Co-owner Martin Dellenbach is extremely satisfied with the first six months since the Austrian-Swiss owners joined Viktoria Plzeň. The Swiss member of the club’s board of directors praises the team’s results, especially the performance in the European Conference League, the rejuvenation of the staff and the work of coach Miroslav Koubek.
The management plans to negotiate with the 72-year-old oldest coach in the Czech league in the spring about a possible extension of the contract, which expires after the season. At the same time, Dellenbach stated that Viktoria will not engage in financial competition with the Prague clubs Slavia and Sparta.
The Austrian-Swiss business group FCVP GmbH took over the majority in Pilsen last summer from club boss Adolf Šádek, who remained in charge as chairman of the board. “Basically, I have to say that from our point of view, we are happy that we went into it. Of course, at the beginning it is difficult to know all the things, after all, you only looked at them from the outside. But now we know that there are great things that you can build and move forward step by step. The foundation is excellent. I like the way people work here – the mentality of all the people, the club DNA, the hard work, the desire to be the best. That’s exactly what we need.” the club’s website quoted Dellenbach from speaking to journalists at a training camp in Spain.
After the autumn part of the season, Viktoria is in third place behind Sparta and Slavia. In the European Conference League, as the first Czech team in the history of the cups, it won all six matches in the group and also advanced to the quarter-finals of the domestic cup.
“It’s about development. We managed to reduce the average age of the team by about three years, yet the sports results remained plus or minus at the same level. We play in European cups, it was perfect, great results. I think everything is OK in the league. It’s hard to change something that works. Nevertheless, we should always try to move forward. Together with Adolfo Šádek and other people, we are succeeding in this. So to sum it up – I am satisfied,” Dellenbach said.
“We know how important the domestic cup is for us. An interesting journey where we want to succeed. Even in the league we have to set ourselves the task of finishing as high as possible. Getting into the cups, being in the top 3, that must be our minimum goal. We are dealing with and the future, we already think with an overlap towards the summer, when probably, if we get into them, there will be another qualification waiting for us and you don’t have much time there. Even the new players who have come now, we are building with this vision so that we are ready.” added the fifty-seven-year-old Swiss.
Coach Koubko’s contract expires after the season. “He’s doing a great job. Together with his implementation team, he completely identified with what we wanted, with our vision. He has tremendous motivation. I’m a huge fan of experienced people like him. Maybe I’ll ask him for his opinion and he’ll answer that he already he has experienced such a situation ten times. That it will not work and he is right. Such experts are extremely important for the club.” Dellenbach said.
“Furthermore, Mr. Koubek is extremely open to new things, he wants to learn all the time. I can imagine that he will help us in the medium term in various directions. Otherwise, regarding the contract, we agreed to meet during the spring and evaluate all factors . It will also be important how the coach feels. At the moment neither he nor we need to be under any stress. We will sit down and discuss it.” he added.
According to him, Viktoria is now in good financial condition. “We are stable. We have clear financial lines and we are not under any pressure. That should remain as a goal for the future. We will survive if we do not get to the Champions League, the Europa League. But there is the potential to always play there in the medium term. It is our goal, our dream” Dellenbach said.
The West Bohemians cannot financially compete with Sparta and Slavia with their rich billionaire owners Daniel Křetínský and Pavel Tykač. “Economically, they are different from us. But they believe and follow their own path, we believe in ours and follow it. Everyone starts from their own perspective, does their best, and only at the end do you see where everyone ended up. After all, Viktorka was not in economically the strongest in recent years, yet won six titles and was in the Champions League four times,” Dellenbach pointed out.
According to him, even with a significantly lower budget than Slavia and Sparta, the West Bohemians still want to attack the top ranks. “Every year we want to play for the title, to be at the top of the table. We want to play in Europe every year. But you can’t say: now we’ll increase the budget five times and win the title, it doesn’t work like that. We want to play at the top and constantly develop and advance the players.” he said.
“Maybe I’ll put it a little provocatively: I’m not just going to go and buy 30 30-year-old ready-made fighters and think – now I’m going to win it. But what about in a year? If the title doesn’t work out, but all the other things are done, it can happen. I think it’s better than winning the title in one season and then having nothing at all for the next three years.” he added.