GSP Article – Posted Wednesday, 04 May 2022, 20:15 / Updated Wednesday, 04 May 2022 22:15
Mihai Rotaru came to the Gazeta’s studio, accepting for the first time his presence in a sports show. For an hour, he was face to face with Ovidiu Ioanițoaia at “Ovidiu’s Friends”. The main shareholder of the University of Craiova spoke openly about his beginnings in football, about the money he invested in the club
- The show “Ovidiu’s Friends”Is broadcast every Wednesday, from 20:00. It can be followed on the site www.GSP.ro, on the Gazette’s Facebook page (link HERE), on the newspaper’s YouTube account (subscribe here), in podcast format on the main podcast distribution platforms: Apple Podcast and Spotify.
– Mr. Rotaru, you are the owner of Craiova. Did you understand that it bothers you to be called that?
– It bothers me. In general, when we talk about the big teams, Craiova, Dinamo, Rapid, I don’t think it is appropriate for someone to be the owner over what these teams mean. Because, after all, they are built on the feelings of the fans. They are built on past results, but live in the present through supporters. And then you can’t be the boss of the fans. You can be at most a guardian of their hopes. That’s why I prefer the name shareholder.
– Are you from Oltenia? Are you connected to the area?
– I am an Oltenian raised on the banks of the Olt. The nearest town was Drăgășani, 15 kilometers. I am from Dobroteasa commune, Câmpu Mare village.
– Were there any links to football?
– I played in Bucharest, at Viscofil and Ascensorul, being a junior. I was a right-back. I also played rugby, where I was on the far right, wing on the pile.
– Are you an investor or lender at the club?
– People prefer to borrow the club, instead of coming with a share capital increase, and that is a strictly fiscal calculation. In order to distribute your profit, you have an expense of 15 percent. Otherwise, repay your loans and you’re done. So it’s strictly fiscal. Otherwise, when you invest in football, your hopes of getting your money back are zero.
– How much money have you invested so far in Craiova?
– I think 17 million euros, but so far no euro has been recovered. I hope to get them back, but that would only happen if another investor came. There is this mirage of European cups, which is normal for me to dream of, especially since it is the Champions League mirage. But I don’t rely on that when I make business plans.
– You usually get them back by selling players.
– At the University there are players who have a very good market share, but, as you know, we don’t have them on the stall and we will never put them on the stall. That’s another way to get money back. Just because we are not looking to sell players does not mean that we are opposed to selling them. We are not the kind of club that promotes itself aggressively, like “I don’t know how much money on x or y”. The purpose of the club is not to sell players. We sold when the offer was actually undeniable.
– Why did you invest in Craiova and not in Pandurii, for example?
– The University of Craiova is my soul team. In 1983, when I played for Benfica, I was in town. My mother was a scientific researcher in the Ministry of Health, more precisely in the Institute of Hygiene and Public Health. She was on an inspection in Craiova, I went with her. I was 11 years old and I saw the madness at the train station in Craiova. I was in town that night. I slept with Benfica in the hotel in Jiul. I bragged to my colleagues that I had been to the game, but I hadn’t been. Because, seeing the madness in the city, my mother wouldn’t let me.
“As a child I lived passionately as a TV supporter”
– In childhood, football was in the first place, before other activities?
“The biggest punishment my mother gave me was not letting me watch the rare TV shows.” It was the maximum punishment! I lived passionately as a supporter. But I admit that it was not my dream to invest in football.
“Well, why did you do that?”
– The moment Science disappeared, we, in our group of friends, were upset. Then we suffered and we had to do something. Let’s get the team up and running. That’s when I met Professor Corneliu Andrei Stroe. Everyone says that our team was originally created to cover some mistakes of the Federation or the City Hall.
“And isn’t that so?” Talk about 2013.
– It is false! The mentor of this team and the one who created Craiova Maxima and the second time the modern University of Craiova is Mr. Corneliu Andrei Stroe. I saw the documents and studied, otherwise I wouldn’t have invested 20 million euros in a ghost! That is the truth. It’s about the record, and the record can’t be transferred.
WATCH HERE THE ENTIRE SHOW WITH MIHAI ROTARU