Home > My offside trap > It’s official: nothing in Romanian football is official!

It’s official: nothing in Romanian football is official!


Iordache, the million dollar baby

Ilie Iordache, haunting his former club

Playing for Pandurii Targu Jiu was a blessing for a winger gifted with enough pace and skill to stand out in one of the most defensive and ugly teams from Liga I in recent years. Taking out his direct opponent on the left, cutting inside and scoring an average six goals per season made Iordache look like the decisive player every team needs. Every team in the second division, every team that dreams of survival in Liga I, right? Wrong! Iordache presented himself as a free agent to AEK Athens in the summer of 2009 and the Greek club agreed, after a trial, to offer him a shot. Problems appeared right away, as Pandurii asked the Romanian federation to block the move, stating that the player was still under contract, but they were only trying to find a way to block the move. They had lost Iordache on a free transfer, yet when they had bought the guy from Dinamo, they agreed to pay 1 million Euros, in case the player would have switched clubs…

A “gentlemen’s” agreement

Dumitru Dragomir, LPF's president, desperate to keep the big clubs happy

Once the move became official, Dinamo asked Pandurii to come up with the money, so a payment of 250.000 Euros was good enough to buy some time, not solve the case. Pandurii still had to pay around 600.000 Euros, so, last week, Dinamo asked the Professional Football League (LPF) to intervene. And they did: on Wednesday, Universitatea Craiova was awarded a 3-0 win, as Pandurii weren’t scheduled for a game that was supposed to take place tonight. The appeal on Thusday brought only a second official confirmation: the game is lost, nothing can be done.

But, since we’re in Romania, there’s always something that can be done, ’cause this is the country where “the rules are made to be broken”. To Pandurii’s rescue came than Steaua’s owner, Gigi Becali! Pandurii’s boss, Marin Condescu, had asked him for cash, but Becali’s ability to “lobby” proved good enough. He arranged over the phone with one of the shareholders at Dinamo (Steaua’s arch-rivals), Cristian Borcea, and guaranteed that Condescu will make monthly payments of 100.000 Euros, until the debt is cleared and, if he fails to come up with the dosh, Becali would pay in his place! Dinamo agreed and informed LPF that, as far as they’re concerned, the match Pandurii – Universitatea can take place. What do you think LPF did, after one official decision and a lost appeal from Pandurii? Well, you can see tonight, starting 20.00…

PS Which games do you think Pandurii will lose? Against Steaua? Against Dinamo? Don’t answer, just bet accordingly!

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  1. February 25, 2011 at 8:57 am

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