60th anniversary, but chaotic circumstances
The best Macedonian football club of all time … the club with the biggest successes: 1987 Yugoslav champion, 5 times Macedonian champion, 1960 Yugoslav Cup winner, 4 times Macedonian Cup winner. Unfortunately that's the only thing left from Vardar right now: the famous name and the glorious history. In the year 2007, the year when FK Vardar is supposed to celebrate it's 60th anniversary, Vardar is facing a huge crisis and is endangered of completely falling apart … Beginning of the crisis
It all began in 2004, when a "cold war" between the two owners of Vardar started. Sounds odd, but Vardar indeed has two owners: Borce Ristovski and Braco Vujcic. In 2004, the two club owners started a "cold war". No wonder, that this situation reflected on the players and the results of Macedonia's most successful club. Some of the players were divided between the two sides, but all of the players suffered because of the financial crisis, which resulted from that absurd situation. The owners were not able to agree about the share of the profit and debts. Almost a year ago Borce Ristovski announced his resignation, but he still didn't leave the club completely. He still owns all of the club documents, so that Braco Vujcic couldn't take over the club after Ristovski's resignation. Vujcic even brought the Macedonian legend Darko Pancev into the club but the 1991 Golden Boot winner is still without a function, because of the current situation.
Ristovski in jail – Vujcic with no interest for the club
Borce Ristovski was delaying the handover of the club for a long time. The situation for Ristovski and Vardar became even worse, when a month ago the former Vardar owner went into jail … becaue of corruption. Since several months the situation for the players at Vardar was completely chaotic and therefore it was no wonder, that no player wanted to stay at the once so prestigious club. Since Ristovski was jailed, nobody seems to be responsible to pay wages to the players. Braco Vujcic lives in Germany and he visits Macedonia very rarely. Rumours have it, that even when he comes back to Skopje, he's not paying his players regularly. On one occasion some of the players rebelled and asked for their money, but Vujcic replied, that he just bought new a roller for the pitch, so that he has no money for them now.
From 38 players down to 15
Naturally, no professional wants to play under such miserable conditions and the most Vardar players were looking to run away from Vardar as quickly as possible. A total of 23 players left the club since the start of the 2006 / 07 season. Vardar had 38 players in the roster in August 2006 – now there are only 15 players left. 15 of the 23 players who left the club were regular first team players in the last two season. Two of the remaining 15 Vardar players are suspended and 3 of them had not significant appearances this season. That means that only 10 players are available for Vardar's coach at the moment. Luckily the Macedonian League has a pretty long winter break and hopefully the board can start to improve things. Otherwise the 60th anniversary celebrations of Macedonia's most famous club will turn into an absurd farce.