PHOTO BY: NIKOLA SOLIĆ/REUTERS
Due to the current state of the Croatian first division (HNL), the editors of CroatianSports.com have made the decision to join Index.hr in the boycott of Prva Liga reporting. Players are not being paid on a regular basis, clubs are individually boycotting league matches and games are being suspended. After a 10-week winter break, absolutely nothing was done to improve the league. It is obvious that the league needs to be contracted back down to 12 teams, or even 10.
CroatianSports.com feels that attention should not be brought upon the HNL until efforts are put into place creating financial stability for players with administrative figures, who have abused the system, taken out of power.
CroatianSports.com will still report on up-and-coming players in the HNL in respect to their national team standing. With only 12 games remaining in the season, Dinamo Zagreb hold a comfortable 8-point lead atop the HNL table, on their way to a seventh straight Croatian title.
I wouldn’t mind seeing a decent young Hajduk player come to the MLS. Maybe Marin Tomasov.
Coming here for $65k/year might not be an easy sell.
Serbia does seem to be the deal breaker, but I can’t see a regional league that excludes either Croatia or Serbia.
We have the displeasure of facing them in waterpolo, handball and assorted other sports. Soccer should be viewed in the same light.
Nikad vise sa srbima
UEFA country rankings. Apparently there are many leagues worse than Croatia’s.
I know a Hapsburg league may be unpopular but here is a hypothetical league.
3 or 4 – Austria
2 or 3 – Hungary
2 or 3 – Serbia
2 or 3- Czech Republic
2 – Slovakia
2 – Croatia
1 or 0 – Herzegovina
1 – Slovenia
1 – Montenegro
It could easily be a competitive 12-20 team league. Any ideas on how relegation and promotion would be handled?
Here are my issues / questions
1. Failure to pay players.
2. Referees that are dirty.
@Bronk……I hope you are correct, but I sure don’t think there will be a clean sweap of the criminal element within croatian soccer.
The only thing that will help usher in a clean sweap is if the national team begins to slide and not qualify for tournaments. Until that happens the status quo will remain.
Lets say the Markovic/Srebric/Mamic/Suker group is somehow removed. Who then???? The people who want their jobs and those who I assume have the power to get it are led by Stimac/Sinovcic.
@ Ante B,
I’m glad we’re all on the same page.
Welcome back! I had a feeling we’d be hearing from you…
All this corruption and match fixing that I have been talking about for years, has finally come home to roost. I looks like there is going to be a clean sweep very soon and the dinosaurs in Croatian soccer will be gone.
Yeah for sure. I will be talking about that, but If you have anything more specific, let me know. I’m sure you know more about this than I do.
Unethical dealings????? Where to begin???
coaches/team officials/agents are all in bed with each other.
Hey guys. I am going to talk to my contact who plays in the HNL today and if any of you have any *SERIOUS* questions about how the league/teams are run or about any unethical dealings the league has done, let me know and I’ll pass them along. Can’t tell you who he is, but he plays for one of the teams in Zagreb… Not Dinamo.
If this works out well, I’ll get the guys to post it on the site.
I believe everything you said. So does my little two year old niece.
We lost an enemy in the Serbs once yugo broke up so it was just a matter of time before we turned on each other. Sad but it is what it is…
@ Poglavnik and Ante B.,
Makes no difference to me who is in first place. Yes, I’m a Hajduk guy, and the corruption I’m trying to make public through this website is all from Hajduk.
This stuff is ridiculous. Let’s see if we can get some people to step forward and shed ‘public’ light on the situation. If not, we will all continue to speculate and think everything is fine in the HNL…when it is not.
I just finished watching the FOX Soccer Rivalries : Dinamo/Hajduk.
It is a shame that things have deteriorated, but times are different.
Dinamo and another Zagreb club with stable finances. Frankly, finances are what concerns.
I’d say Croatian Sports.com forms a team and we win the HNL.
@mali HRVAT – Which 2 teams from zagreb would you choose in your 10 team league? There are already 4 teams in the league now. Just wondering who you would choose. There’s also like 3 or 4 in the druga liga from zagreb too.
4-team league is the way to go……
Hajduk, Dinamo and traveling all-star teams from everything north of Gospic as the third team and everything south of Gospic as the fourth team.
Halftime show will be small chimps racing each other around the PK box so that gives our fans a chance to whistle and scream monkey noises.
