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CROATIAN CLUBS ARE GOING THROUGH CALVARY, AND SOME ARE STILL AWAITING THE CLUB MANAGEMENT EXAM

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Hajduk has gone through the conversion, and is still in a management crisis, while Dinamo has yet to go through a certain period in the management of the club. Other sports and clubs are in problems, but they must find a solution

Long ago, Hajduk was transformed from a citizens’ association into a private joint-stock sports company. However, the management crisis is still going on and it is not known how long it will last. When the conversion was completed, Hajduk returned the debt, and the account was unblocked. However, it was only a short-term solution, because the coffers need to be filled, while the results in domestic and European competitions are absent.

Dinamo is currently in a managerial crisis. The meeting of the Executive Board has reportedly been postponed, and the Club Assembly will be held on December 21 this year. Until then, they need to hold a meeting of the Executive Committee, while at it they need to reach conclusions about the new Club Statute and give answers about the stadium. Both of them have a managerial crisis.

What is the situation in the European clubs?

Everything is more or less clear for English football clubs. All clubs are privately owned, and thus their owners set the rules. They also determine the amount of membership fees for club membership, but also determine the prices of tickets for matches, either annually or individually.

In contrast to privatized clubs, clubs that are owned by their members do not generate profit for anyone, but everything the club earns stays in the club and is invested in its further work and progress, making the club stable and financially strong. The entire business is completely transparent and every member has the right to see the club’s business. A large number of club members facilitates and improves negotiations with sponsors because it is beneficial for sponsors to invest in a club with a large base of members and thus be part of a club that is of great importance to the city, region, or country.

When it comes to the royal club Real Madrid, there are choices. Elections are conducted for the purpose of electing the club president. The last elections were held in spring 2021, and Florentino Perez was elected president for the sixth time. In order to supervise the elections for the president, an Electoral Commission is established which supervises the elections. In order to run for president, one must be a club member for at least 10 years, and in order to be elected as a member of the Board of Directors, one must be a club member for at least 5 years.

FC Barcelona has its own members and membership model. All adult members, who have been in service for at least one year, have the right to vote for the president who is elected every 4 years. The president can serve a maximum of two mandates of 4 years each. Each candidate for president goes to the elections with his program and his list of members of the Management Board. In the presidential campaign, programs are presented to club members, and they elect the president with the best program in the elections. Each applicant must provide a bank guarantee in the amount of 15 percent of the club’s capital. If the members are dissatisfied with the work of the president, they have the right to initiate a referendum on the president’s no confidence. 5% of the members’ signatures are required for a no-confidence vote.

The rules are completely clear in Germany

In Germany, all Bundesliga clubs are citizens’ sports associations, but they can separate a professional section and register it as a joint stock company. The basis of this German model is the rule of ˝50% + 1˝. This means that if the clubs decide to separate the professional section, the majority share (50% + 1 share) and control in the companies must be retained by the club/member association. The door has been opened for private investors to invest in the club, but they have been prevented from acquiring a majority stake in the club.

Many German clubs did not take advantage of the opportunity to establish a joint-stock company owned by the association and thus remained pure associations of citizens. The biggest German club, FC Bayern München, took advantage of this possibility. FC Bayern München is controlled by Bayern München AG, an unlisted company dedicated exclusively to the management of football activity at a professional level. The shareholders of Bayern München AG are: FC Bayern München, which holds a 90% stake (the Articles of Association stipulate that the minimum stake in FC Bayern München AG is half of the total shares plus one), and Adidas, the club’s official sponsor, which holds a 10% stake. In 2002, Adidas bought 10% of the stock company Bayern München AG, and the club used that money to build a new stadium, the Allianz Arena.

With this model, the club remains owned by the members and generates income from their membership fees, while allowing investors to buy a certain percentage of the Bayern München AG stock and thus invest money in the club, which represents an additional capital inflow for the club.

The club currently has approximately 150,000 members. The club members elect the General Assembly, which then elects the club’s Board of Directors. The Board and the Assembly become the Assembly of the joint-stock company, which then elects the Management Board of the joint-stock company.

The situation in Croatia is determined by the law, but in practice it is all chaotic

In Croatia, almost all football clubs of citizens’ associations are basically organized according to the Law on Associations, which respects all the postulates of the membership model. Exceptions are HNK Hajduk Split, NK Istra 1961 and HNK Šibenik, which have been transformed into sports joint-stock companies.

Any business-capable natural person and legal entity can, under the same conditions established by the Law on Associations and the association’s statute, become a member of the association. Persons without business capacity or with limited business capacity can be members of the association, but without decision-making rights in the association’s bodies. The manner of their participation in the work of the association’s body is governed by the association’s statute.

Clubs in Croatia have all the predispositions to be organized like the socios model of Barcelona or like Bayern Munich, with a combination of the socios model and private ownership, where the club members always hold a majority share in the club. But in Croatia this would be fully possible only with certain modifications of the law on sports, or with already existing clubs, agreed situations where the majority owner, usually the city if there were no others, would leave the management rights to some newly founded associations of former members of the association.

Everything is clear and simple on paper in Croatia. But in practice and in real life, it is quite different. Everyone can do what he wants and how he wants. Why? Because everyone interprets the laws in Croatia in their own way, and they simply don’t care about all the others who are connected around the club they support. The chaotic state of affairs can be seen in all Croatian clubs. Not only in football but in other sports as well. This is so because everyone has their own “big boss”.

Many clubs were destroyed in this way. Examples of this are NK Zagreb, the national champion in 2002, and NK Zadar, which was a stable first division team. If there had been any sense, both clubs would have been at a high level, and they had a beautiful and strong history from which they could rise to much greater things. Chances can be created, but you need to know how.

And what about other sports?

It’s easy to destroy and to be greedy. But you need to be able to create and have a plan. He has to worry about the future of Croatian sports, but the legislators do not see the point in that. They obviously have other things in their heads and imagine everything differently. As if tomorrow does not exist, as if there are no new children who can have a great future.

Every sport has been destroyed, and there is no way to give them an opportunity. Volleyball and basketball, water polo and swimming are some of the examples of how sports were destroyed. Let’s talk about handball. The state champion is one and the same, and his results in European competitions are catastrophic. This season is an exception, somehow. The “big boss” of handball does not recognize what needs to be done to return handball to its former glory, but also how to attract young people to this sport.

Basketball hit bottom. Both in the club and national team. From the league that had two representatives in the strongest European competitions, we have been reduced to the fact that we can barely compete in the lower-class European competitions. And the national team has to play pre-qualifications for us so that they can secure the main qualifications. At least we didn’t fail so much, so that we lose to lower-class teams.

Neither water polo nor volleyball are at the level they used to be. There are no more results, which is the result of bad management. There is no more “easy going”, you have to continuously work and set goals for yourself. And it’s as if it doesn’t exist. There are problems, and they must be solved.

It is necessary to give the fans the opportunity to express themselves. Maybe they can help in any way they can. If they are asked something, then they would be able to give answers. And with that, they could start to fill the halls and stadiums. Best of luck to all clubs and sports in Croatia.

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