Sunday, October 19, 2008

Oct 18/08 - Jihomoravský kraj - III.třída skupina A - Vyškov - FKD Drnovice 6 Hoštice-Heroltice 1

Oct 18/08 - Jihomoravský kraj - III.třída skupina A - Vyškov (9th division/level)
FK Drnovice 6 Hoštice-Heroltice 1
attendance: 150
admission: 20kc
game rating: 6/10

Drnovice is a small town (population 2235) located 3km to the west of Vyškov na Moravě.  Okay, you are probably asking where Vyškov na Moravě is?  Well, it is located half way between Olomouc and Brno.  Currently FK Drnovice play in the 9th level of the Czech pyramid, which is only one above the bottom.  However, it was only three years ago that they were in the Gambrinus Liga (1st division), and two years ago in the Druha Liga (2nd division).  How does a club fall so quickly?

Essentially, the club was a village team until the early 1980's (playing in the 8th level), when former footballer, Jan Gottvald purchased it.  He was born in the town, and after his playing career he invested quite heavily into the club.  He would be the man who sold and purchased the on a number of occassions over the next few decades. By the 1990's the club had reached the 2nd division.  By 1993, they joined the top division, where they would stay nine consecutive years.  It was in this year that Gottwald sold the club to a company called Chemapol .  During the 1990's they consisently finished mid-table, with their highest position of 3rd being achieved in the 1999/2000 season.  During that season the Czech Republic even played in full international against Switzerland in Drnovice.  Perhaps, one of the biggest club games was also played during the year. In 1999/2000 UEFA Cup, Drnovice defeated a side from Bosnia & Herzegovina.  In the next round they faced the mighty TSV 1860 Munich.  The first leg in Drnovice finished 0-0, with the Czech side losing 1-0 in the second leg at the Olympic Stadium in Munich.  I still can't imagine a well-known side like 1860 Munich playing in such a small town.  
Unfortunately, the 1999/2000 season would turn out to be the peak of success for the club.  In August 2000, the club filed for bankruptcy.  Attendance was good for the club, but to run a top division side in a town of 2000 people required a lot more financial resources.  By the spring of 2001, Gottvald, who had repurchased the club in 1998, once again sold the club.  By February 2002, he had been accused of financial fraud and other white collar crimes.

"However, after Gottvald's business empire collapsed in a wave of unproven criminal charges, the club was sold to the mysterious Corimex before going into liquidation"

By the end of the 2001/02 season the club was relegated, but instead of going to the druha liga, they opted to drop down to the MSFL (3rd division).  They were promoted to the druha liga for the 2003/04 season, after finishing first in the MSFL.  In February 2003, another company bought the club by way of auction, and introduced Gottvald back into the club.  Later in the year, a Swiss company purchased the club, and in the same year had won promotion back to the Gambrinus Liga.  In the following year the club finished 8th in the 1st division, but couldn't afford to renew their first division license, so the club dropped down to the 2nd division.  The club spent in the 2005/06 season in the 2nd division, but the following year took a 1-year hiatus.  In 2007, the club reformed, and played in the 10th level of the Czech football pyramid.  They dominated their opponents, and won promotion to the 9th level for the 2008/09 season.  

I wonder if they'll try to work their way up the pyramid by promotion, or try to purchase licenses of clubs?  I suspect it might be the former, as the people and fans of this club have been burned a number of times by money.  At the game today there were only 150 people, but those fans are real fans.  They were there when the club was in the top division only a few years ago, and they are still there when the club is in the 9th division.  How many clubs in the world have fallen so fast to the bottom of their respective football pyramids?  From the 2004/2005 season to the 2007/2008 season the club dropped 10 divisions.

As for the game today.  I was expecting a good game, because Drnovice were hosting the second place club in the league.  The visitors had only given up 6 goals in the first 10 games of the season, and had only lost 1 game.  However, they were no match for Drnovice, as the hosts won 6-1.  In retrospect, I think the current Drnovice side would do quite well in the 5th division.  It was certainly an odd feeling to go to a stadium, which once hosted Gambrinus Liga, and internationals, to watch a 9th division game.  Again, those people there today, are real fans.  They never turned their back on their club.


Jimbob Hornet said...

Found this tale fascinating hadn't heard of the side but it's been a rollercoaster. Could be AFC Wimbledon all over again.
Some really random places on this blog. Hope to go to Czech Rep later this year.
Keep up the good work!

jay said...

It looks like Drnovice will win promotion again this season, which means a spot in the 8th level. It'll be interesting to see how quickly they can work their way up the pyramid after starting at the very bottom.

Yeah, I must admit, most of the games I attend are quite random. If you need any advise about games here in the Czech Republic, just ask.