We would urge everyone to read the history of Omonia Nicosia and help save them from finance disaster. We share this message from their website..
“We are pleading to fans and friends of our team across the globe to join forces in meeting the goal of 5 million and saving OMONOIA from financial disaster. We are proud of our team and our fans and we will keep fighting!”
The foundation of Athletic Club OMONIA Nicosia in 1948 was a great revolution that altered the course of history of sports in Cyprus. It marked the end of discrimination and persecution of athletes due to their political ideologies and has set the foundations for healthy sportsmanship. Because of that, OMONIA was refused membership by the Cyprus Football Association (CFA) and was forced to join an unofficial league amongst other persecuted clubs. However the momentum and glamour the team had gained was so tremendous that fans following the unofficial league far out-numbered the ones at the official one. By 1953 OMONIA’s popularity and success were so great that it imposed the unification of Cypriot football.
OMONIA has always been a frontrunner since joining the CFA. They narrowly lost the title in 1960, but the following year they celebrated their first championship under CFA. They won the first cup in 1965 and their 2nd championship was won the year after. These titles marked the beginning of OMONIA’s greatest era, the 70’s, as they won 7 championships with 6 of them being consecutive ones and 2 doubles!
The team’s performance as a whole but also of every player individually were amazing, but even more noteworthy were the clubs fans. OMONIA was by far the islands most popular team, supported by thousands of fans who travelled to every stadium across the country, outnumbering every opponent and breaking all attendance records! Every title was followed by spectacular celebrations across the country and its fans were rightfully characterised as a social phenomenon.
The love and support that OMONIA took from its fans was the main force that drove the team to dominate and rise above others, earning the title ‘Queen of Cypriot Football’. OMONIA never had rich presidents and business men in its ranks, neither had the football association’s favour, nor the support of officials and referees – In fact, the opposite was true. But the sheer talent of its home grown players and the passionate support from its fans rendered her unbeatable.
The 1990’s brought some unfortunate changes that persist through this day. A team can no longer maintain momentum just by popularity and fan support, money becomes the decisive factor for a teams success. This shift of state not only caused the team to take a performance dive, (while still maintaining a leading role and earning multiple distinctions) but also defaced the clubs identity and character.
Four years ago, OMONIA found itself in a bad financial and physical shape after a series of miscalculated and failed decisions by the teams management. To combat this, and for the first time in OMONIA’s history, a millionaire businessman was brought in to lead the club. The prospect of an enormous budget and glamorous player purchases brought a lot of precarious enthusiasm. Indeed the team seemed to be recovering and went to win the 2010 championship title. But the success was short-lived as years of thoughtless spending, mismanagement and corruption left the club facing a grim financial situation. Players that were well above OMONIA’s financial capabilities were being offered 4-year long contracts with salaries previously unheard of in Cypriot football. In a desperate attempt to lower the budget, several player lay-offs and salary reductions ensued. However the actions of certain team officials who were pursuing their own financial gain by breaking contracts and purchasing new players to earn commissions resulted to a massive, all-increasing debt.
Facing failure and the people’s uproar as the debt was unable to be managed, the president and a number of officials resigned, leaving the team facing extinction. A new temporary management has taken the lead and despite their efforts OMONIA is now fighting a survival battle. If the club is unable to raise the amount of 5 million by the end of March, in order to settle its debt, it will fail meeting the criteria set by UEFA and this will lead OMONIA a step closer to bankruptcy.
The teams amazing fans are once again leading the fight to save OMONIA. They are the ones who can keep the team alive and strong, like they once fought to establish OMONIA to the top of Cypriot football. Several fund-raising initiatives are organised daily across the island and the response has been overwhelming and touching. In just a week we have raised over 1 million in donations.
We are pleading to fans and friends of our team across the globe to join forces in meeting the goal of 5 million and saving OMONIA from financial disaster. We are proud of our team and our people and we will keep fighting!
You can find further information and a link to donate via PayPal here: http://www.kifin.es/sos/en