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Romanian Football League 1 Clubs Whereto?

There is a good thing about not being in the first row. To be the observer. To analyze what the main players in the industry are doing right or wrong. To learn from it and adapt to your organizational culture what really suits you.

Lately, there is a concern about adopting the "socios" model by the Romanian League 1 clubs. I believe the old fashion management structure should worry instead. The management quality and expertise can make or break a Club.

Let us put the spotlight on Dinamo Bucuresti FC, “The Red Dogs”. One of the historic teams of Romania. Winners of 18 cups, first Romanian semifinalist team in the European Cup. Passionate and loyal Dinamo fans, they managed to raise 500.000 euros to start the process of club shares acquisition, paying the outstanding salaries to the players and the license fee. As Ilie Dumitrescu, former player with Steaua Bucuresti, the main rival of Dinamo, says “it is inconceivable that Dinamo would disappear from the Romanian football arena. I have played all my life against this team and we have amazing Derby memories together”.

These days, another storm has hit the team. Three days prior to their first game post quarantine one of the staff members was tested positive to coronavirus. While players had followed a strict fourteen days isolation period inside the Club facility, the warehouse-man was traveling back and forth to the sport facility, by public transportation. The Club did not budget money for gasoline. Players are again isolated and games postponed. For how long players and fans should be punished for the pathetic decisions of the management? That is the question.

Focusing on a strong business-oriented management with a clear long-term vision, strategy and international experience would change the destiny of many clubs in Romania.

The 50+1 business model of the Bundesliga may be appropriate for a Romanian club philosophy and culture. It would be the right balance between fan involvement and motivation on one side and the “business football club” orientation on the other side.

Technology and innovation should be key. And it is available at competitive costs. The professionalization of the IT human resource has named Cluj-Napoca, one of the main cities of Romania, “the Silicon Valley of Europe”.

Private-public partnerships, EU grants for sports development and infrastructure, hi-tech stadiums, top-notch academies, big data and in-house managed platforms, content creators and entertainment production partnerships should be some of the key strategic actions for the next level football clubs in Romania. Club revenues from transfers of players should become “pocket money” compared to the extended possibilities of monetization.

Let us see who is going to break the ice.

Players need it. Fans deserve it.

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