When the whistle blew on the National League’s 2014-15 season the action switched from stadia to conference halls, courtrooms and the corridors of the Czech FA for it would be politicians, club chairman and the judiciary who would eventually determine who would be promoted and, ultimately, who would be relegated.
Unfortunately, the club that lost out on ascending to the Synot Liga for the 2015-16 campaign was Varnsdorf. Varnsdorf isn’t noted for much, in fact, it’s probably well known these days for its rather fine micro-brewery which makes it a favourite destination of those hardy away supporters who have navigated their way up north towards the German border. But despite years of achieving very little in a sporting sense, the city, for once, was beginning to believe that it could boast about its football team that was daring to dream. But alas, a dream is all it would turn out to be.
Meetings took place and for a while, it seemed that a deal had been struck that would see the club temporarily relocate to Jablonec. Further encouragement came from the Varnsdorf born FA Chairman Miroslav Pelta who said he would like to see his home-town club take their place in the Czech top flight. Sadly, it came down to money: With no real concrete support from the local government, the much-needed funding for the renovation of their modest Stadion v Kotline wasn’t forthcoming and so the plug was pulled.
Shortly after there was a mini-exodus and the squad that finished second broke up with, noticeably, manager Zdenko Frt’ala leaving for Podbrezova and imperious midfielder Radim Breite heading west to Teplice.
It was a similar tale for Viktoria Zizkov who despite finishing towards the top of the table and being a surprising outside bet for promotion were relegated due to off-the-field matters. With an increasingly precarious financial situation and a perennially absent owner, there were winding up orders aplenty. The tipping point was a document put forward by the Prague 3 council requesting payment or recompense for rent. So with their residence up in air and no money to secure tenureship, they were forced out of the professional ranks to be reborn in the semi-professional third tier. Again, such a shame.
So what happened on the pitch?
Aside from a clumsy start and a lackadaisical end to the season, Sigma Olomouc, as expected, cruised to the National League title under the stewardship of Leos Kalvoda. Free-scoring in attack, resolute in defence and populated with experienced heads, the Moravian club comfortably went back up to the Synot Liga in impressive fashion.
Sigma were joined in promotion by Zlin, who will make a return to the Czech top flight after a six-year absence. After years of punching below their weight, the shoemakers finally managed to put things together and string together a competitive campaign, but it’s just a shame that the Letna-based club won their promotion off the field rather than on it.
Elsewhere Kolin – who were somewhat forced into moving up into the professional ranks – struggled and went down like a lead balloon, and joining them in finishing in the bottom two were Banik Most who’ll depart from the National League after a seven unsuccessful years.
- Top scorer: Vaclav Vasicek (Sigma Olomouc) – 13
- Highest attendance: Opava v Sigma Olomouc – 4,231
- Highest average attendance: Sigma Olomouc – 2,661
- Promoted to the 2015-16 FNL: Sigma Olomouc B (MSFL) and Slavoj Vysehrad (CFL)
Narodni Liga Table
|1.||SK Sigma Olomouc (Champions, promoted)||30||19||6||5||+39||63|
|3.||FK Viktoria Zizkov (Relegated – CFL)||30||16||7||7||+27||55|
|4.||FC Fastav Zlin (Promoted)||30||16||7||7||+21||55|
|5.||FK Banik Sokolov||30||13||9||8||+5||48|
|6.||FC MAS Taborsko||30||13||8||9||+13||47|
|10.||FC Graffin Vlasim||30||11||6||13||-14||39|
|12.||FK Usti nad Labem||30||10||4||16||-12||34|
|15.||FK Banik Most 1909 (Relegated – CFL)||30||5||6||19||-26||21|
|16.||FK Kolin (Relegated – CFL)||30||3||6||21||-48||15|
- Posted by Chris Boothroyd
- On 30th July 2015