Imagine a professional sports team from Toms River,NJ or San Luis Obispo,Ca. They would be a joke.
Croatia only has 9 cities with a population greater than 50,000 people. This is the main problem with the league. NO REVENUE.
I can see a 10 team league with 2 from Zagreb.
For those interested here are the 12 biggest cities by population.
Velika Gorika (64k)
Slavonski Brod (60k)
Let me add this…………I don’t care if this website covers or does not cover the HNL. I can get my info on the HNL from other websites if I want. I know for some of you that may be an issue seeing how you cant read any Croatian. Jebiga, purchase Rosetta Stone. If you use my name you may be able to get 15% off.
back to the boycott…………Media outlets should not be in the business of boycotting coverage of leagues or other news in general. The media is there to report and its up to us to determine if we like the coverage or not.
Back to the HNL for a second…….I for one hope this is not even close the bottom. I hope the league continues to crumble. I hope another 4 or 5 teams are forced to into suspensions because they can not pay their bills. Before you can begin a rebuilding process you need to hit rock bottom. We have not reached rock bottom yet with this joke of a league. Eventually that will mean the national team will suffer and we will begin to miss out on more tourneys. Well, that is fine with me if it ultimately leads to a decent league where I don’t know the results ahead of time and the criminal element is finally removed.
Worse days are ahead and we’ll be laughing through it all.
Never said it was the reason they’re boycotting but I do have my doubts this boycott would continue if Hajduk inked out first place. Like I said before, I respect the decision to boycott but I don’t believe it would continue were Hajduk to take first. Nice job Index West 🙂
Dukicu, ne kenjaj po tavanu.
ajme you dinamovci are so full of yourselfs. the world and hnl doesnt revolve around dinamo. they are taking a stand. if its that important to you then go on 24sata or something.
There has been “mixed” comments about CroatianSports.com boycotting the HNL. I will have a chat with Ante in the next 24 hours.
@poglavnik and Ante B,
Yes, it sucks to see Dinamo at the top, however, that is not the reason why we are boycotting. We are just tired of reporting on our league that is more corrupt than any league in southeast asia. Our boycott will probably do nothing to change the corruption but it shows that we are taking a stand and demand changes. If everyone in Croatian media would boycott the league there would be changes.
However, if there are many of you that want CroatianSports.com to report on the HNL, well then we don’t have a choice. Or do we?
I appreciate everyone’s comments about our boycott and the state of the HNL.
Poglavnik I’m right there with you. No chance they would but I digress.
Well this sucks!
I wonder if you guys would be going through with your boycott if Hajduk were leading the league and on their way their first title in 7 years?
Probably not, me thinks…
That’s gonna be the ugly truth in a little less than a decade from now, maybe less. That diaspora pipeline is gonna dry up (unless we turn into other european NT’s and just flat out recruit foreigners, offer citizenship, etc.) and I think another important factor is this young generation who was actually born within modern day Hrvatska. I might be wrong, but I don’t think they’ll have that spark and fire in the bellies that previous NT squads did, since they didn’t endure, witness or fight for what previous generations had to. I don’t think we’ll become a Hungary or Serbia and take a serious nose dive. We’ll still produce a world class talent every so often, with a group of hopefully near-world class talent. Fact of the matter is, I think we’ve been spoiled for a while with our NT successes; usually making every big tournament, occasionally getting good results. I think in a few cycles, it’ll be a great achievement just to make it to a World Cup or Euro and hopefully make it out of group stages. But the days of making every Euro and WC, usually as the group winner, are gonna be over sooner rather than later.
I hope this isn’t the case, hopefully the HNL cleans itself up somehow, we continue to produce homegrown talent and are well coached. But the way things are now, the future isn’t looking too bright…
there is no minimum pay……it varies. there are juniors on some rosters that get paid a few thousand kuna per month.
We are a few qualifying cycles away from the national team really falling apart. Eventually, we will end up like Bulgaria or slightly better like Serbia. We will qualify one out of every three tourneys. The diaspora has covered up a lot of the misses with the HNL. Take away Simunic, Kovac brothers, Klasnic, Petric, and Rakitic over the years…..Well, eventually that pipeline will dry out.
Until all the corrupt elements in the HNS are run out and there is a legal system willing to impose the rule of law, the situation will not change. Enjoy it now, because it will get worse.
Plenty of Croatian companies don’t pay their employees regularly outside of soccer.
