Hajduk President Sacked After Tragic Spring Season Results, Mislav Karoglan No Longer Coach

Daniela Rogulj

Photo by Zvonimir Barisin/PIXSELL

April 8, 2024 – Hajduk president Lukša Jakobušić and coach Mislav Karoglan are no longer part of the Split club.

Lukša Jakobušić was sacked as president of the Hajduk Management Board. He assumed the role in October 2020 after the departure of Marin Brbić. He was removed by the Supervisory Board of the Split club on Monday, and the acting president until the end of the season will be Management Board member Marinka Akrap.

In the spring part of the Croatian League, Hajduk squandered its winter advantage (where they went into the winter break at the top of the standings) and won only 14 out of 27 possible points. Hajduk suffered three league defeats at Poljud in the last two weeks – against Rijeka, Lokomotiva and Dinamo. The club’s dream of the title this season – gone. They also lost to Dinamo in the Croatian Cup semi-final at Poljud a week ago.

Jakobušić’s ambitions as president were great:

– play the Europa League group stage once

– play the group stage of the Conference League three times, play the round of 32 once, and the round of 16 once

– the average age of the club’s A team should be between 24 and 26 years

– promote two young players from the junior team to the first team every year

Since the strategy was published, Hajduk has played almost three full seasons, won two Croatian Cups, and finished in second place. Hajduk lost the race for the champion in the last two seasons and said goodbye to their chance this season after losing to Rijeka at Rujevica last night.

The former president of the club had announced his departure if he did not fulfill the ambitions he had set for himself. But before he left, the Supervisory Board handed him his resignation.

“I thank all the people in the club, everyone I have worked with in the past three and a half years, and especially the fans for their love and passion. Like every Hajduk fan, I support all decisions in the interest of the club,” said Lukša Jakobušić on his departure. We later learned that Jakobušić waived his severance pay.

The Hajduk Supervisory Board informed the public about the status of the club at 3 pm today.

“Last night, after the match in Rijeka, the Supervisory Board held an extraordinary session. We unanimously decided to remove Lukša Jakobušić from the position of president. The reasons for the decision are not pressure from the public or the media, but an evolutionary step forward based on facts. We estimated that the defeat in Rijeka would result in the championship being decided. We no longer saw any sense in waiting for the end of the season and wasting time. We are going into a new four-year cycle,” said Aljoša Pavelin.

“It is up to us to take responsibility. Thank you to the former president. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to work in Hajduk and be a part of history,” said Marinka Akrap.

The Board mentioned that they have had a new president ready for some time and that he should take office in about a month. The new president does not come from the Hajduk community.

Akrap announced that a mutual termination of coach Mislav Karoglan’s contract was signed. Assistant coach Jure Ivanković will take over the first team until further notice. The Hajduk Sports Director Mindaugas Nikoličius will remain for now.

Pavelin spoke about Jakobušić’s strategy: “The strategy is outdated. Five years is too long. After one year, the strategy must be reviewed and updated. We initiated the strategy to be reviewed, updated, and moved forward. The goal is the championship title next season. We have to see the way we will fight for the title. This method did not prove to be successful.”

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