Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Hajduk Split Celebrates 108 Years: How it All Began

February 13, 2019 - On this day 108 years ago, the beloved football club of Dalmatia, Hajduk Split, was found. 

Hajduk was born in a Prague pub by four Split students, Fabian Kaliterna, Lucijan Stella, Ivan Šakić and Vjekoslav Ivanišević. Delighted by the football played in the world's top clubs, like Sparta and Slavia, they came to the idea of establishing a football club in Split. Despite the Split people's initial lack of understanding, the idea quickly captivated the city. 

Only the name of the club had yet to be chosen. Professor Josip Barač suggested "the club should be called Hajduk", which was accepted with enthusiasm. Hajduk was officially registered on February 13, 1911. 

The first president of the club was Dr. Kruno Kolombatović, and the first coach Čeh Oldrich Just. In their first official match, Hajduk lost 0:9 to Calcio Spalato. 

Hajduk has made it to the Champions League quarter-final three times

Through its rich history, Hajduk has won 18 Championships in five countries, 15 National Cups and 5 Super Cups, and its biggest European achievements are the three Champions League quarter-finals and one semi-final of the UEFA Cup and the Cup Winners' Cup.

Hajduk boasts the oldest fan group in Europe

As soon as the World Cup in Brazil ended, marked by fantastic and fanatical Brazilians, a group of Split students in Zagreb decided to form a fan group based on the Brazilian Torcida. Hajduk’s Torcida was thus founded on October 28, 1950, by engineering student Vjenceslav Žuvela. Thanks to their loud chants and cheering, Torcida became the twelfth player of Hajduk and helped them win their first post-war title. On October 29, 1950, Hajduk played against Red Star to become the champion of Yugoslavia.

According to the 2005 GfK survey, 24% of the total Croatian population supports Hajduk. Hajduk has fans all over Croatia and even in the world, and there are fans clubs in Australia, America, and across Europe. 

Hajduk is one of the few clubs that has never been relegated from the First League

The Poljud club has never dropped out of the First League, which is rare even in the world. Hajduk's last title, however, was won in 2005, when Niko Kranjčar, Nenad Pralija, Vladimir Balić, Dragan Blatnjak, Hrvoje Vejić, and others were part of the club. 

Who has played for Hajduk?

Many famous Croatian footballers have gone through the Poljud dressing room, and some left an incredibly deep mark in the history of the club like Vladimir Beara, Frane and Jozo Matošić, and Bajdo Vukas.

In addition to them, the Hajduk jersey has been worn by Ivica Šurjak, Stipe Pletikosa, Darijo Srna, Aljoša Asanović, Niko Kranjčar, Milan Rapaić, Slaven Bilić, Ivan Strinić, Danijel Subašić, Blaž Slišković, Zlatko Vujović, Alen Bokšić, Vlade Kragić, Ante Žanetić and many others.

In its 108 years, Hajduk has been led by numerous coaches, and the most significant achievements were achieved by Luka Kaliterna (two championships), Ljubo Benčić (three championships), Tomislav Ivić (three cups and three championships), Stanko Poklepović (championship and super cup) and Ivan Katalinić (two championships, two cups and two super cups).

To the club that lives forever, Happy 108th Birthday, Hajduk!

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Source: Index.hr

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Joe Bašić: Ultra Europe Expects 160,000 Festivalgoers in 2019

Preparations for the next Ultra Europe Music Festival are underway. Hundreds of people have been tirelessly working on the project that has changed Split - from finalizing and arranging performances to logistics, meetings with city authorities, police, utility services, and more. 

Joe Bašić, the owner of MPG Live, the alpha and omega of the Croatian Ultra, revealed everything we need to know about the upcoming edition, and just how Ultra got here in the first place, reports Slobodna Dalmacija on January 2, 2019. 

How did Joe come up with the idea of organizing Ultra?

“I have been involved in organizing various events, concerts and music festivals in North America, and in Croatia since 1997, for over 25 years. The economy started to change here in 2006 and Croatia became a marketplace where it was possible to organize international music events but needed further development and investment in infrastructure to attract the best performers and projects. That same year, MPG began developing strategies and investments in local and regional music events, concerts and festivals. One of the important steps was to develop the electronic music fan base in Croatia because we recognized that the new generation wanted new and different music to express themselves. Before that, electronic music was ‘underground’ and just released in small clubs and could not get mainstream radio and media attention.”

