Śląsk Wrocław’s shock rise to the top of the Ekstraklasa sparked a huge rise in attendance on Saturday, when almost 17,000 saw WKS defeat Cracovia 2-1.
Wrocław’s football team have been in the doldrums for around 4 seasons; they finished in the bottom half of the league every year between 2015 and 2019. During that time the quality of the football was absolutely dire and attendances in some matches dropped to as low as 3,000.
Given the club’s financial problems, there was little reason for optimism ahead of this season. However Czech coach Vítězslav Lavička has seemingly worked miracles in pre-season, bringing about a rapid change in fortunes.
WKS are still unbeaten after 5 games, despite having played some of the league’s biggest and best teams.
Lavička’s side started the season by defeating Wisła Kraków 1-0 away from home. They then beat Ekstraklasa champions Piast Gliwice 2-1 at Stadion Wrocław. The following week Słask refused to buckle away to Legia Warszawa, coming away with a 0-0 draw. Their next fixture saw them take on Lech Poznań away, a match they impressively won 3-1.
This shock run of form didn’t go unnoticed by thousands of WKS’ ‘lapsed fans’, who returned in their droves to Stadion Wrocław on Saturday. They weren’t to be disappointed either, as a thundering 87-minute strike by Mateusz Cholewiak won it for the home side.
Śląsk’s next match is against big-spending Lechia Gdansk on Saturday at 17.30. They next play at home on Sunday September 1st at 15.00, when they take on Pogon Szczecin. A good result against Lechia could easily see crowds break the 20,000 barrier in that next home game.
Although there are many reasons why attendances are poor at WKS matches (please read here), there can be no doubt that results on the pitch are the biggest factor. If Śląsk can remain competitive throughout the season, crowds could remain at decent levels. Hopefully that can make it easier for the city to find a buyer for the club, which is still receiving millions of złoty in public cash.