Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Open letter from fans to the team management

Enough is enough. Partizan fans are fed up with the team management (not for the first time, and most probably not for the last time either). They published an open letter at partizan.net website, addressed to the management of the football section of Partizan. I do not translate the entire letter here (I'm too lazy - sorry -, and I still lack the proper knowledge of Serbian language for this task), but I write here the highlights. You can click here and read the entire letter in Serbian.

Fans say, in the past 5 years they witnessed the slow decay of Partizan (morally and financially). They are convinced, those people in responsible positions did not do even a stroke of work for the team. Partizan was dropped out of Champions League, but that's the least of problems. They write "such things happened and will happen, it's the part of sports". Their problem is that those people who could do something, just stay silent and watch things passing by, even those who do have the chance to raise their voices and protect the team to fall into ruins.

It's no secret Partizan's financial situation can be described with the words "catastrophic", "terrible" and "depressing". How on Earth is this possible, when the team received millions of Euros in the past years from selling players? Youngsters were sold out, but the income has disappeared. Employees of the club, players, trainers haven't received salary for months, the team owes millions of dinars to the Serbian state by not paying tax in time. Where did those Euro millions disappear?
Other than that, the stadium has been the team's possession since 1989. Nobody should come up with the excuse that it's impossible to place advertising spaces around the field, and that's the reason of not having enough advertisement incomes. This reasoning would make even chickens laugh.

Partizan president Dragan Đurić was arrested twice in the past months. Even though they say, his arrest has nothing to do with his presidental position, but has nobody really give any thought of how embarrassing it is for the club? Why has the management never had any assembly for this reason? We also cannot skip the fact that the team started to decay during Đurić's presidency. A lot of players, trainers and sports managers left the team because of him and his "friends". Do the management really think it's normal?

The marketing and PR-section also couldn't avoid the fans' (absolutely understandable) rage. Marketing director Snežana Filipović and PR-boss Biljana Obradović also got it all in the neck. Still nobody knows how they got to Partizan. Fans are so fed up with them that they ask the question: did the management hire Biljana Obradović to discredit Partizan? What was their intention with it all? Quoting them "these two persons discredits Partizan with their arrogant, ignorant and haughty behaviour". They are busy mostly with promoting themselves (did I understand well that they successfully abolished the so-called "mixed zone" that is prescribed by UEFA?), the marketing section can't even complete the most simple ticket selling. Fans say, they use so-called "Tesla applications", sometimes they don't even know the name of players, at press conferences they constantly interrupt those who are speaking. Does it all really not bother anybody?...

At long last someone rose their voice against these two. I got it that they are great for decorational purposes, but these positions both require devoted and hard work as well.

There is no transparency as well. Nobody knows the exact amount of money the club received for players, financial transactions are never published. It divides fans, the management's attitude is arrogant and the club has no main sponsor either.
The 2013/14 season had its serious marks on the team. It seems as if no one represents Partizan in the football association. What should happen for someone - anyone - to raise their voice and protect the team from moral and financial decay?

The fans make it clear, they respect those members of the management whose work the team's existence depends on. Yet they can't respect those members, so called "legends" and celebrities who stay around the club hoping to "get on the gravy train" instead of working. They ask a row of questions.

- Why is the management needed at all, when they function only as a "voting machine"?
- Why is there no tangible step for protecting the team from becoming unviable?
- If the management (allegedly) love Partizan so much - at least as much as they pretend it - then why are they just watching the team rotting without doing anything?
- If the situation is this very bad, then why don't they resign, either individually or corporally? Why are they still there at all?

Finally, the fans say, if they get no answers for these questions, they'll take the management as being the same guilty and responsible as president Đurić. They also make it clear, there's nobody, person or organization behind them, and their only motivation for this letter was their love for Partizan.


As an addition for this letter above, today was the day when it was enough for the players as well. Serbian sports website mozzartsport.com says, players and coaches haven't received a single dinar for 4 months now, so Saša Ilić went to meet the management and talk to them about the finances.
Then, as he walked out of the building, he just had a short sentence for the journalists waiting there, "There's no money."
Well, yes. There's no money and only the Divine Force up there knows when they'll get any next time. Daily newspaper "Sport" reported, the management couldn't even make just a slight promise about the earliest date when the players and coaching staff can hope for salary. The last money transaction on the team's account was allegedly around Easter. Since then nothing. Not just for the players but for the club employees either.

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