Political Allegiance in Football

Discussion in 'Soccer History' started by man_in_the_middle, Feb 16, 2009.

  1. man_in_the_middle

    May 2, 2008
    I'm curious about some of the original political alligiances in football. I was hoping some of you could help me out. Give me a little history lesson about some of the clubs out there.
  2. aguimarães

    aguimarães Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    LD Alajuelense
    A few countries with political, class, or ethnic rivalries...


    Glasgow Rangers - Unionist (pro UK) & Protestant
    Celtic FC - Catholic & ties with the Republic of Ireland


    Beitar Jerusalem FC - Likud (right-wing)
    Maccabi Haifa FC - mainly Israeli Arabs
    Bnei Sakhnin - almost exclusively Israeli Arabs
    Hapoel Tel Aviv FC - (historically) left-wing


    Boca Juniors - working-class
    River Plate - affluent
    Rosario Central - left-wing (Che Guevara was a fan)


    Roma - right-wing (though in the past were supported by left-wing groups)
    Lazio - far-right
    Livorno - left-wing


    Olympique de Marseille - left-wing
    Paris Saint Germain - both far-right white supremacist groups and African immigrants


    Athletico Bilbao - basques
    RCD Espanyol - (traditionally) Spanish speakers
    Barcelona - (traditionally) Catalans


    AEK Athens - left-wing
    Panathinaikos - (traditionally) affluent
    Olympiakos Piraeus - working-class


    Palestino - supported by Palestinian immigrants/Chileans of Palestinian decent. Have sent several players to the Palestine national team.
    Universidad Catolica - affluent
    Universidad de Chile - left-wing
    Colo Colo - right-wing


    Walter Ferretti - founded and supported by the far-left Sandinista party
    Real Esteli - affluent


    Orgryte IS - affluent
    AIK Stockholm - affluent
    Hammarby - working-class
    IFK Goteborg - working-class


    CD Chivas - working-class/nationalists
    Club America - affluent


    Deportivo Cali - affluent
    America de Cali - working-class


    Dinamo Bucharest - (traditionally) supported by the police
    Steaua Bucharest - (traditionally) supported by the military


    Galatasaray - (traditionally) affluent
    Besiktas - (traditionally) working-class


    Ferencvaros - affluent
    Ujpest - middle/working-class


    FC Bayern Munchen - affluent
    TSV 1860 Munchen - working-class


    FC Zurich - working-class
    Grasshoppers - affluent


    Sturm Graz - working-class
    Rapid Wien - working class
    Austria Wien - affluent
    Grazer AK - affluent
  3. Excape Goat

    Excape Goat Member+

    Mar 18, 1999
    Real Madrid
    Vasco da Gama(founded by Portuguese immigrants, and it is still the team traditionally supported by the Portuguese community.
  4. Excape Goat

    Excape Goat Member+

    Mar 18, 1999
    Real Madrid
    St. Pauli: Located in Hamburg's SLD, it is the Kult club. I think leftist or bohemian too

    Alianza Lima: working class
    Universitario: affluent

    Seville: white collar
    Real Betis: blue collar
    Atlético de Madrid: working class(southern part of Madrid)

    Olympique de Marseille: the South. i think leftist too.

    East Bengal: people living in Kolkata from East Bengal(Bangladesh).

    CSKA Moscow: the Army team
    Spartak Moscow: the KGB team back in the Soviets' days.
  5. man_in_the_middle

    May 2, 2008
    Ajax - Affluent
    Feyenoord - Working Class

    Real Madrid - Right Wing

    Fiorentina - Right Wing?
    Bologna - Right Wing

    St. Etienne - Working Class
    Lyon - Affluent

    Red Star Belgrade - Totalitarian

    AC Milan?

    Good stuff so far guys.
  6. aguimarães

    aguimarães Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    LD Alajuelense
    Real Madrid's fan base is so enormous I'm not sure it can even be classified with one particular group. The same reason I didn't bother listing any EPL teams.
  7. cccssss

    cccssss New Member

    Jun 10, 2008
    FK Crvena Zvezda Beograd
    Nat'l Team:
    Lol :D
  8. Seaside Mafia

    Seaside Mafia New Member

    May 29, 2005
    I don't think that I could really identify any English football club with any political or religious affiliation these days. In the 70s the National Front and British Movement tried to recruit fans on the terraces but I could never really point to particular clubs which had political or religious leanings embedded within the club culture.

    Some clubs were believed to have sympathies with Celtic e.g. Man U and Liverpool, primarily because of the Irish immigrant communities in each city, but this is much less evident today.

