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  • Seven Of The Weirdest Club Rivalries, From Brighton Palace To LA Galaxy Carolina RailHawks

Seven of the weirdest club rivalries, from Brighton-Palace to LA Galaxy-Carolina RailHawks

Ahead of Brighton's trip to Selhurst Park on Monday evening, we chart the rise of some of soccer’s most obscure hate-filled fixtures.

Love for a soccer club often goes hand in hand with hatred for another.
However, not all rivalry is based on geography or long-standing battles for honours.

Ahead of Brighton's visit to Selhurst Park on Monday evening, Planet Sport takes a look at some of the most peculiar feuds in the game, ranging from the bizarre to the desperate.

Brighton and Hove Albion vs Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace, Brighton and Hove Albion, Derby, on pitch, in action
Broadcasters usually title this derby by the connecting strip of motorway - M23 or A23 - much to the frustration of both sets of supporters.
However, with almost 50 miles between them, it is not the closeness of the two clubs which has fuelled this rivalry but personal beefs arising in the 1970s.

Crowd trouble in 1974 provided the first sparks, with Brighton fresh from promotion and Crystal Palace, managed by the flamboyant Malcolm Allison, despondent after relegation. It was then exacerbated by a rivalry between Brighton manager Alan Mullery and new Palace boss Terry Venables, with the seeds of their dispute sown while both played at Tottenham.

Mullery's appointment at Palace was also pretty unpopular given his past connection to Brighton and it caused a short-lived supporter boycott.

The two clubs went their separate ways in the 1990s and 2000s, but since 2011 the rivalry has been rekindled, with regular Premier League basement battles further adding to the intensity.

Wiener Sportklub vs First Vienna

This is a tale of two fallen giants in one of Austria's most famous soccer cities, living in the shadow of Vienna giants SK Rapid Wien and Austria Wien.
Six-time Austrian champions First Vienna are the oldest club in the country, while Wiener Sportklub have a similarly long history and boast three titles of their own.
However, their geographical proximity and shared history does not set the two clubs apart, it actually brings them together in the 'The Derby of Love'.
Opposition fans joining forces in harmony for the love of the game might not sit well with many and smacks of the much-maligned half and half scarves but for these two love really does conquer all.
At its height after the Second World War, the clubs would attract over 70,000 fans to the derby. And while they have both fallen on hard times - First Vienna are in the third tier and Wiener the fourth - their clashes still attract more than seven times the league average.

Millwall vs Leeds United

Leeds United, Elland Road, Premier League

Regarded among the most hated fans in England because of their association with hooliganism, both Millwall and Leeds crank up the animosity even further when the other is in town.

The two clubs were reviled for their hooligan elements in the 1970s and 1980s but it wasn't until their meeting in 2007/08, which was marred by violent clashes, that the rivalry grew to what it is today.
The animosity continued into the following season with both seeking promotion to the Championship from League One.
Early kick-off times, a high police presence and anti-hooligan operations are now commonplace when the two go head to head.

Celtic vs Hamburg

celtic rangers old firm derby

Celtic supporters' hatred of Rangers is well known.

However, Bhoys fans have taken it a step further. They also hate Rangers' friends.

Rangers' strong ties with Hamburger SV were forged in the 1970s when Scottish workers went to work in the German city and set up a supporters club.

That is enough for Celtic fans to dislike the Bundesliga club, and a defeat to Hamburger in the 2009 Europa League certainly did little to improve relations.

Sheffield United vs West Ham United

Carlos Tevez, Manchester United, West Ham, Old Trafford, Premier League, in action
This one is purely one-sided.

The events that fuelled the fire occurred in the 2006/07 Premier League season - a campaign in which Sheffield United were dramatically relegated back to the Championship after one season.

West Ham were the beneficiaries, but after struggling for much of the season they owed a large debt to summer signing Carlos Tevez for keeping them in the league.

Debt was very much the word following the Argentinian superstar's arrival in east London, as West Ham were found guilty of acting 'improperly' in completing the transfer and fined a record £5.5million.

Sheffield United had been looking for a sizable points deduction after Tevez helped the Hammers to 21 points in the final nine games, scoring on the final day at Old Trafford to secure a 1-0 victory and top-flight survival.

The Blades were later paid £20million compensation by the Hammers in an out-of-court settlement.

However, no amount of money can erase the sense of injustice, something Jon Stead still carries with him to this day.

St Pauli vs Hansa Rostock

St Pauli Hamburg, Bundesliga, rivalry, Germany
Before Hamburger SV fell on hard times, fellow Hamburg-based club St Pauli rarely had cause to do battle with their regional rivals, such was the gulf in class.

Living in Hamburger's shadow, St Pauli were forced to manufacture a rivalry of their own and the 'Fear-derby' with Hansa Rostock was born.

St Pauli and Hansa Rostock have only faced off eight times at the top level of German soccer, but the sides who sit over 250km away from each other represent differing ideologies both on and off the pitch.

Rostock is a Baltic city with links to Neo-Nazism and far-right expression, whereas FC St Pauli takes credit as one of Europe's most politically engaged fanbases and as a representation of left-wing activism.
Politics and soccer rarely make for a good mix and this hate-filled derby is characterised by a large police presence, disorder and damage.

Carolina RailHawks vs LA Galaxy

Landon Donovan, LA Galaxy, MLS Cup, in action

LA Galaxy are known throughout the world having won the MLS Cup five times and boasted a string of star names including David Beckham, Landon Donovan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Acting as a major variant to the MLS season is the domestic cup competition (The US Open Cup) and the second tier RailHawks took great pride in their ability to bloody the noses of their high-profile visitors.

The RailHawks knocked LA Galaxy out of the cup in 2012 and 2013 so when the teams were paired together again in 2014, Donovan meant business. "[W]e're sick of losing to Carolina and we're sick of going out of the Open Cup early," he said.

Bolstered by a side containing Robbie Keane, Juninho, Robbie Rogers, AJ DeLaGarza and Gyasi Zardes, Galaxy did in fact mean business, with Donovan only making the bench.

However, all Donovan's fighting talk in the build-up again came to nought as the RailHawks again prevailed, this time 1-0, leaving Galaxy once again to endure a losing journey back home - all 2,500 miles of it.

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