The State of Slovakian Club Football
May 27, 2019
Most Championships: Slovan, 9
Last 5 Winners: Slovan (18/19), Spartak Trnava (17/18), MSK Zilina (16/17), AS Trencin (15/16, 14/15)
UEFA Ranking: 30th
Highest Ranked Club: Spartak Trnava, 136th
What’s the current state of Slovakian football?
You could write a book about that. Generally, the condition of our football, the league, is quite good. We don’t have that extra quality in our clubs, but a lot of young and prospective players. The teams who have the most quality are Slovan Bratislava and Dunajská Streda. After them there is MŠK Žilina and also Ružomberok. Spartak Trnava, the former champion and the Slovakian Cup winner, they are in the process of selling so we will see how they will work next season. But they have also some great players.
For our league is important to have some success in Europe. Trnava made great result last year in Europa League, now we are counting on Slovan and also Dunajská Streda. Like in the Czech Republic; Plzeň, Sparta, Slavia and Liberec did a great job in the past, and we need something similar.
Back to your question. The Slovak football league and football in Slovakia is now in a pretty good condition because there are some new and great stadiums, good young players, also quality players especially at Slovan. But now to take us to the next level we need success in Europe.
Slovakian sides have had some decent results in the Europa League in recent years but no Slovakian team has made the Champions League since MSK in 10/11. How would you sum up Slovakia’s recent years in Europe?
Everything is based on quality. Slovakian sides didn’t have the adequate quality or didn’t have in some cases luck. But our biggest problem is the league coefficient, which is low and every year we are starting from the 1st round.
The way to the group stage, Champions League or Europa League, is clubs really hard for our clubs. That’s why we need some success in Europe to raise the coefficient and to get better places in the preliminary rounds.
Last year we had Trnava in the group stage of Europa League and they made a great result. So this year our situation a little better.
How much do the fans and teams look forward to European competition?
Of course, our football fans are looking forward to it, but with the past results, except Trnava, they are also ‘tired’. The battle is tough every time ends in the preliminary rounds. This year Slovan has had a really strong season and Trnava made a great result in EL, so now there may be more expectations. We’ll see.
Is there any money in Slovakian football?
Yes. Especially at Slovan Bratilsava, because they can offer to their players better pay conditions than what the other competitors can. And that’s why they have players like Moha, Šporar and others. But, generally, our clubs live mainly from selling players. It is the most important thing for our clubs and for their ‘survival’. Because the income from the TV rights or tickets is really low in our country.
How do you think Europa League 2 will affect the Slovakian sides?
Hard to say. The first season will tell us more. In this competition there will be less quality and probably less money. And when there is less quality, you can do better results. Like in the past with the Intertoto Cup. In my opinion, this competition is ‘useless’. Champions League and Europa League is enough. Besides that, even the Europa League is not so popular if we compare it with the Champions League. So why another competition?
Do you think UEFA are doing enough to help the minnows of European football and what can they do to further help them?
Hard to say also in this case. You can see also with the project ‘Europa League 2’ that they are trying to do something and help the minnows. But the biggest problem with these clubs is money. The ‘small clubs’ can’t compete every year with the big or bigger ones because of low quality and the low quality is because of low income and smaller finances. You have to pay for traveling, hotels, player bonuses also to strengthen your squad and then you have to play your domestic league and cup. Our clubs have problems to compete on all fronts when they are in Europe. So what can help? The answer is clear – more money. But this is for another story…
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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 HungarianFootball.com and over the last few years he's written on a freelance basis for ESPN, WorldSoccer, Goal.com, among many others.