Slavia Praha

Full overview of the Red-Whites on the club page Slavia Praha.

Slavia Praha is one of the few Czech clubs familiar to football enthusiasts abroad due to its regular appearances in European competition.

The club has traditionally lived in Sparta’s shadow until concurrent championships in 2008 and 2009. They are big potatoes in the domestic game, having notched more than a dozen Czechoslovak titles pre-dissolution.

Slavia started life in 1892 as the sport branch of a Czech literary and debating society. Traditionally they draw their support from intelligentsia and the middle classes, and view themselves as the more refined choice than the knuckle-draggers of Sparta. As such, incongruously erudite football banners are not uncommon at home games:

 

The Sešívání (Sewn-Togethereds) take their colours and red star from the independent Czech flag of the day, and are by no means associated with the previous Communist regime of yesteryear.

Slavia Praha have had a relatively turbulent recent history having been exiled at the former national stadium in isolated Strahov for eight years. In 2008 the club triumphantly returned to their spiritual home in Prague’s 10th district, celebrating their grandiose 21,000-seater stadium with their first title since 1996.

from slavia.cz

A third Czech title followed in 2009 and a new world order in the Czech game looked to be developing. However, the red-whites stumbled to 7th in 2010, missing out on European football for 2010/11 and the crucial revenue streams it produces. Compounding the problem, former owners ENIC (a British firm) are demanding repayments owed to them, leaving Slavia financially squeezed.

The club continues to struggle on and off the turf, but the severity of Slavia’s atrophy has taken most by surprise and they are fighting to avoid relegation in 2011. Should the unthinkable occur, the Gambrinus Liga will lose one of the largest and well-supported sporting institutions in the Czech Republic, and will become far weaker as a result.

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