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End Of The Road For FC Vítkovice

Ostrava-based FC Vítkovice are close to insolvency having withdrawn from the MSFL, the third tier of Czech football. Vítkovice has a 85/86 federal Czechoslovak league championship title to its name, in addition to a UEFA Cup quarter final appearance in 87/88 (losing to Espanyol), so this club has pedigree no matter what you might think of their delightfully understated crest.

Hailing from Czech’s 3rd largest city of Ostrava, Vítkovice is the home of the Czech Republic’s heavy industry. The relatively large Vítkovice Arena competes with the blast furnaces, iron and steel works that dominate the skyline.

It seems a shame to lose a big city team such as Vítkovice, despite having been long overshadowed by their more popular rivals, Baník Ostrava. While they have lost their senior men’s side, Vítkovice’s board are doing what they can to salvage their large youth set-up, the loss of which could be hugely detrimental to Moravian football, and specifically to Baník, who poach the most promising talent.

Although Vítkovice dropped from the Gambrinus Liga some time ago, few other Czech teams can match their history of achievements, their catchment area or stadium. Their disappearance, seemingly under-reported even within the Czech media, strikes me as a great loss. With any luck the club will continue in some capacity, and perhaps we will see a senior side reincarnated further down the Czech football pyramid.