Lechia Gdańsk

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For the rugby section of the club, see RC Lechia Gdańsk.
Lechia Gdańsk
Logo
Full name Klub Sportowy Lechia Gdańsk Spółka Akcyjna[1]
Nickname(s) Gdańskie Lwy (Gedanian Lions)
Pasiaki (The stripes)
Biało-Zieloni (White-Greens)
Lechiści (Lechistas)
Founded 1945
Ground Stadion Energa Gdańsk
Ground Capacity 43,165
Chairman Adam Mandziara
Manager Piotr Nowak
League Ekstraklasa
2015–16 5th
Website Club home page
Current season

Lechia Gdańsk (Polish pronunciation: [ˈlɛxʲa ˈɡdaɲsk]) is a Polish football club based in Gdańsk. The club's name comes from Lechia, a poetic name for Poland. The club was founded by people expelled from Lwów, who were supporters of the oldest Polish football team Lechia Lwów, founded in 1903.[2] Founded in 1945, Lechia was a powerhouse in Polish football during the mid-1950s. Next decades were lean, the team returned to form in the early 1980s, winning a Cup of Poland, a Super Cup, and playing in the UEFA Cup Winners Cup, where it lost in 1st round to Juventus. In May 2008 the club was promoted again to the Polish top division.

History[edit]

The club was founded in 1945 in Gdańsk named at the time "BOP Baltia Gdańsk". In 1946 the club name was changed to "Lechia". The first historic promotion to the Polish Ekstraklasa occurred in 1948.

  • Debut Match in Ekstraklasa: March 20, 1949, Cracovia – Lechia Gdańsk 5–1
  • 1st Win in Ekstraklasa: March 27, 1949, Lechia Gdańsk – Ruch Chorzów 5–3

After a season in the Polish Ekstraklasa, Lechia was relegated in 1949 to the Second Division. The club again changed its name to "Budowlani", advancing to the Polish Ekstraklasa in 1951 and being relegated again in 1953 for a season. In the 1956 season, Lechia finished 3rd in the Polish Ekstraklasa, which is the greatest achievement in the club's history so far. Lechia was relegated for the third time after the 1962–63 season of the Polish Ekstraklasa, and then was relegatged from the Second Division in the 1966–67 season. They returned to the Second Division in the 1972–73 season, but was short lived as they were relegated after the 1981–82 season.

In spite of that the 1980s have been regarded as the rebirth of the club. Lechia was promoted to the Polish 2nd Division in the 1982–83 season. In 1983 the club achieved his biggest successes so far: first by winning the Polish Cup with a 2–1 victory over Piast Gliwice in the final and later by winning the Polish Supercup. In 1984 Lechia finally managed to get promoted to Ekstraklasa after 21 years of absence. The club played in the top league 4 years but in 1988 suffered a decline in form which resulted in another relegation to second division. Lechia normally relegated from West (Zachodnia) Group of second division bu merged with Olimpia Poznań, was Ekstraklasa club, and became Lechia/Olimpia Gdańsk in 1995 summer. Lechia/Olimpia Gdańsk relegated to second division in 1995–96 season and third division in 1996–97 one. After relegation to second division Olimpia left from the merger in 1996 but Lechia kept Lechia/Olimpia name. After end of 1997–98 season Lechia merged with Polonia Gdańsk, was second division club, and became Lechia/Polonia Gdańsk in 1998 summer. Lechia/Polonia merger was broken up after relegation to third division. Lechia began from Gdansk 4 Group of Klasa A, which was sixth level of Polish league in 2001–02. Lechia promoted to second division in 2005 after successive four promotions as champions: To Group Gdansk 2 of Klasa okręgowa in 2002, Pomerania (Pomorska) Group of fourth league in 2003, Second Group (Grupa II) of Third League in 2004. Lechia finished second division (now First League) as 10th in 2005–06 season and 5th in 2006–07 one.

At the end of the 2007–08 season Lechia managed to get promoted to extraklasa again as champions.

On 28 January 2009 the members of OSP Lechia Gdańsk signed a document that formed the new Lechia Gdańsk S.A.

Road to the Ekstraklasa

Historic Club Names[edit]

  • 1945: Baltia Gdańsk
  • 1946: Klub Sportowy Lechia Gdańsk
  • 1950: Budowlani Gdańsk
  • 1955: Budowlany Klub Sportowy Lechia Gdańsk
  • 1992: FC Lechia (S.A.)
  • 1995: Lechia/Olimpia Gdańsk
  • 1996: Klub Sportowy Lechia Gdańsk
  • 1998: Lechia/Polonia Gdańsk
  • 2001: Ośrodek Szkolenia Piłkarskiego Lechia Gdańsk
  • 2009: Lechia Gdańsk (S.A.)

The Fans[edit]

Lechia's fans

In the 1980s many of the club's fans were active in the Solidarity movement which was fighting the communist regime in Poland. It is therefore not unusual to see anticommunist slogans or phrases like "we make history" on the stands.

They have a friendship with Śląsk Wrocław and formally Wisła Kraków fans (Three Kings of Great Cities, Polish: Trzej Królowie Wielkich Miast). Their biggest rival is Arka Gdynia, and the games between the two are known as the "Tricity Derby" (Derby Trójmiasta) as are games with the other local rival Bałtyk Gdynia.