    Ultimately the only club that I can point to as having any sort of leaning at all is Manchester City, but that's primarily because their fans tend to have enormous chips on their shoulders.
  9. Excape Goat

    Excape Goat Member+

    Mar 18, 1999
    Real Madrid
    Many people associated Real Madrid with Franco, but things have changed. In fact, many clubs ain't what it used to be. Inter Milan who was founded as the international alternative to AC Milan, is no more international than AC Milan. As compared to Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid is more liked the club for the affluent, but it is more liked Atletcio Madrid is club for the working class and Real Madrid became the club for affluent by deflaunt.
  10. nutbar

    nutbar New Member

    Apr 22, 2001
    It was kind of wierd that Paul Breitner, who was an alleged Marxist, played for Real Madrid.
  11. mattteo

    mattteo Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Nat'l Team:
    Milan - working class
    Inter - rich people

    Roma - working class
    Lazio - rich people

    Genoa - city center
    Sampdoria - suburb of Sampierdarena

    Torino - people with Turinese blood
    Juventus - immigrants from Southern Italy
  12. nutbar

    nutbar New Member

    Apr 22, 2001
    Dynamo Moscow was the KGB team. According to wiki, Spartak was the collective farms team - their nickname was myaso - "meat".

    I think the name 'Dynamo' is synonymous with state security in Eastern Europe. I know Dynamo Berlin was the Stasi team of East Germany.
  13. Excape Goat

    Excape Goat Member+

    Mar 18, 1999
    Real Madrid

    He was at least an opened leftist. And when he went to Spain, Franco was still around.

    Sorry, I made a typo. It was Dynamo that was the KGB team and all Dynamo teams are basically the state security team.
  14. CACuzcatlan

    CACuzcatlan Member

    Jun 11, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    If you look at their rosters, Inter has a lot more international players than Milan, which has quite a few Italian players. Right now, their traditions still hold.

    I believe Atalanta is left-wing. I also read an article recently (before the last Rome derby) saying that police were there to keep the Roma left wing ultras away from the Lazio right wing ultras. I've also seen a few other sources say Roma is left wing.
  15. JumpinJackFlash

    JumpinJackFlash New Member

    Mar 15, 2007
    Soviet Britannia
    Juventus FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Juve are right, thank god.
  16. JumpinJackFlash

    JumpinJackFlash New Member

    Mar 15, 2007
    Soviet Britannia
    Juventus FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Most of NF and BM, "dubious links to Combat 18" clubs seem to be from cities with many non-whites. Leeds United, Chelsea, Glasgow Rangers.
  17. Dr. Know

    Dr. Know Member+

    Dec 5, 2005
    Yeah but Madrid's ultras who are always there at the stadium and have been publicly supported by former presidents of the club, the Ultras Sur, are far right wing.
  18. Cool Rob

    Cool Rob Member

    Sep 26, 2002
    Chicago USA
    Flamengo Rio Janeiro
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Juve's position as the most popular team in Italy derives from the fact that the Agnelli Family who own Juve also own the Fiat car company. As Italy industrialized after WWII, there was a huge migration from Sicily and Southern Italy into the North to take auto manufacturing jobs. So what team were they drawn to? Juve, of course.

    This migration also explains the very strange and unique situation of Juve having a better following on the road throughout Italy than at home in Turin in the empty-@ss Stadio Delle'Alpi.

    Here's a great article on the history of Juve:

    "Alongside its rival Milan, the city (Turin) is the manufacturing powerhouse of northern Italy. Juventus are much more than the team of this elegant but gritty metropolis: they are a national and international institution and, oddly to an outsider, the team of il Mezzogiorno, of the south. The 1950s saw a mass migration from Sicily and the poor south of the country by those seeking work on the production lines at Fiat. For those migrants, the club became a point of belonging in a world far from home. (It is often said in Turin that a vero torinese - an indigenous citizen - supports not Juventus but Torino, the city's other team, who exist, bitterly and defiantly, in Juve's shadow, rather like Manchester City.) Accordingly, across Sicily and the south, every small town and thousands of villages founded a 'Juventus Club', where fans still gather every evening to chat and play cards as well as to watch on match days in front of the television. So Juventus became the emblem of both a hard-working industrial establishment and of those who crave a sense of belonging."
  19. Ian Curtis

    Ian Curtis New Member

    Jun 23, 2010
    Detroit, MI
    FC Internazionale Milano
    Nat'l Team:
    Ireland Republic
    Sorry for raising this zombie thread from the grave, but I just wanted to post to say that as I don't have a team in my city, I found that basing my club choices on my politics was a really good way to do it. Club allegiances for most people are largely arbitrary anyway, and this way at least gave me a reason to root for my adopted teams. It made me feel sort of connected to the club even though I'm a newcomer.

