Stories and pictures of the beautiful game.
There is a peculiar name dispute in Prague who has the right to use the club name Bohemians Praha as well as a kangaroo on its crest (I might have mentioned this before). When Bohemians Praha went bust in 2004/05, the rights were transferred to then third league team FC Strizkov Praha 9, however the original Bohemians’ fans donated money and saved their old club which from then on went by Bohemians 1905. Stritzkov’s license ran out but the club did not feel like giving up name or logo.
Pride was involved but also the transfer of a certain Jan Moravek from Bohemians 1905 to Schalke 04. The Germans just didn’t know where to transfer the 50 Mio. CZK (currently €1.8Mio.) to and conveniently kept a lock on that chest until the situation is resolved.
The dispute is going on for some time now, there were hostilities, lawsuits and more. Be that as it may, we forgot to mention a certain Michal Vejsada before. Until recently, he owned 100% of the shares of the original Bohemians (and he founded a third club named Bohemians but let’s not go there). He initiated several lawsuits, trying to get money from the original Bohemians’ debtees but also trying to shut down 1905. This November he now accepted 20 Mio. CZK (about €730k), transfer his shares to the Czech football association who will transfer them to Bohemians 1905, making them the legal successor of the true Bohemians. That also means Schalke 04 will have a valid address to post the Jan Moravek transfer fee to.
Now, it would be too easy if that would solve the entire case: this still does not solve the name dispute with the Strizkov club. But it is safe to assume that the Czech FA will increase the pressure on them to ensure that there will be only one Bohemians Praha in the future. And while fans have ambivalent feelings about the deal with Michal Vejsada, many are happy that – after eight years – they can leave this irritating matter behind and focus on what’s happening on the pitch.
Most of the Brno crowd not interested in the match
And it’s not looking so good right now for the kangaroos in green-and-white, they are deep down in the danger zone. Visiting Brno are not much better off so this would be a relegation battle 3,754 people cared to watch. 150 of those were in the away end and about 80% of those didn’t seem to be very interested in the match. There was some singing, but the rowdy gang mostly drew attention to them by provoking: in the first half, they set some seats on fire, in the second half, they burned several Bohemians scarves. And when a ball got kicked out of play, they even set that on fire. A few minutes after the beginning of the second half, the away end suddenly emptied out, a little later everyone was running back, pushed by the police. Flashing blue lights illuminated the away corner. It seemed like these guys had scheduled a meeting in advance but it later turned out that some Sparta Prague fans had gathered close to the away end and voiced their opinion about Brno loud and clear. It seems like some people don’t have anything better to do on a Sunday evening.
This roused the Klokani from their sleep, they sang louder now and set off a few flares and smoke bombs. Eventually referee interrupted the match in minute 66 for about 15 minutes. Right before that, Bohemians had scored the equalizer via a penalty in case anybody cares. Brno scored in the first half, more or less by accident. The quality of play was poor on both ends, though the home team showed a bit more interest in scoring. The chaos around the away end eventually calmed down, the Brno fans rolled up their flags and left the ground in large numbers, leaving only the about 20% who actually seemed to care about what was happening on the pitch. When the players were finally back, the Klokani lit yet another smoke bomb as if to show that they had the last word in this matter. The referee was not impressed and let the match resume anyway.
You’d think a situation like this would disrupt the match rhythm. Not here, as there wasn’t much of a rhythm to begin with. Bohemians increased the pressure, and Brno defended and played for time. There were no more goals, and the result does not help either team as the teams at the bottom are still very close together. Bohemians will now stay in the relegation zone over the winter break – a bleak outlook.
The only colorful element today way was the Bohemians’ choreography at the beginning of the second half: two kangaroos, surrounded by a Christmas tree and some presents. The message: “Happy green-and-white Christmas”. And to you.
For the full gallery and videos check out www.facebook.com/GroundhoppingEtc