Stadium[edit]

Stadion Energa Gdańsk is the home stadium of Lechia Gdańsk. The Stadion Energa Gdańsk (Polish pronunciation: [ˌpɛɡʲɛˈʔɛ aˈrɛna ˈɡdaɲsk]), previously called the Baltic Arena and PGE Arena Gdańsk, is a football stadium in Gdańsk, Poland. It is used mostly for football matches and is the home stadium of Lechia Gdańsk. The Stadium is located on ul. Pokoleń Lechii Gdańsk ("Generations of Lechia Gdańsk street") in the northern part of the city (Letnica district). The capacity of the stands is 43,615 spectators, all seated and roofed. Stadion Energa Gdańsk is the largest arena in Ekstraklasa and the third largest in the country (after National Stadium and Silesia Stadium).

Construction of the stadium started in 2008 and was completed mid-2011.[2] The opening match was between Lechia Gdańsk and Cracovia and ended with 1–1 draw. The first international match, Poland – Germany, took place on 6 September 2011 and ended 2–2. The match was relocated from Warsaw because the National Stadium was not ready. Stadion Energa Gdańsk is used by Lechia Gdańsk since 'the White-and-Green' relocated there from MOSiR Stadium.

The stadium was also one of the designated venues for the finals of Euro 2012. It hosted four matches during the tournament. Three matches in Group C and one quarter-final were played here. In 2010 the official name of the stadium changed to PGE Arena Gdańsk, on the basis of a sponsorship agreement with Polska Grupa Energetyczna (PGE Group). The contract with PGE ended, however, on 30 September 2015, after PGE chose not to renew the contract.[3] On 9 November 2015 Energa was revealed as the new stadium's sponsor until 2020.


Full interior of the Stadion Energa Gdańsk
Ekstraklasa match between Lechia Gdańsk – Cracovia (Aug 14, 2011) ended in (1–1) draw. 

Achievements[edit]

Lechia in Europe[edit]

Season Competition Round Club Score
1983–84 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1R Italy Juventus 0–7, 2–3

Ownership[edit]

In 2014 it became known that 72% of the club shares are controlled by an investment company named Wroclawskie Centrum finansowo (WCF). This company again is owned by Swiss investor W+C Vermögensverwaltungs AG in which Philipp Wernze, the son of German business man Franz-Josef Wernze, is involved. Franz-Josef Wernze is officially only a consultant to Lechia.[4] In summer 2014 this German control over Lechia became more and more obivious, when several players from Germany joined the club. Under Wernze's wings are also the German clubs Viktoria Köln and Lok Leipzig.[5]

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

As of 30 August 2016[6]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
2 Poland DF Rafał Janicki
3 Poland DF Jakub Wawrzyniak
4 Serbia MF Aleksandar Kovačević
5 Canada DF Steven Vitória
6 Bulgaria MF Simeon Slavchev (on loan from Sporting CP)
7 Serbia MF Miloš Krasić
10 Poland MF Sebastian Mila (Captain)
11 Poland FW Grzegorz Kuświk
13 Poland MF Bartłomiej Pawłowski
14 Poland MF Piotr Wiśniewski
17 Slovakia MF Lukáš Haraslín
18 Poland FW Adam Buksa
19 Portugal FW Marco Paixão
20 Poland MF Michał Chrapek
No. Position Player
21 Poland MF Sławomir Peszko
22 Croatia DF Mario Maloča
23 Poland DF Grzegorz Wojtkowiak
24 Poland GK Mateusz Bąk
26 Poland MF Tomasz Makowski
27 Poland MF Rafał Wolski
28 Portugal MF Flávio Paixão
32 Serbia GK Vanja Milinković-Savić
34 Poland DF Miłosz Kałahur
35 Brazil DF Gerson
36 Poland MF Martin Kobylański
38 Bulgaria MF Milen Gamakov
41 Poland DF Paweł Stolarski
77 Poland GK Damian Podleśny
Portugal DF João Nunes

Out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
4 Poland DF Damian Garbacik (at GKS Katowice)
9 Poland MF Michał Mak (at Arminia Bielefeld)
27 Poland FW Przemysław Macierzyński (at Benfica Juniors)
28 Poland FW Hieronim Gierszewski (at Chojniczanka Chojnice)
33 Poland MF Juliusz Letniowski (at Bytovia Bytow)
No. Position Player
1 Poland GK Łukasz Budziłek (at Chojniczanka Chojnice)
8 Poland MF Daniel Łukasik (at SV Sandhausen)
15 Poland MF Adam Dźwigała (at Górnik Łęczna)
Lithuania MF Donatas Kazlauskas (at FK Atlantas)
Poland MF Maciej Makuszewski (at Lech Poznań)

Notable players[edit]

Had international caps for their respective countries.

Managers[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Spółka Akcyjna = Stock Corporation
  2. ^ http://www.rsssf.com/tableso/oekrfound.html
  3. ^ "Gdańsk: Już bez PGE, wkrótce demontaż logo". stadiony.net. Retrieved 2015-10-01. 
  4. ^ "Wernze-Filius steigt bei Lechia Danzig ein" [Wernze son invests in Lechia Gdańsk] (in German). RevierSport. 19 March 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2014. 
  5. ^ "„Lok gehört in die 3. Liga!"" ["Lok belongs in the 3. Liga!"] (in German). Bild. 16 July 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2014. 
  6. ^ "Pierwsza drużyna" (in Polish). Lechia Gdańsk. Retrieved 14 July 2016. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 54°22′4.59″N 18°37′15.79″E / 54.3679417°N 18.6210528°E / 54.3679417; 18.6210528