Last time I was there, I remember reading about an Italian owned company that wasn’t paying their employees. They were still showing up for work because of the way the back wage process is setup.
What is the minimum pay in the HNL?
“Just to make this point clear: you want MORE people like Zdravko Mamic in the HNL?”
Ideally, ABSOLUTELY NOT. But, a league that could financially support/create a 2nd Mamic would be better because he would no longer have the monopoly he currently does.
The positive of a Mamic (other than the absurd entertainment value), is that he is in fact to a degree a businessman willing to risk and invest in his team’s future, and in turn… profit.
Mamic is corrupt because he can be… there is nobody that can oppose him. If you have multiples of people like him, there is at least some sort of balance of power. That was my point, if there were more teams other than Dinamo actually bringing in revenue, Mamic wouldn’t be the corrupt dictator that he is.
Very disappoited about this bioycott…
i would rather play for hajduk then a big team!!! da zivota iman dva ja bi tebi oba da!
Just to make this point clear: you want MORE people like Zdravko Mamic in the HNL?
How does this help fix anything with the HNL?
All it does is remove a resource that can and should provide an avenue of access for the diaspora to Croatian soccer. Increased interest and support by a bigger fan base is what the HNL needs (in addition to fixing corruption). Croatiansports.com has an opportunity to be an avenue to do that. They are choosing to forgo that opportunity, and launch a senseless boycott instead.
The HNL is in stuck in a cycle (which helps fuel the corruption); People don’t have interest in the product because it stinks, therefore there is less revenue, which makes the HNL stink even more, and so on. This is emblematic of many of the things wrong with Croatian society and the way way it’s economy functions/fails to function.
If there was more money, going to more teams, guys like Mamic/Markovic wouldn’t have the corrupt power monopoly that they do. You’re better off doing your part by buying a Hajduk jersey than boycotting the entire league. Mamic seems to be the only person there that has invested in and developed young talent with much success. If we had two, three or more like him with other clubs, there would be more of a balance of power, less corruption, and more success.
Turning your back hurts MORE than it helps. Ultimately, this downward spiral of the HNL will also ruin the repka. By boycotting we are contributing to that.
@ArmadaSD – Eh, I’m not greedy. I’d take a contract from dinamo 🙂 Or any hnl team willing to let me play for that matter…
No kid dreams to end up in Dinamo or Hajduk either. They all dream about Barca or ManU.
I’m excited to hear more about this and hope your Hajduk source pans out, Ante. I’d like to hear more about your plans. I may have a contact with a player at Lucko and maybe if I can get a hold of him, we can work on this together? I think it would be good coming from him as I know he hasn’t been paid in months either.
@mali HRVAT – ha I appreciate that I’m your favorite McHrvat. And to answer your question about the 4 team league Ziva proposes, ideally It would be dinamo, hajduk, MAYBE Rijeka, and or 1 or 2 all star teams made of various players. Though, UEFA does not allow any league under 8 teams i believe, and Ziva has said in the past that this is just his fantasy. Just something to think about though. Certainly couldn’t do anymore harm to the league.
I understand that it is frustrating when you go to a place called Croatiansports.com and they are not reporting on the Croatian first division in soccer. However, in the upcoming weeks, we will try to unveil how bad the situation is over there. A young, unnamed Hajduk player has told us that he wants out of the HNL and is even looking for a move to the MLS. Once we get more information or possibly an interview, all this will be made public.
Players are not being paid and are expected to play at 100% output. How many of you would continue working your 40 hour/week jobs without getting paid? Ok, maybe one or two weeks, but a lot of these guys are getting paid in months.
Many consumers worldwide boycott products which are made in China and surrounding countries because of child labor laws along with low wages. We cannot continue to support a league which only profits the criminals.
How can changes be made when the fans don’t want to do any work? They shouldn’t go to games, they shouldn’t watch games and they shouldn’t talk about games.
Same like Chicago Cubs fans. Yes, they are the most loyal, but why? They do little to make their team a championship contender. But fans still flock inside Wrigley. Stop going and changes will be made.
I dont understand why some of you don’t realize that people in Hrvatska have way more things to worry about than nogomet. Not dumping on sports in anyway, but the realistic situation in Hrvatska is that nogoment is not one of their top priorities, but to actually survive this world catastrophe is. Why would you waste your money on a friendly match, when you could use that money more wisely to protect yourself and your family. It goes the same for Euro 12. You won’t being seeing a lot of Hrvati from Hrvatska goin. It will most be Diaspora who have enough money. Because we play our group games in Poland, this is worse of two countries in terms of currency exchange. Kuna is worth more in Ukraine than Poland.
