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The African Super Club Without Fans

Pyramids FC

Africa is home to some of football’s most bizarre stories. In 2019, the Champions League final was awarded due to a club that withdrew from the competition. In 2001, Real Madrid’s Galacticos went to Cairo to get beaten by Egyptian side Al Ahly. This, however, is a story about one of Africa’s strangest organizations. A revenge story in African Football and the birth of a super club without fans. More of an American-style franchise than a traditional football club, Pyramids FC are one of Africa’s wealthiest clubs. They are also one of its least supported clubs. A story of revenge, moving across the country and paying fans to wear the club’s kit. This is the story, of Pyramids Football Club.

Pyramids FC: The Club Without Fans

The Beginning

The story of Pyramids FC actually starts with another Egyptian club: Al Ahly. They are the biggest and most powerful club in Africa and, along with Zamalek, they form Egypt and Africa’s two biggest clubs. With more Champions League and Egyptian league titles than any other side, they are a behemoth of the game. With the popularity and power of Ahly undeniable, the club was going through some financial troubles towards the end of the 2010s, thus deciding to turn to a Saudi businessman named Turki Al Al-Sheikh.


Al-Sheikh is a powerful man in middle eastern sports, and in 2017, he was made honorary president of Ahly. Al-Sheikh backed Ahly financially, allowing them to sign many big names.

Al-Sheikh’s backing would be for more than just players, with a new stadium also announced.

However, the Saudi businessman was not just helping out Ahly for nothing. At the same time, Egyptian and Ahly players began to sign for Saudi clubs, and in 2018 after Argentine manager Ramon Diaz decided against Ahly for Saudi club Ittihad, Al-Sheikh gave a statement that angered Ahly fans.

“Diaz was very close to signing for Ahly, but Saudi clubs get the priority.”

No doubt this did not go down well with Ahly fans. Their club is the most successful club in Africa, and having their club used to benefit Saudi clubs was not something they were going to take lying down.

The fans began to voice their opinions of Al-Sheikh, which were not very flattering. Ahly fans began to insult and mock the Saudi businessman, leading to him ending his relationship with Ahly.

He left the club, suing them and demanding that they return the money he had given to the club. His tenure, which lasted less than a year, would have lasting implications on African football.

When the Rich Hit Back

So, what would a billionaire with endless money do to get revenge on Ahly fans? Well, in Egypt there are clubs that are “non-fan” clubs. These clubs are either corporate, military or private clubs like National Bank of Egypt FC. These clubs exist almost exclusively to sell other products. Think of New York Red Bulls or RB Leipzig. These clubs make up almost half of the Egyptian Premier League.

They don’t have supporters and they rarely win titles. They do, however, have a lot of money, and often sign better players than the fan clubs, who are still owned by members. This system has seen only two fan-owned clubs rise and compete for the Egyptian title: Zamalek and Ahly. The rest are left behind the corporate clubs.

So what does this have to do with Al-Sheikh? Well, he bought one of these clubs; Al-Assiouty Sport. Al-Assiouty was founded in 2008 and played their games in Assiut, Egypt. Al-Sheikh bought the club in 2018 and moved them to Cairo. From there, he began to brand his new club.

While Al-Assiouty played in red and gold, his new club, Pyramids FC, would play in an Argentine-style blue and white kit. Their new crest showed off the Sphinx and, unlike most clubs in Egypt, they were given an English name rather than an Arabic one.


Al-Sheikh then went on a record-breaking summer, shattering all Egyptian and African transfer records. Spending $63 million on new players, Pyramids FC grabbed worldwide headlines. No African club had ever had a summer quite like this one.

The Almost-Club

Pyramids FC became immediate contenders in Egypt and Africa, but while they finished a respectable third in the Egyptian Premier League, good enough for a Confederations Cup (Africa’s answer to the Europa League) berth, it was their off-field tactics that caught fans attention. Pyramids FC, a new club with no fans, decided to begin their journey to attracting a crowd in two ways.

The first was to pay people to wear Pyramids kits at games and in the streets, with fan songs released online on the club’s YouTube channel. This led to the club being mocked and ridiculed by Egyptian fans as the songs and fake fans came off as lacking authenticity.

However, the second thing the club and Al-Sheikh was mocked for going hard after Ahly fans. Pyramids released an ad in 2018 mocking Ahly fans for their attacks on Al-Sheikh, showing three Ahly fans all wearing the club’s famous red making fun of the Pyramids owner, when a much larger and more intimidating and impressive looking man barges in, wearing a Pyramids kit. The three Ahly fans cower and tear off the red to reveal that they are now loyal to Pyramids. This was one of several ads with the same cast of actors.

With all that happening, Pyramids were going hard after Africa’s biggest club. But while their advertisements and songs game was on point, they could not keep up with Ahly on the pitch. Finishing in third, Al-Sheikh decided that he had enough of Egyptian football, and sold Pyramids to Emirati businessman Salem El-Shamsi.

Having qualified for the Confederations Cup, Pyramids went on to play, and lose, in the final. They would finish third in the Egyptian league for the second year running.

The third year in the Pyramids story kicked off with a new crest: the new owner had decided that the club would try to become more of a traditional club rather than a revenge ploy. Pyramids’ new crest removed the Sphinx, replacing him with the Pyramids of Giza. The club also changed their colours from Argentine white and blue to a dark blue.


With the change of owners and crest, it seems that Pyramids FC has left the Ahly rivalry behind for the moment, focusing their efforts on the 2021 Confederations Cup title. Having finished as runners-up, they are among the heavy favourites to lift the title this year. And if they do, they can celebrate the title with all their wealth, because despite this new club being a new force in Africa, the club remains almost entirely fan-less.

A revenge story in African Football and the birth of a super club without fans. Bizarre and unreal, but Africa could soon see Pyramids FC lifting silverware.


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