Football bastions are decaying, they are ruins. Some of them are homeless – Fortuna league – Football – Sport

The representative of another regional city, Nitra, currently found himself in a critical situation. The team from Zobor played in the top competition last spring, but now they are struggling in the fourth league.

And the death knell is ringing for FK Senica, which fell to the fourth league in the summer after a financial collapse, but did not even enter it in the end.

Jozef Barmoš knows a similar situation very well. He experienced a sudden fall with Inter Bratislava. The club was made famous by many legends of Czechoslovak and Slovak football, in 2000 and 2001 it won the title and the Slovak Cup, but six years later it dropped out of the top competition and did not appear in it again.

In the spring of 2009, it won the second league competition, but the representative of the owners, Ľubomír Chrenko, announced that sponsors would no longer support the club.

Photo: TASR, Martin Baumann

Jozef Barmos President of Inter Bratislava Jozef Barmoš in August 2010, when the club was experiencing existential problems. The legend of the yellow and blacks contributed significantly to the fact that Inter did not disappear.

He sold the first league license to Senica, which at that time was the leader of the fourth league and overnight became a newcomer in the top competition. In Inter, it meant the end of men’s football.

“It was a strange game. The new owners were at the same time the gravediggers of the club,” he did not come to terms with the liquidation of the Barmoš club even after several years.

Interists became homeless

The legendary defender, bronze medalist from the European Championship 1980, lived his best years in the Pasture. When the team in yellow and black colors was celebrating its last successes on the Slovak scene, he worked in the club as general manager. Senice, who took over from Inter, does not see the current situation optimistically.

“I’m sorry for the situation Seničani found themselves in. I don’t wish anything like that on anyone, I’ve experienced it myself. I am worried that football in Senica will not get back on its feet just like that. It’s a problem because municipalities, cities, sports don’t help much.

I don’t understand this societal lack of interest in sports. I wonder why they invested in a stadium in the city when football life ends there? I hope that at least the youth will stay in the club.”

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Barmoš stood at the head of Inter in a critical period and had a significant part in the fact that football life did not completely disappear in it. He mainly continued to work with young talented football players.

In Inter, they also put together a senior team, which gradually climbed from the fifth league to the second, but never returned to the top Slovak league, to which it belonged for decades.

“For that, it was necessary to get more funding. We missed them even for the second league. Without the support of a strong sponsor, we had no chance. This is also the current problem of Senica,” explains the president of Inter and former Czechoslovak representative.

Inter moved to Stupava, where they built their headquarters. He currently works in the third league. His priority remained the youth. The club takes care of 350 children.

“We devote ourselves to them all week, which I consider to be socially useful work, but we feel almost no support from the city and others who should also care about it.

We lack playgrounds for youth. We lost everything, including the stadium in Pasienky, we did not receive any compensation for it, at least replacement areas, although also on the outskirts of Bratislava.”

Inter has so far failed to find a permanent home in the city it has represented for decades, and Barmoš sees this as the biggest problem.

“We became homeless. Inter did not catch on in Stupava, which is why we will be playing home games in Dunajská Lužná in the near future. We are scattered in many places and pay unchristian money for rent,” he sighed.

Debts grew to 750,000

Although the Senick club has a renovated stand where the first league was played continuously for thirteen seasons, it lost its senior team in a few weeks.

In the first seasons after entering the first league competition, he acted as a stable link in Slovak football. As a rookie, he took sixth place in the twelve-member peloton, even ahead of teams like Trnava and Dunajská Streda.

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Senica then represented in the European League three years in a row, finishing second in the league twice. Twice she made it to the finals of the Slovak Cup and lost on penalties.

Long-term financial problems culminated this year, when the club was unable to fulfill contractual obligations to players and other workers. In the spring, he finished the league with only teenagers, and although he took 10th place and managed to save himself, he was reassigned three competitions lower because of non-fulfillment of license obligations.

The legal representative of the Union of Football Professionals Peter Lukášek represents the former players of Senik. “Currently, the club owes 750,000 euros to all creditors, players, coaches, and workers,” he claims.

This amount is currently uncollectible. “Senica club acts as a box entity, it is something that exists only on paper, it does not own a stadium, no assets, assets that could be monetized.

There is no way to force him to settle the liabilities. The club has a transfer ban from FIFA,” Lukášek explains the complicated situation.

This case may not be the last in Slovak football. The lawyer sees a threat because there is no guarantee that something similar will not happen again.

“We know that we need to increase the bank guarantee, which would cover at least half of the club’s budget for player wages. The Football Association and the Union of League Clubs, which governs the top competition, claim that the amount of 30,000 that the clubs deposit before the season in the association’s account is enough.

