5 football clubs and their unique traditions
For many, all tradition left in football, and perhaps sport for that matter, evaporated the second money began being poured into the game. The pragmatic black of old boots morphed into stylish pink and green, while kissing the badge after scoring a screamer no longer meant committing yourself to a club, but buying some time with the fans before the next big-money move.A large part of the football community feels that the sport has lost its humble touch but there are, believe it or not, still some sides out there that abide by the principles on which their club was built. Whether it be the smallest, most unnoticeable thing, the flames of tradition are still very much flickering across the continent with some of the biggest teams.Here’s a handful of sides that have opted to stick with some truly unique traditions.
#1 Basque Bilbao
Athletic Bilbao’s inability to sign anyone born outside of Basque country sits at the heart of the club’s legacy. It has drawn both admirers and critics and dictates that the club can only pick from a unique pool of Basque-born players, either through their youth system or from other sides. The policy was set out in 1912 and, although there’s been a heightened sense of leniency in recent years, the raw basics still remain.
Although an atypical tactic in a multicultural football market, the policy certainly hasn’t hindered the club’s progress. While Athletic have still been able to attract top talent, including the likes of Javi Martinez, Fernando Llorente and Ander Herrera, they’ve also maintained a record held by only two other Spanish outfits (you can probably guess the duo); they have never been relegated from the nation’s top division.
So why does this admirable tradition draw so much criticism? Well, it’s been viewed by some as a form of racial discrimination, denying those who were not born in Basque region the opportunity of working for Bilbao. That said, others feel it’s a breath of fresh air and is one of the few transfer structures that benefits home-grown talent.