When did this change begin?

“Well, with the events we've organized, like Fat Boy Slim, Armand Van Helden, Sebastian Ingros, Axwell, David Guetta, Fedde Le Granda, Eric Moril and others, which gathered between 3000 and 10,000 people. Recognizing the potential and great interest, we organized Umagination and Big Beach, and they attracted fans from Europe, Canada and the United States. With more than 20,000 people attending these festivals, electronic music has become more popular and has also found its way to the most important media in Croatia. After five years of creating a strong base of fans and our recommendations as organizers, we launched a discussion with leading world festivals with the intent to consider the possibility of organizing a major international event in Croatia. We felt that the Ultra Music Festival was the best way for us and after 18 months of presentation and negotiation, we managed to sign an exclusive partnership in Europe for their brand. In 2013, when Croatia joined the European Union, we organized the first edition of the ULTRA Europe Festival and the rest of it is history.”

How did the Americans react to this proposal?

“First they thought we were crazy! They never heard about Croatia and they thought we were from one of the former Russian states. But after seeing our references and rich experience, they decided to seriously consider our proposal. By presenting ULTRA Europe to them and once they arrived Croatia, they became convinced of the beauty and potential of this project, and the partnership decision came quickly.”

Which Ultra festival is the most successful with regard to the location? Of course, not counting Miami.

“ULTRA Europe is the second biggest event in the great Ultra Worldwide family, right after the Miami Festival. There are currently more than 30 events around the world, on all continents, with more than a million tickets sold annually. Our release has 15 percent of total sales and generates more than 200 million impressions in the media annually. ULTRA Europe's visitors come from more than 140 countries, while in Miami festivalgoers come from 90 countries, which is 50 fewer than us.”

What’s in store for the future?

“The US owners are convinced that our festival will become the largest Ultra festival in the world, but this will certainly require additional support from the Government and local partners, new hotels and all the necessary infrastructure for an additional 20,000 visitors. In 2013, Split had 7,000 registered beds, and today it has grown to 32,000. There is a need for additional investments in hotels of higher categories and the development of traffic, especially air traffic, so that Split is ready to increase guests.”

What should we expect for Ultra 2019?

“Our plans and current indicators are moving towards 160,000 visitors in 2019, so, this is the number of visitors who will visit Poljud all three days, as well as the events on the islands and all other events related to the festival. This will be possible with additional flights to Split, Zagreb and Zadar and increased investments in marketing activities and promotion of the festival in the world, and we are working diligently.”

Will there be any changes compared to Ultra 2018?

“The novelty is certainly the ULTRA WORLDWIDE STAGE on which we will present performers from all over the world. We will also promote our country through works by local artists, food and other entertaining events. We will continue to focus on improving the overall visitor experience, so we will further work on food, toilets and the arrival to the stadium. Given the excellent results, we will continue with the development of destination events on Bol, Hvar and Vis, and our goal is to show the world all the beauties of Croatia so they extend their stay here. Be sure to expect a lot of good surprises.”

How are preparations going for 2019?

“Great! We have entered the seventh year on the wings of last year's most successful edition so far. I think that behind us is tremendous knowledge and invaluable experience and we are most focused on improving the overall experience of visitors and for even better promotion of all the benefits that our festival offers as a unique destination in the world. We recently announced the ULTRA Europe 2018 Aftermovie, and in the first 24 hours it was viewed by more than 200,000 people. We are extremely pleased with the sales that again recorded a growth of 20 percent more than last year, and a 100 percent increase in the DESTINATION ULTRA Europe tickets, which includes the entrance to all seven festival events. We plan to invest more in the RESISTANCE stage, and there will be special RESISTANCE tickets for those who want to visit all the events under this brand, in Split, and on Hvar and Vis.”

