Hajduk Split’s European opponents beat them – then get relegated or go bust

An eagle-eyed football fan on Twitter has identified a strange curse involving Croatian side Hajduk Split.

Hajduk will be a familiar name to most supporters having faced English sides 16 times in Europe.

They’ve reached the quarter-final of the Champions League/European Cup on three separate occasions and were knocked out of the UEFA Cup at the semi-final stage by Tottenham in 1984.

Their European pedigree may be solid, but that’s not what brought Hajduk to the attention of a fan on Twitter.

He spotted an incredible trend whereby teams who had beaten the Croatian side in Europe went on to suffer relegation or go bankrupt just a few years later.

The Hajduk curse began in 1982 after Leeds were relegated to the Second Division having beaten the side from Split a decade earlier.

Famous French outfit St Etienne suffered a similar fate two seasons later, while Valencia added their name to the ignominious list in 1986.

Marseille, Dundee United and KSV Waregem were all relegated in the 1990s just a few years after playing Hajduk on the continent.

Torpedo Moscow have been hit harder than most by the Hajduk curse – after beating them in 1996 they were relegated to the Russian Second Division before being demoted a further two divisions for financial irregularities.

Fiorentina, Dunaferr, Shelbourne, Sampdoria, Deportivo La Coruna and AEK make up the remaining six sides to have endured a similar fate after facing the six-time Croatian champions.

Since the list was originally published, Stoke City have also added their name to the ballad of cursed clubs after dropping down to the Championship in 2018.

Everton also beat Hajduk in the Europa League play-off round in 2017, although there’s no sign of the Toffees suffering a similar decline on current form.

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