Lists

8 football club owners who LOVE a good superstition

From throwing salt on the pitch to wearing a lucky yellow jacket, these are the most superstitious names in football boardrooms across the world

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1. Carolyn Radford (Mansfield Town)

The CEO of Mansfield Town spoke to Talksport in April from Portugal where she was holidaying, to say that she wasn’t planning on returning anytime soon.  

This was because the Stags were in the middle of a four-game unbeaten streak while she was away as they chased automatic promotion from League Two.

The run ended with a 3-2 defeat to Oldham and so did the Radfords' holidays, ultimately culminating with an agnosing loss to Newport in the playoffs.

2. Romeo Anconetani (Pisa)

A former infantryman during the Second World War, Anconetani was president of provincial club Pisa from 1978 until their bankruptcy in 1994.

Under Anconetani Pisa reached Serie A in 1982 while boasting Dunga and Diego Simeone, at various stages, among their ranks.

Despite this success, Anconetani still felt compelled to throw salt over the pitch at every home game, convinced it brought good luck.

Before a crucial tie against Cesena in December 1990 he once reportedly dumped 26kg of the stuff on the Garibaldi Arena turf, with his side going on to win 3-2.

3. Costantino Rozzi (Ascoli

The former Ascoli owner actually changed the club’s name to its current name, Ascoli Calcio 1898, in 1971. He signed Oliver Bierhoff and Liam Brady for the small town team during his tenure which began three years earlier.

He was famously known for wearing lucky red socks to both home and away Ascoli games. His influence on the club was so great that the team commemorated the 10 year anniversary of his passing in December 2004 by wearing red socks. This act of remembrance has been repeated every year since.

4. Vincent Tan, Cardiff

When the Malaysian owner of the Bluebirds changed their crest and kit colour from blue to red, he said that he had: “No desire to trample on club history or heritage and would be saddened if supporters thought that this was my intention.” Saddened they were.

Thousands of Cardiff fans protested against the decision and Tan’s ownership. One of the reasons behind the decision to change? Red was Tan’s “lucky colour”.

He climbed down and changed their colour back to blue in January 2015, making you wonder if it was all worth it...

5. Aldo Spinelli, Livorno

Infamous Mangiaallenatori (Manager Eater) Spinelli disposed of many head coaches during his stewardship of A.S. Livorno, yet brought the club up from Serie C1 into the top flight since his takeover in 1999.

Rather strangely, he always wore his lucky yellow coat at games, regardless of the weather, and stopped at the same motorway service station for a pizza on away days.

He also had a habit of intervening in team affairs, shown towards the end of the 2008/09 season where he sacked Leonardo Acori with two games left and began giving the players team talks and taking a seat on the bench.

6. Maxim Demin (Bournemouth)

The Russian petrochemical magnate, who bankrolled the Cherries ascent to the Premier League, rarely attends home games as he thinks he is a jinx.

After a League Cup win over West Brom in 2014, manager Eddie Howe revealed: “I had to text him at a certain time before the game. I won’t tell you what the message was but I have to do certain things to follow his superstitions.

“He rarely watches because he thinks he is bad luck.”

7. Amaia Gorostiza (Eibar)

One of the stars of the La Liga based Amazon documentary Six Dreams, club President Gorostiza oversaw a record 9th placed finish last season and a historic 3-0 victory over Real Madrid last November.

In the doc, she confesses that she has a pair of lucky shoes she has worn to matches since the team’s 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu in 2016.

Speaking to the BBC, she said: "The players asked me for the rest of the season to wear yellow shoes," she says. “I think they are working.

"The players always look at my feet!"

8. Massimo Cellino (Cagliari, Leeds United, Brescia)

cellino

The last, but arguably the most eccentric, owner has to be Cellino. The current Brescia president had infamous spells at Cagliari and Leeds United, without a dull moment at either club.

When Max Allegri lost his first five games at Cagliari in 2009, Cellino thought it could be down to the colour of his suit and suggested he wear a different one.

During another bad run, he demanded Rossoblu supporters turn up to games wearing an “unlucky” colour purple, hoping one negative would cancel out the other.

Cellino had seat number 17 of the Sant’Elia Stadium in Cagliari turned into 16B due to his deeply held fear of the number, and players were banned from using it on their shirts.

Moreover, in 2014 he instructed Leeds head coach Dave Hockaday not to select Paddy Kenny due to the keepers birthday being on the 17th May.

Never change Massimo.

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