To read more about Ultra, follow TCN's dedicated page

Friday, 28 December 2018

Zlatko Dalic: "We Are the National Team of Croatia, Not Just One City"

"My wish in the new year is to pass through the group stage in Russia. It will not be the end of the world if we fail, although I know what I'm waiting for in this case. Humiliation, underestimation, a national tragedy. I'm ready for everything. From the fans, I would like for them to be with us." Just one year ago, this is how Zlatko Dalic responded to what he hoped for in 2018.

Friday, 21 December 2018

Will Croatia National Team Ever Return to Split? Šuker Comments

The Croatian Football Federation held their annual Assembly on Thursday where questions of returning the national team to Split were answered. 

Friday, 7 December 2018

Hajduk Wants National Team at Poljud, Sends HNS List of Requests

After the draw for the Euro 2020 qualifiers was held last week, the Croatian Football Federation (HNS) sent a letter to Hajduk asking if they wanted to organize one qualifying match of the Croatia national football team, reports Gol.hr on December 7, 2018. 

Hajduk confirmed their interest and expressed their desire to host the national team at Poljud in October or November next year in the games against Hungary or Slovakia. Though the Split club has four requests for HNS.

Hajduk’s statement reads:

"Simultaneously, HNS requested a meeting in Split, where HNK Hajduk presented their proposals with the aim of improving the work of the Federation, and what should be in the interest of all stakeholders. 

In the memo, among other things, it is stated that for the active entry of HNK Hajduk to create other activities, it is necessary to accept the following four points:

1. Implementing all provisions of the Sports Act in the work of HNS (at the county and national level) immediately and without delay

2. Professional engagement of a foreign trial commissioner (for at least 3 years, due to the need for independent reform of the judicial organization and re-evaluation of judges at all levels of competition)

3. Returning the Association of Clubs 1. HNL as the leader of the competition 1. HNL (or at least a meeting of the clubs with independent decision-making)

4. Transparent financial statements

Further requirements of HNK Hajduk are as follows:

5. Transparently defining the selection criteria for all HNS governing functions and operational bodies with the inclusion of regional representation criteria in the independent selection of regional level representatives (through the cooperation of county federations within a particular region)

6. Creating a football strategy by 31 December 2019

7. Implementing new elections for HNS governing bodies after drafting the strategy and implementation of all provisions of the Sports Act"

Schedule of all Croatia national team games in the Euro 2020 qualifiers:

March 21, 20:45 (Thursday): Croatia - Azerbaijan

March 24, 18:00 (Sunday): Hungary - Croatia

June 8, 15:00 (Saturday): Croatia - Wales

September 6, 20:45 (Friday): Slovakia - Croatia

September 9, 18:00 (Monday): Azerbaijan - Croatia

October 10, 20:45 (Thursday): Croatia - Hungary

October 13, 20:45 (Sunday): Wales - Croatia

November 16, 20:45 (Saturday): Croatia - Slovakia

To read more about Hajduk, follow TCN's dedicated page here

Monday, 20 August 2018

Chaos in Hajduk: Resignations Declined for Coach and Sports Director, But Whole Administration On Way Out?

It’s not easy being a fan of football club Hajduk Split, and after last night’s events at Poljud which forced the club to erupt into total chaos, the Split air feels a bit thicker today. 

Friday, 17 August 2018

Subašić Opens Up After Croatia Retirement: "My Dream is to Say Farewell at Poljud"

Only when a 70-year-old man kisses your hands, when you see tears in the eyes of parents, then you realize what you have done. 

Friday, 27 July 2018

Hajduk Celebrates Over Slavia, Osijek Falls to Rangers in Europa League Qualifiers

Hajduk and Osijek both played at home in the second round of the Europa League qualifications. 

Thursday, 26 July 2018

Madness Awaits: Over 25,000 Expected at Poljud for Europa League Qualifier!

If Poljud is not entirely sold out by tonight’s Europa League qualifier between Hajduk and Slavia Sofia, then according to estimates, at least 25,000 are believed to be at Poljud. And no, that is not a small amount.

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Ultra Europe Day Two Recap: A Football and Music Celebration at Poljud!

Day two of Ultra Europe kicked off on Saturday, July 7, 2018. 

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