Matches Stadiums West Poland

Warta Poznan v LKS Lodz

Date: 30 September 2017 / League: Polish third tier

Final Score: 0-0 / Attendance: 1,000 (official number released)

In A Nutshell

A minnow and a giant grind out a draw in a top of the table clash marked by its festive atmosphere…

Getting there

It would have been easy to take a taxi (five mins from the centre), but with the weather casting a warming glow over Poznan I walked instead – a thirty minute effort from the square that takes you more or less a straight south and down pedestrianized Polwiejska street.


Warta formerly played at a massive bowl of a stadium next door, a derelict venue that can still be explored by all who can find a way through the fence that rings it (I did, and for more on that click HERE).

Closed in the late 90s, Warta then moved to their training ground, a place charmingly known as the Ogrodek (Little Garden). It’s here that this game was played out with Warta’s fans occupying a neat low-lying side tribune and LKS inside a temporary cage at one end of the pitch. Myself, I found myself watching from a long-abandoned stand running the other side of the pitch amid weeds and seats long since set a tilt towards the ground.

Current Status

Somewhat miraculously, given their resources, Warta didn’t just win promotion this season, but also promotion to the top flight the following year. Falling below the required league standards, the Ogrodek is currently undergoing renovation whilst Warta play in Grodzisk Wielkopolski (click HERE).


Warta were once a sizeable club and their history is pockmarked with successes: two league titles (1929 and 1947) and seven runners-up spots principally claimed in the inter-war years. Their star faded with communism and they found themselves replaced in relevance by Lech Poznan. Saved from financial catastrophe in 2011 by former Playboy model Izabella Łukomska-Pyżalska, the ailing club was stabilized and by the time I visited rising through the leagues.

LKS Lodz were also in recovery. Regarded as one of Poland’s bigger sides (and champions as recently as 1998) they too were in the process of climbing the leagues having been declared bankrupt in 2012 and cast into the nether reaches of Polish football. This match was set to be a cracker.

Matchday Experience

With my emails for media access repeatedly ignored, and the match sold out due to the level of interest, I turned up to the ground with the vague idea of blagging my way in. No chance I  figured, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.

As it happened, I was not the only one. Hundreds of ticketless LKS fans had also showed, and I joined them in milling around the entrance while they hurled profanities at the stewards. Sensing the apathy of the beleaguered security guards, the gates were smashed down on the stroke of kick-off and I joined the LKS mob in steaming right through and storming the Bastille.

Despite this minor kerfuffle, this was a match played and watched in good spirits. So small are Warta, they have no hooligan following and only a small band of friendly ultras whose loyalty is respected by the followers of most clubs. Despite determined flag-waving from their hardcore, they were never going to compete in the noise stakes with LKS, who themselves had their numbers boosted by several of their friends from Lech Poznan. Rackety throughout, a peak was reached with a pyro show in the dying stages of the match. All in all, a good, solid day.  

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