    Anyway, thats my two cents. politics and football can probably be mixed to yield both very good and very bad results, but its worked for me.
  20. aguimarães

    aguimarães Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    LD Alajuelense
    God forbid Republicans and Democrats start supporting MLS clubs en masse. Though it might be funny to watch Limbaugh and and Al Franken on opposite ends of the stadium hurling bottles at the players.
  21. poorvi

    poorvi Member+

    Feb 5, 2006
    Nat'l Team:
    This isn't the case. What you are saying is probably true about Mohammedan Sporting.

    East Bengal and Mohun Bagan are India's ( Asia's probably) biggest and oldest rivalry. The story goes like this:

    During the era of British rule, only two clubs with Indian players were allowed to participate in the British Indian league. One of them was Mohun Bagan. The founders of Bagan, were members of the Indian National Congress ( the party that played a big role in India's independence struggle and has provided India with her first Prime Minister: Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, and many subsequent prime ministers, including the current one). The INC in those days applied the tactics of economic boycott of all things British as a tool towards independence. They had shunned away violence as a means. Many in the Bagan (and INC) hierarchy were not a 100% pleased with that approach. They wanted something more direct. Bagan's second/reserve team were on a winning spree and they topped the second division. However, since there were already two Indian clubs in the first division, they weren't allowed to participate in the first division. That irked the team members and their coaches no end. They formed a break away club called East Bengal. Why the particular name, I do not know. Furthermore, many of the sympathizers of the club were those who supported armed struggle against the British. Back in the day, the EB fans called the Bagan followers as collaborators :p though both the groups were nationalists in their own way. Due to their methods, EB drew most of its cadre from the city lower middle classes and the educated but unemployed. Bagan on the other hand drew its supporters form the employed and educated, the upper land owning castes and the labour class.

    Ofcourse, these societal and castiest divisions have all but ended now, but the rivalry is still fierce. Kolkata comes to a stand still and there is an average crowd of 140,000 people for these encounters.
    Tyr repped this.
  22. man_in_the_middle

    May 2, 2008
    I wish something like that would happen, anything to bring a little more juice to the league. In all honesty a sporting spectacle is sometimes not enough. There needs to be a little drama involved. And one of the things that makes the MLS a boring league is their is no drama.
  23. orson

    orson New Member

    Dec 19, 2006
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I love this topic. In reality you dont have a choice even if your team has a certain political fallowing your love for your team outweighs political fallowing because you will fallow regardless. Politics and futbol dont mix. For example you may be born to love Real Madrid and politically a Comunist your love for R. Madrid will by far outweigh your political beliefs.
  24. taswegian

    taswegian New Member

    Oct 9, 2015
    Hamburger SV
    Nimes Olympique - France's Protestant football club.
    Montpellier HSC - major rival of Nimes Olympique. Catholic (has its roots in a Jesuit team).
    Le Red Star - Parisian communist side, drawing support from working class suburbs.
    FC Lens - working class and a little insular.
    Lille - major rivals to Lens. Middle class and cosmopolitan.
    Stade Rennais - the earliest club, FC Rennais, was founded by anarchist-syndicalist students.

    Hamburg HSV - middle class, support from mainstream area of Hamburg. Have relationship with Protestant Glasgow Rangers.
    Saint Pauli - bohemian. Lots of support from Hamburg's redlight district. Archrivals of Hamburg HSV. Have relationship with Catholic Scottish Celtic.
  25. taswegian

    taswegian New Member

    Oct 9, 2015
    Hamburger SV
    Should add that Saint Pauli's unique culture was creaated when the team was adopted by anarchist squatters living in the red light district in the 1980s.

    "St. Pauli had traditionally lived in the shadow of the city's big club Hamburg SV. But during the 1980s, local squatters, anarchists, prostitutes, students and punks started filling the creaking terraces of the Millerntor Stadium, giving it a very different character."

    Today, "the team represents the dockers, prostitutes, anarchists, transvestites and ordinary volk who live and work in the city’s blue-collar St Pauli enclave. Friendly matches are sometimes played in Communist-controlled Cuba and at heavy- metal festivals. Jack Daniel’s once sponsored them."

    By contrast, their rivals the mainstream Hamburg HSV team "ius notable in football as a grassroots organisation with youth development a strong theme."

    This statement by Hamburg HSV supporters gives insight into the club's culture:

    "(1) We want success, but not at any price: Sport must be more important than profit. We earn money in order to play football, we don't play football in order to earn money! Tickets must be affordable for everybody.

    (2) We want to be in control of our own destiny: 100% member-owned. No billionaires. No companies. No separation of the professional football team from the rest of the club.

    (3) We want and support a strong membership: Members' rights must always be guaranteed. Democratic structures. Active members.

    (4) We are proud to be a multi-sport club, not just a football club.

    (5) We stand behind tradition, fan culture and fan activities.(6)

    This philosophy, combined with Hamburg's status as a members' association (e.V.), has ensured that the supporters are fully integrated in both the formal governance structure and the more informal procedures that are used to run the club on a day-to-day basis."

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