1956 against ŁKS Łódź (Lech won 1:0). The last clash dates back to spring 1980 when Stal Mielce came to Poznań. When Lech came to play at this stadium again in the beginnings of the 90's, Warta has already been the official host.
1980 - today Bułgarska Street (INEA Stadium)
By the end of the 50's the stadium in Dębiec region became too small. The modernization did not change much and although the capacity of the stadium was now bigger, still not enough people could fit. Therefore, chairman Wacław Drab commissioned a search for a new place to a build a bigger stadium. The search was a difficult task, but Drab's deputy Pieńczak succeded. He found out about the land located near the border of the city, covered in forest. The city government gave an approval and the construction began in 1968. Not only was it meant to be stadium, but also training pitches, grass hokey field, sport hall and an indoor swimming pool located near Ptasia Street. Nonetheless, the plans were never fully completed. Initially the construction was meant to last a few years only, but as the works progressed, new problems appeared. The machines used were old-dated, there was not enough soil. Therefore, chairman Pieńczak ordered the ground to be transported from Rataje and Piątkowo regions. Leveling the ground was hard enough, but the workers also needed to fill in the holes created by the bombs and get rid of the surrounding wetlands. The construction was put to a halt a few time, sometimes for 6 years! In order to finally finish the stadium, the construction was named as a part of the Poznań-Berlin railway project which quickened the works and provided necessary materials. In 1980 the stadium was ready. On August 23rd the first match took place and Lech drew with Motor Lublin 1:1. 6 years later the first spotlight were installed at the stadium ahead of the match between Poland and Greece (October 1986). The jupiter light provided a lighting of a power of 1890 lux, thus the biggest in the country. As the years passed, small renovations were made until finally the stadium was reconstructed in the beginning of the 21st century. In 2002 the IV stand was built and it turned the horse-shoe shaped stand into a full rectangle. The stand was ready in 2004 and it turned out to be the first stand with a roof in the whole country. The rest of the stadium was gradually renovated and the works quickened when Poland and Ukraine were announced as the hosts of Euro 2012. The stadium was reopened on September 20th, 2010 when Sting came to perform in Poznań. The first match took place 10 days later and Lech won with FC Salzburg 2:0. On June 13th, 2013 INEA, the biggest telecom operator in Greater Poland became the titular sponsor of the stadium, and thus the name of the construction changed to INEA Stadium. The deal was signed for the next 5 years. The package of sponsorship rights includes the stadium's identification, marketing benefits and implementation of additional projects.
Fans from Poznań
Lech Poznań is the most popular club in Poland. On normal match day he has around 20,000 fans on stadium. When is a special match stadium is full.
Lech Poznań - FC Salzburg - 41 290
(30-09-2010 UEFA Europa League)
Lech Poznań - Manchester City - 42 000
(04-11-2010 UEFA Europa League)
Lech Poznań - Juventus - 39 500
(01-12-2010 UEFA Europa League)
On polish ekstraklasa the bigger frequency is when comes matchday with:
To the Poznań Celebration or Grecque is a form of sporting celebration, which is associated with the supporters of Polish football club Lech Poznań and other European teams. The first use of this celebration is thought to have been in protest to how the football club was being run, the fans wanted to still support their team but show their disapproval whilst at matches therefore would turn their back on the team. The celebration involves supporters standing with their backs to the pitch, linking shoulders side-by-side and jumping on the spot in unison. It is mostly associated with Lech Poznań in Poland, Manchester City supporters in England, the Western Sydney Wanderers in Australia.
The Poznań Celebration involves the fans turning their backs to the pitch, joining arms and jumping up and down in unison. It originated in 1961. In Poland, and among many fans across Europe, it is not called "the Poznan" but is known as a "Grecque", and it is performed by fans of many teams.
Despite initially failing to impress Manchester City fans when it was done during the teams' meeting in the UEFA Europa League on 21 October 2010, it was subsequently adopted by City supporters during a game early the following month The activity was coined 'The Poznan' by Manchester City fans, in homage to the club that inspired them to celebrate in this way. Apart from odd occasions, it died out as a regular celebration within a couple of seasons.
The Poznań was briefly adopted by other English football supporters, notably those of Leicester City after their clash with Manchester City in the third round of the FA Cupin January 2011, and is referred to by English football fans, and by the British media, as "doing the Poznań".
It has also been used to mock Manchester City fans, such as when newly promoted Cardiff City beat them 3-2 in August 2013. More examples include when Arsenal supporters did the Poznań celebration after Mikel Arteta scored the winning goal for Arsenal in April 2012 and when Arsenal beat Manchester City in the Premier League.[ Manchester City's local rivals Manchester United supporters did it during a Manchester derby game during the 2011–12 FA Cup as well as Bayern Munich fans during a Champions League group match against them in October 2013. Arsenal supportersalso did the Poznan in January 2015, when Arsenal beat Manchester City by 0-2, as did Crystal Palace fans at the 2016 F.A. Cup Final against Manchester United.
Initially the supporters group of Australian club Western Sydney Wanderers, The Red and Black Bloc, performed it in the 80th minute of matches to represent the first football match played in Western Sydney in 1880. Subsequently this has grown into an all stadium celebration. In return their local rival, Sydney FC and their hard-core supporters "The Cove" have performed it in retribution when they are in a winning position as the 90th minute nears during their local derby.
- Official website (Polish) (English)
- Lech Poznan team profile at NaszaLiga.pl (Polish)
- Team profile on Polish Football Clubs Database (Polish)
- Website with photos from club matches
- Ultras videoblog
Arka Gdynia · Bruk-Bet Termalica Nieciecza · Cracovia · Górnik Łęczna · Jagiellonia Białystok · Korona Kielce · Lech Poznań · Lechia Gdańsk · Legia Warsaw · Piast Gliwice · Pogoń Szczecin · Ruch Chorzów · Śląsk Wrocław · Wisła Kraków · Wisła Płock · Zagłębie Lubin