- December 20, 2012
Stefan Kimso: We still have hope
It is probable that Polonia Wilno (Vilnius) will never play in the A League of the Lithuanian Football Federation again. The registration fee amounts to 18 thousand LTL, a sum which the club does not have. The club has not managed to find a proper sponsor either. Stefan Kimso, acting head of FC Polonia Wilno (Vilnius), is going to hand in his resignation soon. However, he also says that although chances of enlisting any sponsor’s cooperation are small, he will have hope till the last moment.
Since December 20th football clubs have been allowed to prolong the license to play in the A League. Despite the fact that Polonia Wilno (Vilnius) meets all other formal criteria, it has not managed to comply with the financial requirements, which are not only about the registration fee. The club should also cover the salaries of all coaches, including four instructors of the youth teams and one of the senior team, who, according to the regulations, have to be permanently employed. The deadline to meet all necessary formalities is January 15th.
As Stefan Kimso himself has announced, after finalizing the current affairs of the club he is going to hand in his resignation. “I am not going to withdraw from the matters of the club entirely. I am only talking of not being the boss. Perhaps it is time to give up my position to somebody younger, maybe they will be more energetic so as to gain financial support for the club. Also, my humble person could be a nuisance for some people,” as Stefan Kimso comments. Nonetheless, he promises to stay close to football if the required amount of funds for his club appear.
Football fans united in the Association for Polonia Wilno (Vilnius) have petitioned the foreign minister of Poland, asking him for support. “The whole idea of the existence of the club and the continuation of playing in the A League in the Spring-Autumn season of 2013 are endangered due to financial reasons. We cannot predict whether our club will play any matches in the A League in March. Thus, we kindly ask you to support FC Polonia Wilno (Vilnius), all the more so because it is the only Polish football club of such a high rank in the Eastern borderlands. It would be a great pity to waste the club’s potential and its achievements to date,” as we i.a. read in the petition.
This year has been really successful for Polonia Wilno (Vilnius) as far as sport is concerned. The club has finished the season on the fifth place in the A League tables, which is a really nice result for a novice. Moreover, the club has gained a faithful fandom, who have not missed a single match. A couple of times they have been beaten up by Lithuanian football hooligans, supposedly for their Polishness, as some people say. Still, a certain sport culture in the Vilnius Region has already been born. Thus, Stefan Kimso laments that if the club does not qualify to the A League, it will no longer be of anybody’s interest, faithful fans included.
Photos and edition: Artur Kalczewski
Tłumaczenie Natalia Błędowska w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Natalia Błędowska the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.