Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Živković-saga

Disclaimer: This blogpost does not want to dispense justice, nor does it want to tell anyone where to get off. It’s not this blog’s job but of the legal services. I just try to summarize all those that happened so far - of course I'll include my own point of view as well, but that's strictly my very own, personal opinion, not some sort of "ex cathedra" manifestation. Anyone can add their opinion, in a cultured, educated manner.

As I wrote in an earlier blogpost, we could all have a sense at the end of the autumn season that Andrija Živković would not stay at Partizan. News spoke about a number of big, European clubs that would have gladly signed the young world champion, but none of them succeeded. Then came the news about a contract with the former manager, Pini Zahavi. The contract included a clause, namely if Živković is not sold until his contract with Partizan expires, then the club must pay almost two million euros of retention money to the Israeli manager.

An average fan would feel dizzy even at this point. What’s this?... What do you mean that the club must pay retention money, if they can’t sell the kid until the expiration of the contract?... Whose idea was this, and most of all, who agreed with it and who signed it?... For whom did it serve good and why? What did those lawyers say who examined the contract before signing it? Has any lawyer examined it at all, or they just signed it and done?...

At this point Partizan’s sports director, Ivica Iliev entered the picture and started his long media-tour. He told to Kurir if they can’t sell Živković, or Živković doesn’t extend his contract with the club, then Partizan may go bankrupt because of that retention money they have to pay to Zahavi (at this point the amount of money was already 2,5 million euros).

"If [Živković] doesn’t extend his contract [with Partizan], then Partizan must pay punishment fee. It means that we can put a padlock on the club. More than 200 families can find themselves in the street, and Andrija will be remembered as the player who made the club going bankrupt"cites Mozzartsport.

Maybe it’s just me, but Iliev seemed to start a kind of manipulative game even at this point. Nevertheless a day later Andrija Živković’s father, Jovica released an open letter. Apart from the heavy, overheated style of the letter

honestly, which parent would not be angry in such a situation, when it’s about their child?...

Živković sr. writes about background details that are at least thought-provoking. He even attached documents to his letter. In short: the father says, Partizan’s then-general secretary Darko Grubor claimed that Andrija Živković is their possession - most probably technically. It means, whatever happens to Živković (transfer, etc.), it is all Partizan’s tether, aka nobody, not even parents can have any word in it. The father goes further: it was the club (and its then-management) that pressured his son into this Pini Zahavi-contract. According to him, nobody was informed about this contract, neither the parents, nor the player and his agent. The father claims, the contract is hidden at a non-public place.

Obviously it’s somewhere at the club, but they will surely never put it public.

Furthermore, Jovica Živković denies those charges that blame him (and his son) with materialism, to be motivated by money only. The father adds, even Real Madrid (!!!) wanted to sign Andrija for 15 million euros (!!!), even though they would have immediately put him on loan. The father claims, other top European clubs had offers for his son, but they refused all of them, because Andrija wanted to play for Partizan.
After this a group of people who are allegedly Partizan-fans also released an open letter, in which they called the young player scapegoat (with additional offensive words), even calling him "zvezdaš".

As if they would have forgotten about Živković’s goals, matches, tricks he did for Partizan as well as his world championship.

Interesting that this open letter was published by a certain Vladimir Vuletić on his own Facebook profile. It’s that Vladimir Vuletić, who is otherwise the chairman of Partizan’s supervisory board.

"Fan letter". Yes. Sure. You get what I mean.

At this point an unbelievably disgusting mud-throwing has started. First Albert Nagy spoke, who was Partizan’s sports director during the Pini Zahavi-contract. He didn’t say many details, rather he just washed his hands. Then spoke Saša Ilić, who only made the upheaval even bigger with his statement, dividing the ab ovo confused, angry and puzzled fans.

I can speak about Saša Ilić only with the biggest possible respect, and now, as a simple, average fan I ask him with the biggest respect never ever to speak in public about what was said behind the doors of the locker-room.

Then even former Partizan goalkeeper Vladimir Stojković spoke, though nobody asked him. On the other hand, as he is in Israel now, he surely doesn’t know any more details about this case than an ordinary, news-reading fan. Meanwhile (upon non-confirmed news) the documents of the Živković-contract are at the police, but nobody mentioned what they investigate and who reported the case to the authorities.
The management keeps silent. (Vazura was just rolling his eyes.) Neither the current, nor the former management members are willing to speak (except for Albert Nagy). Former FK Partizan president Dragan Đurić denied everything. The others didn’t speak a word.
In the meantime Iliev tours around the entire sports media, keeping the public under pressure saying that it's all Živković’s fault, because the player prefers money more than Partizan. This made Živković’s current manager, Predrag Đorđević upset so much that even he released an open letter, in which he turns off the entire Partizan-management saying that it’s not else than blackmailing a 19-year-old kid, who would like to just play football for his beloved team, yet this beloved team’s management makes it impossible. While Iliev keeps the public, the players, the fans and Andrija Živković himself under pressure.

And well, the result is obvious: upon the current state of events Andrija Živković will surely not extend his contract with the club in the summer.

If you allow me to be this personal: I’m terrified by Iliev’s manipulations. I don’t know what he wants with it all, why he is doing it and for whom/what, but he should stop it right now, because it reached the disgusting level.
And if I may add a thought: if I were Živković, I would also not extend my contract. After he gave his heart and soul to the club, that he played and scored even being injured, after all this he is thrown away like an used piece of rag and he is dragged into the mire in front of the public... His heart goes for Partizan, but I personally can understand that he is fed up with it all. He is the most innocent of it all, yet it’s still his name that’s tainted.

The story hasn’t ended yet, but the next sequel is the topic of another blogpost.

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