FC Sion, or to give them their full name Sion Merde Allez, are a football club in Sion, Valais. It is in a giant valley. Whenever JCBT have been there we have never seen a single person, even on the 2.5km police frogmarch between the train station and the stadium. It is a very odd place. Sepp Blatter comes from Valais. Enough said? No?
Ok – Chris de Burgh is a Sion fan. Exactly.
They play at Stade Tourbillon which, as we said, is about 2.5km from the train station. The locals aren’t very friendly and don’t much like us. SION MERDE ALLEZ! Their squad is a very international bunch. One FCL player was about to sign for them but at the last minute was advised against it as they are run by “the mafia.”
What is Sion?
Sion is a very strange place. Nice castle but it is in a valley and so very dark. All a bit Royston Vasey. The population is around 30,000 and aside from Blatter, Gelson Fernandes (now at Leicester City) is the town’s most famous son.
Are they any good?
No. As the song goes “SION MERDE ALLEZ”! Actually this is a bit of a lie. They have won the Super League on two occasions but on neither occasion did they come top. They won it firstly in 1991-92 and then again in 1996-97. On both occasions they came 3rd in the regular season but won the league under the old play off system. Ridiculous way to decide a Championship. JCBT is rather glad they phased that out.
Sion Merde Allez were kicked out of the Europa League by UEFA in season 2011/12 after defeating Celtic 3-1 on aggregate in the qualifying round. Celtic then took their place. This was due to them fielding players who were signed while Sion were under a transfer embargo. Currently at the time of writing there is a whole load of legal shenanigans going on where the Swiss civil courts are involved. Reports in the newspapers say that Sion's president has confirmed hotel and flights for the first Europa League game in Madrid, even though it will be Athletico Madrid playing Celtic.
Watch this space for an update when the courts / UEFA finally come to a conclusion
Where do they play?
At the Stade Tourbillon. It is an average stadium in the middle of nowhere. This is the one game that JCBT looks forward to all season. The moment the fixture list is announced it is the one we pop in the diary straight away. It is the game we beg our wives/girlfriends and children to allow us to attend because we know it involves a long day of drinking beer, watching football and having some jolly good fun. On our first trip we had it all – and more.
What’s it like to visit?
It is 5 hours each way on a train. It is an all day affair. Best not to promise the wife you’ll be home sober. Or make any plans for a few days after. This trip will break even the best.