I’d like to go on record by saying I’m disappointed with this development. I recognize the HNL is far from perfect but I remain a fan of the league and, yes, Hajduk in particular and I welcome all of the coverage on the league I can find.
@Nate…..not true, just because the repka comes to a certain city it doesn’t mean the people should go. I’ve been lucky enough to watch the national team in big games throughout the years, so not going to a friendly is not that big of an issue for me. Plus, there is a comfort factor. Maksimir is a dump, no roof over the stadium, exposed to the elements, to replay screen, no replay screen in HD, terrible concessions, uncomfortable seats, and the ability to watch in the comfort of my home in HD…..all those are factors why I would not go to the game. I don’t blame the average person for not wanting to go. They are disgusted with the domestic league and maybe want to show their frustration at the savez for it.
Look at the ticket sales for the Euros, very low ticket buys for our group games. It has a bit to do with it being in Poland and not more of a fan-friendly location like Austria/Germany, but the public seems to be less interested.
Regarding Volpi and his purchase of Rijeka…..it means nothing. Dinamo and Hajduk will still get the better players. No kid dreams of growing up and playing for Rijeka.
Volpi made his money in Nigeria (oil and gas). A pretty misterious character. Many people in Rijeka are enthusiastic about him. Rijeka was on the verge of bankrupcy (as are most clubs in HNL) so he was greeted as a savior. I am a bit more cautious.
He has 5 soccer/football academies in Nigeria, and I am afraid he will be using Rijeka as a placement agency for Nigerian players into Europe, now that Croatia is entering EU. If that is what is goin to happen. Should that happen on a grand scale, I would have a hard time identifying with the team anymore. Zivi bili pa vidjeli – we’ll see…
Perhaps you should cover the corruption in the league in detail. Starting with the referees that Hajduk refuses to allow to officiate their games.
The current survey regarding HNL should include All of The Above
I agree with JerseyCro and my favorite McHrvat Colin.
Which 4 teams would you include? Personally, I feel 4 teams is to small, but some dead wood should be pruned.
On a side note:
Jajalo had a decent sized blunder that led to a goal during the Bayer 04 game. Corluka looked solid as usual.
@ziva istina- It’s the “not blaming them” that i have a problem with. Even a worthless friendly is an opportunity to see our team play. They deserve to be supported. They qualified for Euro and have a chance to do some great things. For them to show up to a half empty stadium would show that the people aren’t behind them and that could effect the end result. You might be right when it comes to what actually happens, but what should happen is a different story.
If Croatia plays in your home town, you go. It’s as simple as that.
mamic out and im satisfied. him and the hns he controls is ruining everything.
The FIFA Soccer International Friendly between Croatia and Sweden will be shown live Wednesday, February 29 on TSN2 in Canada @ 2:30 pm Eastern.
Good day eh.
I agree with Croatiansports.com about the boycott. I never would have dreamed after the war was over that “we” (Croats) would actually be more corrupt than Serbs would ever be. Really sad 🙁
@Ziva – Me and your other 3 followers are anxiously awaiting your 3rd, 4th, 5th… tweets. Embrace twitter!
and the fact you guys read Index.yu is laughable enough
if anyone wants HNL updates just follow me on @ziva_istina……
I don’t blame the fans for not wanting to come out to the Cro-Sweden game this Wednesday. After all, it’s a worthless friendly. I am not sure what the weather will be, but late Feb. outdoors in ZG is not ideal.
The reason this game is not in Osijek or Rijeka is because Sweden would not allow it to be in another city. Logistics are a big concern and the club teams want their players back ASAP and by playing a game in Osijek or Rijeka, that calls for another airplane connection since none of those locations have direct flights throughout Europe.
Don’t expect much on Wednesday night. Cold night, half empty stadium with no atmosphere. Guys will be going through the motions and hoping they don’t get hurt – and I don’t blame them.
no matter what you guys think, the HNL IS important for the NT. Lets face it, the diaspora pool will dry up as years go on, so the league will have to do its job to develop talents. With Croatia going in the EU I guess that will help youngsters go to Western Europe’s academies as youngsters but that doesn’t always guarantee success either
I am a fan of the HNL, I follow most of the clubs, while I don’t agree with the HNS’ handling of the league, its still interesting to see some of the young prospects. To me, if you don’t follow the HNL at least minimally, you’re not a true fan of Croatian soccer
little shit Kvartuc…LOL
Mysterion is in my fave five of posters after that comment. Someone please interview this man at Alpine Wednesday, he’s a champ.
