A domestic double, a European Cup group and, in addition to sporting goals, the return of fans to the stadium.
CEO of Slovana Bratislava Ivan Kmotrík Jr. he called it “crucial and, from the point of view of the long-term perspective, turning point”: “We have been struggling with this for a long time. The attendance does not match our expectations, the quality of the staff and the results.”
The excuses are gone. The ball is in the fans’ court
Slovan returned home to Tehelná pole, won the title four times in a row, played in the group of the European Cup in two of the last three years. However, the traffic curve does not rise.
“When 8-9 representatives play for Slovan and people are not interested in seeing them, something is wrong. In the past, the excuse was that Slovan did not have a stadium. The covid excuse has also passed. Then it was foster children. Look at Žilina, the team is full of foster children and people don’t go there. So that’s probably not the main reason.
The time has come when Slovan fans should wake up. He should think about whether he wants to see Slovan regularly in such strength, with such players and ambitions. Because without his support it is not possible in the long term,” said Kmotrík Jr.
While most sports competitions culminate at the end, the most important part of the season awaits the “whites” at the beginning. Since winning the title is almost an obligation given the budget, conditions and quality of Slovan, the (un)success of his efforts defines progress in European cups.
He will play the opening match of the 1st preliminary round of the Champions League this Wednesday from 20:30 at home against Dinamo Batumi of Georgia. Almost 5,000 tickets were sold on Monday afternoon.
“Batumi will be sold out and we are talking about whether we will have 5, 6, 7, 8 or 10,000 fans. I would like it to be sold out here too. Unfortunately, that’s probably just my dream. The ball is now in the fans’ court. Now they have to show how much they appreciate what we have done,” said Kmotrík Jr.
If three thousand are supposed to walk, it starts to lose its meaning
He appealed to the fans several times during Monday’s preseason press conference. When informed that Slovan is entering the season with the highest budget in history, he added: “I think it deserves a response from the fans to finally appreciate it.”
“Everyone compares us to Slavia Prague, Legia Warsaw or Rapid Vienna. Everyone would like us to achieve the same results. And we achieve them in the sports field. However, the average attendance of Slavia last year was 13,000, Legia 15,000 and Slovan 3,500,” he compared with neighboring countries.
Slovan played in the EL and EKL groups in the past three years. They celebrate the quarter-finals of EL, EKL and the LM group. Rapid twice in the EL group and Legia only once in the EL group.
Godfather Jr. he described attendance as crucial also in connection with the interest of sponsors and subsequent investments in the team: “I have to say it completely frankly. If three thousand people are supposed to walk here, it will probably start to lose its meaning for me in the long run. People are the motivation, we don’t do football for ourselves. They are our mirror, and when there are three thousand of them in the stadium, that mirror is very bad.”
Slovan’s CEO lacks clubism: “They also have weaker matches in the Czech Republic, but fans go to Slavia. Not at the opponent, but at his players. My goal is to have a team that will play regularly in Europe. If we want to see the Champions League here, we won’t be able to do it with an average attendance of three thousand. If attendance does not grow, the Champions League will not be here. That is the bare fact.’
Weiss: The Slavs couldn’t die out after all
Head coach Vladimír Weiss Sr. also appealed to the fans: “We live in difficult times, post-covid, there is a war in the world, everything is more expensive… But when we play well, when people see effort, quality, heart, good results, they will return to the stadium . See what the stadium environment looks like, this is where it should live. After all, the Slavists could not die out, tradition must return here.”