The State of Montenegrin Club Football

May 22, 2019

Written by:

Prva CFL

Founded: 2006

Most Championships: Buducnost and Sutjeska, 3

Last 5 Winners: Sutjeska (18/19, 17/18), Buducnost (16/17)

UEFA Ranking: 35th

Highest Ranked Club: Sheriff, 108th

Interview with Vlado Perović, sports reporter for TV 777 and Arena Sport

Since the Europa League was rebranded, the furthest a Monenegrin side has got it to the EL playoff. What is the current state of Montenegrin football?

Every club in First League has only one goal, to try to win a place in the qualifiers for the Champions League or the EL. It is really easy to understand why, because with money from UEFA, clubs are creating their budgets for next season. They have proper advantage for next year because with every new season there are less money from municipalities that are in big part owners of clubs and there are less big sponsors in the game.

The real and big problem is that clubs are rarely trying to prepare better for games in Europe. Most of them just train ten to fifteen days after a twenty day vacation following the end of the season. With current rosters, individual and team quality, that is not enough to make any improvement in results or performances.

There is no one dominant side in Montenegrin football. Is this a help or a hindrance?

It was very positive at the start but most of clubs that won titles were just one hit wonders. Sponsors left them after first spell of bad results and that was just instant success and not part of some kind of process or plan.

After independence many clubs tried to seize the moment, there was real opportunity for many of them to won some kind of title, because for years there were part of some second or third leagues in Yugoslavia and Budućnost and Sutjeska had just fringe roles in First League. Years after, just these teams have financial stability and great support from municipalities and no matter what results are they know they will have decent budget for competing in First League. Budućnost and Sutjeska also had very powerful rivalry through history and this rivalry is more intensified in last four or five years. That means, there are more people in stands and also more people are talking about Montenegro club football.

What would be seen as a successful year in Europe for Montenegrin fans?

Every club that make it through the first round and play four European games will be remember as successful. Last year was also worst for Montenegrin clubs which resulted in not a single victory for any of our clubs. That was huge blow for our hopes that things will be better in future. So, every win in any game will be great confidence boost.

Is there any money in Montenegrin football?

No club in Montenegro is generating any profit right now. Budgets are from €300,000 to €1 million or €1.5 milion. Minimum wages are €300 and there are just minimum number of players that could earn from €3,000 to maximum €5,000 a month. There are no big transfers, so clubs are spending more than they can on wages.

Do most of the country get behind the Montenegrin sides playing in Europe or is there a lot of tribalism still apparent?

We have three stadiums that can pass EL standards but almost every game is played in Nikšić from where is Sutjeska or Podgorica, home of the Budućnost. Rivalry is bitter just between those teams and people are unified and happy if someone make good result.

How is the EL viewed in general by Montenegrin football fans?

Montenegrin football fans are generally very well informed about every big football tournament or league. We love sport and football is number one in every way. Lot of football fans are trying to test their knowledge of the game in bookie shops so every information is highly regarded and every game is interesting from that perspective.

There is big difference between Champions and Europe League viewers but if a club from Montenegro is involved or some big club from the region like Red Star or Partizan, there are more reasons to watch football on a Thursday.

How do you think the Europa League 2 will affect Montenegrin EL performances and what has been the reaction to the formation of the competition in Montenegro?

It could be said that everyone here is just trying to be patient about the new competition because of the bad results that have happened in the past.

It is easy to say that every opportunity to compete in Europe would be great for any of the teams in this region of ex-Yugoslavia. Bigger games can also shape players properly and coaches will have clear picture about their potential. It could also be great billboard for players who are trying to get a transfer abroad.

What would you like to see UEFA do to level the playing field more for small European sides?

It could be good idea that to create a regional competition. If a Montenegrin club travels to Azerbaijan or some other long distance destination it is easy to say that they will spend more money for the trip and such games are not attractive for home fans. Matches with teams from ex-Yugoslavia could be better in both ways, first financially and also with more influence on people that are trying to stay in touch with football game in stadiums or at home in front of the TV.

Interview with Vlado Perović, sports reporter for TV 777 and Arena Sport

Find all your Champions League betting odds here

A Europa League infographic

Author: Tom Mortimer

Tom is the editor at Betting Circle and has been creating online content for over 10 years. Tom mainly writes about sport and gambling, but every now and then also delves into fleshier subjects like politics and psychology. When he was 18 he created and over the last few years he's written on a freelance basis for ESPN, WorldSoccer,, among many others.

Twitter @TMortimerFtbl

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