So according to the “Gabriele Volpi buying Rijeka” story, he’s getting about 70% ownership of the club for only 5.4M Euros.
This would place NK Rijeka’s value at 7.7M Euros (about the same as what Mario Mandzukic’s transfer was worth).
If I were some multi-millionaire, I would buy a cheap HNL team in a city with somewhat of a decent sized population (ie. NK Zagreb, Lucko, Inter Zapresic) and just commit to pay their mediocre salaries on a timely basis. Players would flock to play for your team, simply for the benefit of being paid, lol. You would have a monopoly of talent in the HNL, lol.
Oh God, cry me a river!
Shit league run by shit people! Are you guys really going to miss some scores every weekend when you can log on anywhere on the net to find them?? The entire internet should boycott the HNL! I’ve been on this site for about 2 years and every week there are ZERO comments under the HNL posts. Now that the administrators of this fantastic website decide to pull the plug, there’s magically 15+.
BTW your great Hajduk drew Istra yesterday 1-1 at home. I’m with little shit Kvartuc on this one…don’t report on this shit. See you all at Alpine Wednesday.
@ Ziva Da that sad that the game is even in maksimir, any way in croatia here in zadar one cares about the game because of the status of our football it a joke alo the national team dont look good either the hnl players dont perform too good and its a bland team no heart no characters and in croatia no one is pumped for the euro maybe its too early but no one cares for now this game should have benn played in osijek!
if anyone actually wants news on the HNL, there are numerous websites to find it on. The league is garbage and is run by idiots. More reason for a 4-team league in the future.
People are turned off by the domestic league in cro and it will spread. This upcoming friendly against Sweden won’t get more than 10,000 into Maksimir for the game, it that.
some Italian multi-millionaire Gabriele Volpi bought the majority stake of Rijeka a few weeks ago. He owns a couple of football teams in Italy with a waterpolo club. He’s promising to inject a lot of cash into the club and actually predicted that Rijeka will eventually win the Europa League, which had me laughing for the whole day. Dude should be focusing on trying to finish top 6 this year, not about winning the Europa League…
Svaka cast decki, Everyone love the croatian national team but no cares about HNL Markovic Krepaj crkni vise Mamicu od jebi Hercegovsko Dubre!
Speaking of hnl news… Did anybody hear about the guy who just bought Rijeka, or am I just hearing things?
Honestly, kind of bummed about this. The reason why I found this site in the first place like 2 years ago was to find hnl news, no matter how bad the league is. BUT I do understand where you are coming from and why you are doing this. So, I hope you can find some kind of compromise soon to resolve this, because if you plan on boycotting the league until it is an honest and comparative league, you won’t be reporting on it for a long long time.
what are we gonna miss really? It’s not like it’s going to be a race to the wire for the championship. We more or less know the teams that’ll make it into Europe. Who cares really who wins the scoring title? I really don’t even give a crap what Rijeka does this year, hopefully they finish some place between 5 and 8. Other than that… ZZZZZ. Good call Team CS.
10 to 12 team mafia-free league would be ideal.
Not sure if combining our league with others would be beneficial to the development of our young players or not. Not sure if uefa would even allow combining leagues.
Nice job not becoming index west, note my sarcasm.
I do however respect the fact that you’re taking a stand and doing what you think is necessary, even if some are against you. Good luck.
Please forgive my ignorance, but I’ve never really understood the HNL.
Would you guys rather see a “mafia free” domestic league with ten clubs, or would it be better to try and combine a league with other nations? Say, Hungary, Slovenia, and Austria? Or would it be best if Dinamo and Hajduk broke off entirely and joined the Serie A or Bundasliga?
Again, I’m completely ignorant on this so please don’t tear me apart, just wanted to see what people think.
I like the decision fellas.
then I guess this is not the proper place to get Croatian football news….
insanity over there when it comes to this
for me , this should have happened a long time ago.the croatian league is a joke. they dont deserve the diaspora support. they are swindlers.
this is bad news? i love seeing the highlights and everything? im disappointed of this!