Moody French: The up and downs of Sion, Xamax, Servette and Lausanne

Football in the French part of Switzerland is on the rise. Servette FC is back in Super League, and Neuchâtel Xamax managed to pull off a miracle to avoid relegation. The past of the biggest french teams in Switzerland is erratic, and it shows in the crowd sizes.

The animated chart shows the average crowd sizes of FC Sion, Neuchâtel Xamax, Servette and Lausanne Sport since 1979. Each of the four teams was most popular once.

FC Sion is the team that drew the largest crowd in the last couple of years. Under the erratic club owner Christian Constantin, the club was all but consistant, except maybe in the Swiss Cup. It doesn’t seem to bother the fans much, as the “Walliser” still visit the very old stadium Tourbillon frequently.

Perhaps no team than Neuchâtel Xamax knows better how fast it can go downhill in football. The club reached its peak in the late 80s, where they won the title twice 1987 and 1988. Saddest chapter of the clubs history was the takeover from Bulat Tschagajew, a more than shady figure from Chechen who managed to destroy the club almost completely in a couple of months. After an extended healing period in swiss football limbo, Xamax is back, and the crowd is in love with the club again.

Servette has a proud past – they won the championship 17 times. But those successful times lay way in the past, the last title was won in 1999. Since then, the club was more known for delusional plans to get on top again, which ended in at least one bankruptsy. But now it seems the worst times are over, because the club got promoted and is back in the highest Swiss football league.

Lausanne Sport high point in recent history came in the late 90s when they one the Swiss Cup two times. Ever since, the club is struggling to stay relevant. With a new Stadium soon to come and a rich company for support (INEOS), it seems like the future of Lausanne looks bright, even though they failed to promote this season.

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