One Twentieth

Although Vasas were hoping to be in their newly rebuilt Illovszky Rudolf Stadium this season, the news came out last month that they’d be remaining in Újpest for a while yet. Wandering over to the site it’s not difficult to see why. The place is nowhere near done yet.

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Still, I wasn’t there just to take photos of a construction site, but to visit this place…

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…the little building on the far left, behind the slag heaps – to get this…

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Although it does feel a little odd having a season ticket that’s not got the Boro badge on it, I’m slightly mollified by the fact that it cost £25, yes TWENTY fucking FIVE quid. For 19 games. That’s one twentieth of the price of a Boro season ticket. Yes, the gulf in class is huge (even when Boro put out their best XI), but the idea that people following two unfancied clubs in similar circumstances (both with a historical connection to a working class industry like iron) can pay such disparate prices seems more than a little off. We often look at the German Bundesliga model as the ideal, but the setup here at Vasas – with a collective of well-supported men’s and women’s teams in a variety of different sports – is pretty damn special as well.

Anyway, this low price led to a little confusion at the ticket booth.

Firstly because of the language barrier. I’d practised my (Googled) Hungarian on the way (Szeretnék egy bérletet) but my pronunciation is still somewhere between Joey Barton at Marseille and Steve McManaman at Madrid. Secondly, I half-assumed they were just trying to rip me off on a ticket for the next game. £25 can’t buy you a ticket to most Premier League games in England, so surely it’s closer to the price of a one-off game than a whole season right? And finally, neither of the women in the office could comprehend that someone who wasn’t a lifelong Vasas fan would want to go to watch them on a weekly basis.

Once we got over the confusion and they realised that I did actually want to go and watch 19 Vasas games this season, I received a look akin to those given to people who spill food on themselves, or street magicians. Nevertheless, the card printer eventually whirred into life, and lo! – Vasas have their (presumably) only English season ticket holder.

First game is on Sunday against newly-promoted Monori SE, who romped the NBIII Eastern Regional League last year. They’re an unknown quantity, in the same way every team in the Hungarian Second Division is an unknown quantity to pretty much everyone on the planet.

Hajrá Vasas!

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