Disaster Defeat for Hajduk, Club in Chaos: What Happens Next?

Daniela Rogulj

It’s a difficult day to be a Hajduk fan.

Hajduk fans and football fans across Croatia were left stunned last night after Hajduk lost 2:3 at Poljud to the last placed team in the Croatian First League – Rudeš. 

What makes this defeat even harder to swallow, though, was that Hajduk was in the lead at the half – and, believe it or not, they were up 2:0. 

A walk in the park, or so we thought, as we sat comfortably in our slightly chilled seats at Poljud. But what happens next is a real catastrophe. 

The team wholly unraveled in the second half. From bizarre coaching decisions to easily missed opportunities, inexperience, and a sincere lack of gusto on the pitch, Hajduk slowly (and painfully) began to disappear before our eyes. 

Between whistles, a wealth of boos, more than a few flares on the pitch, and Torcida screaming “play, p***ies” over and over again, we knew this would not end well. 

The fateful second half saw goals by Rudeš in the 61st, 68th, and 89th minute, and Hajduk fans at Poljud even applauded the away team’s third goal. At that point, wouldn’t you?


Hajduk is known to accomplish the unthinkable, and while the fans were left stunned by the shock defeat, they were not surprised. A win last night would have put Hajduk in second place – and things that seem too good to be true, usually are. 

Through the disappointment of their beloved club, Hajduk fans were able to unite under another matter: Something needs to change, and fast. But what?

After the match, Torcida summoned the players to the north stands where screeches and screams of “You are not Hajduk!”, “Take off your shirts!”, and “You will get beaten up!” were heard. Dalmatinski Portal reported that one Torcida member threw a lighter at defender Fran Tudor, and Gol.hr said that several of them chucked the stadium chairs. Fortunately, no one was hurt.


Police were also seen securing the area near the Hajduk Fan Shop at Poljud to protect the players from furious fans as they left the stadium. 

After a not so good night of sleep and a few good hours to let the pain sink in, what do we know today?

It is likely that current Hajduk coach Joan Carrillo will be no more, and that a new trainer could be named today. There is no confirmation of this, however, but plenty of speculation. Goal.hr has gone so far to choose the top three candidates for the Split club, including Ivan Jurić, former Slaven Belupo coach Željko Kopić, and current Široki Brijeg coach Goran Sablić. 

Hajduk has confirmed that current Hajduk President Ivan Kos offered his resignation after the game last night, which the club’s Supervisory Board refused. All we know regarding this matter today is that further steps will be taken in the following days. 

As for Hajduk’s Sports Director, Mario Branco, there has been speculation that he too offered his resignation, but this awaits confirmation as well. 

Luckily, all Croatian clubs will have a break due to international duties this week, leaving those in charge at Hajduk ample time to figure out a solution – even something temporary. What the answer will be, and whether restructuring the club really is the best solution, only time will tell. 


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