HNS Announces New National Stadium, Hajduk Disagrees

Daniela Rogulj

On Thursday, the HNS Assembly was regularly held where the Executive Committee named the new Executive Director of the Croatian Football Federation. The director of Competition and Infrastructure, Marijan Kustić, succeeded Damir Vrbanović, whose mandate expired, reports on March 28, 2019. 

“I am grateful to President Šuker and the Executive Committee for the trust they have given me, and I will do my utmost to do my job well,” said the new Executive Director who is now officially the second man in HNS.

When asked whether this was a significant change in the Federation, Kustić answered:

”I have my way of working, of evaluating myself.”

Davor Šuker also announced that a national stadium would certainly be built Blato, Zagreb. 

“Let everyone do their part of the job and I hope we will soon have a wonderful stadium, and the ideal location is Blato. We are going step by step, but are working on all factors together. We can also get the funds from Uefa and Fifa, we know the costs according to their standards,” Šuker emphasized.

The HNS president stressed that there has been a lot of talk about infrastructure lately, but now things have calmed down. 

“I talked a lot about infrastructure, and now things have calmed. The stadium will be built. We want to offer our guests at least the minimum we receive when we play away, as clubs and the national team,” he said.

He also added that HNS would help Hajduk around Poljud.

“Moving forward with the stadium in Zagreb means thinking about what we will do with Poljud; we want Osijek, Rijeka and Split to be satisfied with the new stadium. We will also help Poljud, and we will talk about the ways and the money.”

Kustić also presented his take on the stadium. 

“Nothing is definite. There is still a lot in combination, as we are talking to Gorica and others. But the team will continue to play throughout Croatia, that’s my attitude,” Kustić said. 

Hajduk representatives attended the HNS Assembly in Zagreb as passive observers. Hajduk was represented by sports director Saša Bjelanović and head of the Academy Krešimir Gojun, as President Marin Brbić had other business obligations, reports Dalmacija Danas.

The Hajduk representatives said they opposed the financial report and the amendments to the HNS statute, as well as the construction of the national stadium. Recall, the 2018 financial report revealed that from January 1, 2018, to December 31, 2018, the Croatian Football Federation achieved revenues of HRK 435.5 million and expenditures amounting to HRK 371.6 million, and achieved an excess revenue of over HRK 63.8 million. Excess revenue will be used in years when there is no final competition, or when the Federation achieves a deficit of revenue over expenditures.

“At this point, we think we are not rich enough to invest in such a thing. Hajduk is opposed to building a national stadium. Our position is that it is better to invest in camps and local infrastructure because there have been a lot of missed investments in the past, and we know who is paying for it,” they said. 

“To build a stadium that we would play at once a month or once every three months is completely pointless. I also think that we are not a rich nation that can afford a national stadium. There is no need for that. It would be better to build camps so that our kids have somewhere to play,” Hajduk concluded. 

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