Founded in 1983 as an athletics club, Wiener Sport-Club is one of the biggest football clubs in Austria if you take tradition, sporting success, and its fan scene as measuring sticks.
The club, which launched its football division in 1907, has won three Austrian league titles, one Austrian cup, and was the team that gave Juventus their biggest European Cup loss when they beat them 7-0 in Vienna in 1958.
Since facing financial difficulties at the start of the millennium, the club has struggled to regain its former sporting glory and has been playing in the lower leagues ever since. But that has not deterred WSC fans from coming to watch their team.
Despite currently playing in the Regionalliga Ost, the third tier of Austrian football, the club boasts one of the highest average attendances among professional football clubs. You will regularly find up to 2,000 fans watching “Sport-Club” at the Wiener Sport-Club Platz in Dornbach – even against small clubs.
The “Friedhofstribüne” And Political Activism
Non-violent, inclusive, and passionate are the three words that best describe the supporters of Wiener Sport-Club. Anyone is welcome on the terrace, which is called Friedhofstribüne (named after the cemetery behind the stand).
The main supporter’s initiative is the FreundInnen der Friedhofstribüne, which also runs the pub ‘The Flag’ beneath the terrace.
The Flag is like a second home for many Sport-Club fans and even hosts concerts on non-match days.
The crowd on the Friedhofstribüne is composed of anarchists, punks, liberals, and really anyone who wants to watch football with a good atmosphere regardless of nationality, race or gender. In fact, you will not experience racism, sexism or violence on the stands as the club’s supporters actively oppose and campaign against this type of behaviour.
The “Derby of Love” Against First Vienna Football Club
Sport-Club’s main rival is the First Vienna FC, Austria’s oldest football club.
Vienna FC also finds itself in the lower division of Austrian football after experiencing similar financial issues as Wiener Sport-Club. Interestingly, that is not the only thing the two “small” clubs in Austria’s capital have in common.
Both Sport-Club and Vienna have somewhat of an English feel to them with both supporters regularly singing chants in English as opposed to in German. Additionally, both supporters’ scenes can be categorized as antifascist, predominantly left-wing and non-violent.
As a result of the similarities between the two rivaling supporter camps, there is no violence during the “small Vienna derby,” which has been dubbed as “The Derby of Love” by the media.
While not all fans appreciate this name – as they consider their derby a real derby where three points are on the line – this Vienna derby has more of a family atmosphere as opposed to most derbies across the globe.
There is a lot to love about Wiener Sport-Club. From the English feel of its stadium to its open and inclusive fanbase, a Sport-Club game is definitely worth a visit.
If you ever make it to Vienna, pop down to the Wiener Sport-Club Platz on a Friday evening, enjoy a few pints at The Flag, and watch football on a welcoming terrace.