Šimić and Co. Continue Battle for HNS: “Where Did UEFA Money Go?”

Daniela Rogulj

HNS president hopeful Dario Šimić, the only opposing party running against the current state of the Croatian Football Federation, asks the burning questions we have all been wondering.

The support for Davor Šuker from the Executive Board of the Šibenik-Knin County Football Federation raised a lot of eyebrows across Croatia over the weekend. If you recall, the city’s football federation decided to support the current HNS president Davor Šuker in exchange for 100,000 EUR promised to Šibenik over a period of four years, reports Gol.hr on November 27, 2017.

A day later, the reaction of the ‘Initiative to Restore Confidence in Croatian Football’ arrived, the only opposition to the current state of HNS which includes Croatia’s celebrated footballers Dario Šimić, Mario Stanić, Goran Vlaović and Stipe Pletikosa. 

Here is their statement in its entirety. 

A few days ago, members of the Executive Board of the Šibenik-Knin County Football Federation decided, in their statement, to support the current leadership of HNS because of the promise that in the next four years they will receive 100,000 EUR to invest in their clubs. This is about 25,000 EUR a year, or a few thousand euros a year if it is arranged through dozens of clubs in the county. Of course, the question is when the money would really come to the clubs, which hasn’t been done thus far. Even in this case, this sum would have been more than insufficient considering the devastating condition of the sports infrastructure of our clubs.

The Federation has taken millions from clubs in various fees over the years, and now they are suddenly putting crumbs on the table. Therefore, we hereby say: ’It is not a matter of money. There is money, but there is no trust in the football workers in how they spend it. Besides, 100,000 EUR is a little; they can pull ten times more!’

Here’s how.

Fifa and UEFA’s funds for more resources are available at our disposal. We repeat that UEFA has given HNS a total of 52 million HRK for the Croatian Football Center project in three tranches from 2014 to 2016. This is about how the funds are now running through a special PBZ account where the Football Federation pays interest at 2% per annum. This can also be seen from the Federation’s annual balance sheet that shows about 6.8 million HRK has been spent so far. Since the national camp project has been dropped, we do not know how much money has been spent or what happened to the rest of it?

Likewise, it is clear to all football employees that UEFA national affiliates alone provide more than 29 million HRK (€ 3.9 million) of dedicated funds for the construction of fields and supporting infrastructure, annually. To realize the rights of these funds, HNS needs to collect documentation from all county federations, list their needs, and submit completed projects to the European football organization. This is about the amount of money, averaging more than 5.5 million HRK per county or 7 times more than what was offered in the strange circumstances of the Šibenik-Knin Football Federation. HNS cannot directly use this money, but it has to be forwarded exclusively to local football clubs. Perhaps it has to do with their absolute lack of interest in the topic and the projects.

Please note that this is exclusively about UEFA funds. A professional team gathered around Dario Šimić, Marija Stanić, Goran Vlaović, and Stipe Pletikosa plans to apply for projects with FIFA, where our second man is Zvonimir Boban, and offer financial and consulting assistance to the local self-government in applying for EU funded projects. This way, clubs in each county can count on funds much higher than those offered to the leadership of the Šibenik-Knin Football Federation. 

On behalf of the initiative to restore confidence in Croatian football,

Dario Šimić, Mario Stanić, Goran Vlaović, Stipe Pletikosa

Translated from Gol.hr


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