Ultra Culture: WKS Fanatics Lay Out Ground Rules

Śląsk Wrocław's main ultras group have published a clear list of ground rules for anyone planning to watch matches in their section.

The rules themselves only apply to Sector B of the stadium, but speak volumes about Polish football culture. 

Fans who come to Sector B of Stadion Wroclaw have been told in no uncertain terms that they should never drink heavily before or during the game, take photographs, ask for players' autographs, sit down during the game or wear colours of any other club not associated with their team. Women planning to go to Sector B have also been instructed to tone down on their makeup.

Those that don't like the rules have been advised to watch the game in another stand "for the benefit of their safety".

The rules are presumably an attempt to stop so called 'picnic' fans, who are often accused of killing the atmosphere inside football grounds, appearing in the ultras section of the stadium. 

 

A key point of the manifesto states that the ultras are in full control of the B tribune, and that under no situation whatsoever should anyone consult with the police or the security services working in the stadium.

However, the claim directly contradicts Polish law and the city council have strongly stated that it is the law on the provision of mass events that applies in all areas of the stadium. The football club itself have also responded to the news by saying that "The position of the club in this regard is unequivocal and will never change. At Śląsk Wrocław it is the laws of the Polish state, rules of the Polish Football Association and Stadion Wroclaw that apply."

The comments from the authorities are nonetheless unlikely to mean much within sector B, where the hardcore ultras are bound to make their authority felt. 

Given that the ultras are well known for their spectacular displays, enthusiasm and commitment, the manifesto predictably brands pyrotechnics as safe and demands those in sector B actively take part in the chanting for the entire match. This certainly comes as no surprise. 

Article 4 in the manifesto is however very interesting; it shows the huge difference in culture and attitudes between the Polish ultras and fans in Europe's more established leagues. Titled "Footballers are not celebrities, footballers are workers", point 4 explains that fans should not ask for shirts or autographs of particular players because the fans are permanent and the players only temporary. 

Seeing as most modern footballers appear to be money-grabbers who happily change clubs without a moment's thought, the last article will resonate with many football fans. Even so, the length to which the footballers are looked down upon and ignored will come as a surprise to fans from countries whose supporters regularly make chants for particular players. It seldom happens in Poland and the focus is always on the team and the fans themselves.

Another rule the Śląsk's Ultras have introduced for Sector B is a strict ban on wearing the colour or merchandise of any other club not friends with Śląsk, irrespective of the country. Under the terms of the ban, anyone caught wearing an item of clothing of another club faces having it taken from them by the ultras. 

Another interesting observation in the manifesto is article 6, which regards alcohol. People often stereotype the WKS Ultras as being heavy drinkers, and indeed it is common to see fans necking a few beers or on the tram on the way to the game. However the ultras have stated that "the time for a party is after the match" and have strongly advised those in Sector B to avoid drinking heavily so as to better take part in the chants.

The manifesto contains specific instructions for female fans too, who must not wear too much makeup or dress to impress. Last but note least, there is a strict ban on taking photographs. 

The rules do of course only apply to Sector B of the stadium, which leaves the fans who don't like them the option to sit in Sector C (the main grandstand) or Sector D (the family section at the other side of the pitch from the ultras). 

About Gregor Gowans

Gregor Gowans

The founder and editor of Wroclaw Uncut, Gregor has been running the website since its inception in 2012. A Wroclawian for almost 10 years, Gregor writes on a wide variety of topics including, food & drink, nightlife, local news and politics. He is also a regular guest on Radio Ram’s Sunday lunch programme.

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