An article on Yahoo this morning lists the clubs supported by some of history's dictators, madmen and badmen. Some are well known but several were a surprise!
Adolf Hitler: Schalke
A few years ago, British newspaper The Times ran a story that Hitler was a fan of Schalke. This is possible, however I don't think so: Given that Dresden SC were so succesful during the war (they never lost a game in the 1942/43 season) I think Hitler's affections lay elsewhere.
Idi Amin: Hayes and Yeading FC
Hayes play in the English semi-professional Conference league. Apparently the Ugandan dictator started following the club Hayes while serving in the British army. This has a ring of truth about it - he was after all completely insane.
Colonel Gaddafi: Liverpool
This theory is based on the fact that after the revolution a Liverpool mug was found amongt Gaddafi's possessions. Hmmm ... not sure what the guys from CSI would make of this evidence.
Radovan Karadzic: Inter Milan
Sorry Inter fans, it's very possible that one of your supporters is a war criminal. This rumour does have some basis in fact - Inter had Serbs players e.g. Sinisa Mihajlovic and Dejan Stankovic, plus there is a legend reported in Italian newspapers which quotes Karabzic's nephew that Karadzic went to watch Inter games while still on the run.
Osama Bin Laden: Arsenal
A rumour circulated that Arsenal were supported by the Al Qaeda boss because he watched the club several times in London as a teenager. Arsenal fans even sang about it:
He's hiding in Kabul
He loves the Arsenal."
Urban legend probably.
General Franco: Real Madrid
The Spanish fascist leader originally followed Real's rivals Atletico Madrid, but jumped ship during Real's incredible European Cup achievements in the latter half of the 1950s. Documented fact I think.
Benito Mussolini: Bologna
There is little doubt that Bologna were supported the club from 1909 (when they were formed). Bologna did well under Il Duce's patronage winning the Italian title in 1925, 1929, 1936, 1937, 1939 and 1941. Again, I think this is true.
Josef Stalin: Dynamo Moscow
Dynamow Moscow was created by Stalin's KGB chief Lavrenty Beria, earning the club the nickname 'KGB United'. Stalin was apparently keen on football, so I think this one is true.
Nicolae Ceausescu: Steaua Bucharest
Ceausescu took a close interest in Steaua. Prior to the 1989 revolution the club was originally the official army team. Ceausescu organised the transfer of several influential players, including Gheorghe Hagi and Gheorghe Popescu, without the agreement of the players themselves or their clubs! True.
What do you think? And do you have any other examples?