An interesting football story from Slovakia

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An interesting football story from Slovakia

Post by Roy D Hacksaw on Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:07 pm

In early December Mrs Hacksaw and I happened to be in Slovakia, and went to a local top flight match between local underachievers Tatran Presov and the recent boom club Spartak Myjava.

A lower league club for most of their existance, Myjava did one of those sudden zooms up the leagues that you get now and again when somebody puts a few bob into a previously low lying club. But on their way up, rather than putting noses out of joint for the nature of their rising, they attracted the love of most of the rest of Slovakian football for their nice football and honest attitude. Crowds across the Slovakian game were down after accusations of corruption, and so everyone enjoyed the success for this team of minnow who insisted on doing things the right way. They were effectively, out of nowhere, everybody's second club.

They'd just had their most successful season ever, reaching the Europa League for the first time ever. And sitting sixth in the league. And indeed, when we saw them they looked like a pretty decent outfit - despite playing in front of a crowd that would have looked a bit low at Twerton.

So I thought I'd keep an eye on them, but forgot to check up on them until last week, and was then puzzled that I couldn't see them in the league table.

That was because, just two weeks after we'd seem them, they retired from the Slovakian Fortuna Liga with immediate effect. I'd assumed that they'd gone bust after raising through the ranks too quickly. But no, they did it because they didn't think the top flight of their national game didn't suit their club ethos and ethics, and have instead chosen to convert their b-side - currently playing in the fourth division - to be their principal outlet, saying that it is more in keeping with their philosophy.

When asked why they did it, the club's president said: "This decision has grown in our country for a long time since we entered the first league. And the whole direction of Slovak and professional football, its support from the state, from the football club, from the media is very weak, and the viewing environment is almost unimportant, and we have gradually decided that we do not want to do that. We want to go back where we belong to what Myjava really has."

To do that halfway through the season is a pretty incredible thing. They stressed that it was nothing to do with the money, and did everything that they could to get their players contracts with other clubs before the transfer deadline, paying them and training them until they found other arrangements.

I'm not entirely sure whether that was and incredibly brave and principaled move, or a foolhardy bottle job from a club president who'd had his nose put out by the management of the league. But personally I think I'm favouring the former. It's a situation akin to Bournemouth suddenly going:"Nah that's alright Premier League, I think our place really was in League Two after all. See ya!" - but just before Christmas.

It's quite a tale, and I feel almost honoured to have seen one of their last top flight matches.

Oh, and incidentally - they play in black and white stripes.

Roy D Hacksaw

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Re: An interesting football story from Slovakia

Post by comrade powell on Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:30 am

A fascinating tale - thanks for posting it!
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comrade powell

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