Skip to main content
На сайті проводяться технічні роботи. Вибачте за незручності.

Viktor Belobotsky: Though An Outsider, You Can Still Be Honest

21 April, 00:00
By Hennady Deribas, MIG weekly; Yevhen Karelsky, The Day

You cannot put much blame upon the management of Zaporizhzhia’s Torpedo soccer club for making ill-thought-out decisions; however, Viktor Matviyenko retired from the post of the team’s head coach in March. He was a well-known player in Dynamo Kyiv and USSR national team. Vyacheslav Pershyn will be coaching the team until a new head coach is appointed. The team’s roster also suffered serious changes, due to financial crisis.

We arrived to the AvtoZaz stadium when the desperate attempts of Torpedo to remain in the big leagues seemed to have failed. However, the club’s president Viktor Belobotsky does not think the situation is hopeless.

“Anyone can make a mistake, Torino in Italy, Rayo Vallecano in Spain, as well as Ipswich and Nottingham Forest in Great Britain also dropped out of the Premier League. We will start from the very beginning if nothing extraordinary happens. Boys are finally satisfied with their contracts and the atmosphere is fine. AvtoZaz has already started assembling Daewoo cars at their plant near Odesa, so I think they will start financing us again.”

“Are you sure that the retirement of head coach Viktor Matviyenko was the only possible measure in this situation? Especially when the first step toward consolidation has been made.”

“You see, plant management took into account that the club was totally short of money and Matviyenko had to work under such conditions. Beginning in January the plant tried to satisfy his basic demands regarding the team’s infrastructure. But time is running out. I would not say he is a bad coach. I just think he couldn’t lead the team because he had a complicated character.”

“We heard another story of your failure. Someone in Kyiv and Zaporizhzhia kind of wants to see Torpedo beaten just because it is provincial soccer team.”

“I haven’t noticed anything like that. And I wouldn’t consider provincial an oblast, which has four professional soccer teams, two of which play in the supreme league. Then, I would not say our neighbor, Metallurg is doing all right, although this team was always supported by city authorities. Also, we are supported by top-level officials in Ukrainian soccer federation: Hryhory Surkis, Oleksandr Bandurko. We bought three pretty good players from Karpaty of Lviv. But it takes more than two or three months to make a team.”

“Did you consider all that last October when you were appointed president of the club?”

“You can’t keep 20 players on the team with only words. Also no skilled player will play for a team which is about to drop out. But I can say that we stood tall to all problems. We fixed a strict but realistic money estimate and kept it. We could buy a player for Hr 2000. Of course, you can pay Hr 300,000 for a goalie or an offensive player. But on the other hand you have to have the money to do it. We added another four points, but that is way too little to take the team out of the ‘danger’ zone. We have had no complaints on how the players have worked.”

“You mean plant management understood that they owe their fans?”

“No, I don’t think so. We average 3000 spectators and if we play better, we will surely go as high as 8000. When you try to ask plant director Oleksandr Sotnykov for money, you always feel like you’re defending a thesis. This man knows the game from the inside. The well-known company, Umbro, equipped the team for the first time. We have also had training in Cyprus. I hope that we will keep Viktor as a farm-club and launch a reserve team in Komyshuvakha.

Photo: Viktor Belobotsky


Delimiter 468x90 ad place

Subscribe to the latest news:

Газета "День"