However, in the case of Senica, it was used up by one player who had a valid decision, and there was nothing left for the others. There are no mechanisms and there is no interest in adopting tougher measures. Clubs – with few exceptions – don’t own anything, they don’t have property.”

In the summer, Serede footballers also left the first league scene due to non-fulfillment of licensing conditions, they fell to the third league from a height – from sixth place in the first league table. They performed among the best for four years, but their stadium did not meet the conditions and they could not play matches there.

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They roamed all over western Slovakia, they were at home in Nitra, Zlaté Moravce, Trnava, Myjava and also in Bratislava’s Pasienky. After four years, they returned to Serede, where they can host third-league opponents, which they consider one of the positive moments in the club.

Only Marcelová is behind Nitra

They do not have to solve similar problems in Nitra. Until recently, the first league club, albeit up to its ears in debt, still has a place to play. It is at home at the stadium under Zobor, which has undergone renovation, received a modern design and meets the requirements for national team matches as well.

However, instead of Slovan or Trnava, the Nitra hosts the surrounding villages, which play with them in the fourth league. After eight rounds, they are threatened with another sporting disgrace. They have only gained one point so far and belong to the penultimate place. Behind the representative of the regional city is only Marcelová…

The club, which for years was among the best in nurturing talents, also lost strong selections under the age of 17 and 19. The football players have scattered to the surrounding clubs, there are no longer any players in the men’s team who were in it last spring.

At the beginning of the season, the people of Nitra did not travel to Lednické Rovní for a match, there were not enough footballers to play in the championship match. They discredited it in favor of the opponent, and in the event that a similar situation were to repeat itself, Nitra is at risk of being excluded from the competition.

“There are still a lot of unresolved issues in the club, which have been piling up for years, debts have grown, owners have changed. Even people who had no idea about football got to the top. What is happening is the result of all this.

They should help the local Nitra people, who like to be proud of having Nitra hearts, but it doesn’t show too much. Nitra football is paying for broken relationships,” says former outstanding football player Augustín Antalík.

A native of nearby Veľký Ripnian, he spent his best years in Baník Ostrava, with whom he won two federal titles, at the end of his career he worked in Nitra. In recent seasons, he has helped the club as a coach and is currently the head of the men’s team.

According to him, the traditional Nitrian football club is becoming a paternalistic city. “I know a similar situation from Ostrava. Baník ran into big problems there too, but overcame the crisis. But only thanks to the city where he found support. Even in Nitra, it is the only way.

The city owns the stadium and FC Nitra is a brand. That should be a priority. If the city does not lend a helping hand, the club will not get out of it. Even hockey, which is better now, had problems some time ago. The city also helped him to get back on his feet.”

On the way, just before the start of the competition, the team was hastily assembled in the club, the young coach Jozef Kozák sat on the bench, and he also brought a few players. “We are slowly putting the team together, I believe that the situation will improve and we will finish the competition. The players are amateurs, they get some change.

So far, the quality is lacking, but the team needs time now, it has to play. This is not a matter of one or two weeks. And in the winter, the squad must be strengthened. But as long as we play, we live,” says Antalík, who celebrated his 69th birthday last month.

Big cities remain without a league

The club owes its former players 420,000 euros. This is also why Nitra had suspended transfers, could not add new players to the squad. There has been at least a small shift in this direction. This is also confirmed by legal expert Peter Lukášek.

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“In July, there was a shareholder change in the club, at least it appears that way from the outside. We have agreed with the club’s new shareholders that they will settle this debt. They needed this deal to unblock the FIFA transfer ban and at least play in the fourth division.

Nitra recognized the debts and undertook to pay them in seven installments until July 2023. In addition, the players agreed across the board that if not a single installment is late, they will waive thirty percent of the obligations. The first installment has been paid, we’ll see what happens next,” adds Lukášek.

The recent experiences of troubled clubs have again sparked a discussion about the transparency of ownership relationships. The directive on ownership structures of football clubs should see the light of day. It should also bring the obligation of greater control over who can become their owner.

“In my opinion, it’s late, but SFZ is at least dealing with this issue at last. It should be clear and publicly known who owns the club. And it should also be clear how and when the club can be acquired.

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It is bad if it is regularly repeated that a new owner comes in the middle of the competition and does not fulfill his obligations from the beginning. Such a change should not have a negative impact on the already underway season. The situation cannot continue where the governing body of the competition has no say in this process,” adds Lukášek.

The union of league clubs would like to have representatives of big cities in the elite competition, where there is a football tradition and a higher audience potential. For now, however, the top competition has to do without traditional clubs from Košice, Prešov and Nitra.

Banská Bystrica returned to it only this summer, the capital is represented only by Slovan, although until recently it had three first league teams. The return of once strong teams to the elite competition remains in most cases out of sight.

Source: Pravda – Šport – Futbal – Hokej by

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