Interesting Save Ideas Oct 27, 2018 13:16:53 GMT
Post by Nick on Oct 27, 2018 13:16:53 GMT
Ukrainian football, so long dominated by Dynamo Kiev and, in more recent years, Shakhtar Donetsk. You'd be forgiven for not knowing much about anyone else, such is the cult following of these two sides. In fact, since it's inception in 1991/92, only Tavria Simferopol have won the Ukrainian Premier League, and that was way back in it's inaugural season.
Plenty of teams could be considered the 'nearly men' of Ukrainian football, but perhaps none more so than Metalist Kharkiv who, during the mid/late 2000's finished third seven times in eight seasons. In the other season, they pipped Kiev to second, but finished some thirteen points behind serial winners Shahktar.
That was as good as it got for Metalist fans and since 2016 the club has ceased operating. The club's huge debts were unable to be paid by owner Serhiy Kurchenko, who eventually did a disappearing act, and the club was officially 'confiscated' from him in October 2017 and placed under 'state property'.
Kurchenko's ownership was constantly clouded with uncertainty, with many not believing that he even owned the club in the first place. Many investors and board members of other teams refused to do business with Metalist due to Kurchenko's shady reputation.
Following it's demise, two club's have been founded in Kharkiv - SK Metalist Kharkiv and FC Metalist 1925 Kharkiv - the former being owned by, you guessed it, Serhiy Kurchenko. No 'fit and proper' tests done in Ukraine by the FA then? SK play in the Kharkiv Oblast Championship, while 1925 (the date the original team was founded) Kharkiv have re-built and gained promotion to the Ukrainian First League at the first time of asking. It's this team that have piqued my interest.
Their story aside, I imagine we'd all like a blank canvas to work with. The ability to shape this club, barely two years old, any way you want with the ability to write history.
The first thing to note is that you'll be playing in the original Metalist Stadium, meaning you could potentially get 40,003 people turn up to watch you each week. The rest of your facilities? Average, as expected for a club with such a huge demise.
The club is predicted 12th out of 16 teams, which would see you just avoid relegation. The board, however, want you to finish mid-table. The squad has a handful of young players, but is fairly unbalanced, with the majority of players playing through the centre of the pitch.
The biggest challenge, of course, is getting this once well thought of team back to the upper reaches of Ukrainian football.