He has been at STK for more than 10 years. Member of Board of Directors, Norbert Csutora talked about the finished season and future of the club.
Ten seasons at STK, where do you put the current season in terms of results and management?
Definitely the most difficult in my spell with the club. Today we are celebrating that we avoided relegation with A team, which might seem not that interesting to the fans, but only few people realize how difficult it was. The league today has high quality, every misstep can cost you dearly. We managed it on the pitch, despite the big problems in the background. If you add to it some projects we tried to run, like construction of artificial pitch, which we have pursued since 2015 and was disabled by activists in the city, and others, you get the overall picture how difficult this season was.
You mentioned big problems in the background. Can you add more details?
Almost the whole season we had to fight without support of Fluminense. Today we have 4 players from Fluminense in the squad, but that is only what is happening on the pitch. The last time Fluminense´s representative, responsible for the full management of the club, was in Šamorín was in July last year (2018). Since then, communication with Brazilian partner came close to zero, despite the fact we traveled twice to Brazil to solve the situation. Last summer, shortly after the start of the season, Fluminense abandoned the project in practice, in January the confirmed it also legally, with 6-months termination period announcement. Despite the fact, they were and are responsible for management of our A team, they have not provided neither finances, nor management of the club. The fact, that we have held the club above the water, finished the season and avoided relegation from the second league, and all this with no salary delayed, is a small miracle, which we managed only thanks to few people in crisis management who reacted quickly to the state which we were left in by our partner.
What will happen to football in Šamorín after the end of cooperation with Fluminense?
The cooperation ends in the summer. The club´s management have worked for several weeks and months to find a partner with whom we could set up a good business model and who could help us to keep our A team in second league with financial aid. We hope to find someone, although it has not been easy. But the current season is an evidence we know how to do football even in difficult conditions. Moreover, it is not all about A team. We have launched our internal processes, thanks to which today we have all youth teams in second division, U19 and U17 being in top half of the competition, U15 winning the title, improvements in U14,U13,U12, U11 and others. In addition, B team, where we try to give chances to our academy players to taste the adult football, is close to promoting for the second time in two years. We started reconstruction of our main pitch, with an objective to bring the play closer to fans, we still hope we will manage to build artificial pitch, which is very important in our region. We are not giving up, we want to move the club further and further. The only issue now is the financial base for A team.
The cooperation ending, how do you evaluate it in general?
First of all, I insist it could have been an amazing project! It´s idea is unique even on European level. For everyone involved it has been a priceless experience, with all its positives, but also negatives. Unfortunately, our partner found himself in a situation, where they have not been able to honour their obligations, that´s why the project is ending. I think it has brought many positives to football fans on boths sides. Here the fans could see players they wouldn´t normally see on 2nd league level. First year of the project in second league was the most successful, in terms of results. We had the top scorer, Peu, Luquinhas was observed by top division team, and it does not happen too often that a plyar from Slovak second league goes straight to playing at Maracana and subsequently to MLS, like Luiz Fernando and we could go on with Igor Juliao, Evanilson, some coaching staff members and so on. Moreover, we might have shown to other clubs how to cross the borders of their own region and unify forces within international cooperations. Today, we can say there is six clubs in second league with some sort of cross-border cooperation, which was not common before we started with Fluminense.