Bashkimi, Alumina, Nov Milenium and several clubs from the third leagues have cancelled their further participation in the Macedonian football. Financial problems are hanging over many teams from the first league as well. Has the recession hit the football in Macedonia?
Right before the beginning of the new season, or just 2 days before the first matchday, Bashkimi out of the blue quitted the first league. Reason – no money. The first league team from Kumanovo that was favorite team between the majority of the Albanian fans hasn’t resisted the financial strength of the younger ‘brother’ club Milano and went into history. Despite the fact they managed to survive the previous season, had a cup title in the club history, caps in UEFA cup – in vain. At the same time, Alumina from the second league were not able to continue the participation and Bregalnica Stip instead of playing in third league took their place in the second league.
We wouldn’t enter into the lower leagues, but let’s focus a bit on the third leagues. Demi Impeks from third league North – no finances – no club. Pobeda Dolno Lisice from the same league did not played 2 consecutive matches and lost the place in the league. Reason for not playing the games – lack of money. Sopiste also did not played, but their reason was the dissatisfaction towards the main men in the league and they are bak in the league once again (!). Palciste from the third league West couldn’t handle the financial pressure as well and they stepped out, while their place was taken by Arsimi. Beli from the third league East – one more team to add to the list.
One might say – who are these clubs, anyway? Well, these clubs are clubs where many talented players and future national team players might just have started the career or are currently playing there before being noticed by one of the bigger clubs in their region. But even so, what about the first league?
Pelister and Pobeda are on the edge of boycott or already boycotting and not training because of unpaid salaries. Vardar’s players were left on their own when between two managements. Milano’s were also pretty loud because their main sponsor is imprisoned. Cementarnica, the second-league side from Skopje is on the edge of surviving. Unfortunately, it might be one more club dead. Putting it in another way – there are by far much more clubs where finances are problems. Players cannot be focused on doing their job when they have not seen a dime for a long long time. Quite understandable, they are proffesionals, they do this for living.
This is the reality, football is more business then sport nowadays everywhere. But, it seems here, that cannot be properly used. Maybe laws that will stimulate the investment of companies into sports collectives by transfering certain percents of their taxes might do the trick. Maybe popularising the football in Macedonia on many ways. Ideas we do have, realisation no.