Home and Away – Part 2 – Honved (Home/Neutral) – Review

Yep, I have already sunk to new lows.  The writers of Summer Bay could no doubt do better.

The second home game of the season and another different home ground.  This time in all their wisdom MLSZ (Hungarian FA) decided that the Budapest derby should be played outside of Budapest.  The reasoning being that it would be unfair if Honved had to play an away game at their home stadium, but it is absolutely fine for MTK to play their home game outside of Budapest.  The chosen venue, Felcsút, the home of the Pancho Arena and Prime Minister.

The Stadium

Before I start my partial diatribe, I have to say that the stadium is absolutely beautiful.  Arched wood buttresses and curved slate roof (apparently the largest area of slate on a non-ecclesiastical building in Eastern Europe).

DSC_0993That said, the stadium has more seats than the population of the entire village.  The village now hosts a team called Puskas Akademia, which is basically the feeder club of nearby Videoton (Orban’s favourite team).  Puskas Akademia were themselves magically promoted to the first tier for the start of the 2013/14 season and included Orban’s son in their ranks (he recently retired due to perceived media intrusion into his career after he was filmed in the VVIP section alongside  at the World Cup Final)

orban

The stadium itself is mired in political intrigue, which made its way into the pages of the NY Times (I think they provide a better write-up than I ever could)

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/04/business/international/the-village-stadium-a-symbol-of-power-for-hungarys-premier.html?_r=0

In short, the mayor of Felcsut has become one of the richest men in Hungary.  Rumours have it that he prepurchased the land on which the stadium now sits just before it was subject to a compulsory purchase order (for a vastly inflated price).  He and his companies were also heavily involved in the tender contracts for constructing the stadium itself.  From being a humble plumber a few years ago, he is now one of the richest men in the country.  Indeed, in 2009 Felcsút became the richest Hungarian settlement by capita (171092 HUF), pushing 2nd and 12th district of Budapest to the 2nd and 3rd place. In 2008 Felcsút was standing in the 336th place.

So a beautiful stadium, but a chapel to all that is wrong in Hungary.  A chapel that was to host a Budapest derby on the orders of the MLSZ (headed by a certain Csanyi Sandor also head of the largest bank in Hungary and close Orban confidante), an event symbolising much of what is wrong with the people who run Hungarian football.

The Town

It took two buses to get here.  1,800 people live here.  It makes Paks look like a metropolis.  We found a bar – no draught beer.

The Game

MTK looking to bounce back after Paks.  Honved are a funny one.  A team I want to like with the serious money they seemingly pump into an impressive looking youth setup, but a team that always seems to prefer relying on imported foreigners to obtain their seasonal midtable mediocrity. Case in point being the reluctance to start potential wonder kid, Gergely Bobal (19) in favour of Souleymane Youla (32) never prolific Guinean international.  Indeed, Souleymane Youla started upfront and did less to suggest that young Gergo could not have done a better job at pretending to be headless chicken.

DSC_0995

MTK won the game comfortably in the end, but both sets of fans and players gave the impression that they would rather be in the extensive corporate hospitality suite where there seemed to be a right old party going.  It would later transpire that less than 50% of the people in the stadium actually paid for their ticket.

 Highlights of the game included a stonking Kanta special, a league debut for foreign exchange student and ex-Logrones striker Sergio Tamayo Fernandez (looked lively, but missed a couple of good chances) and Honved fans rightly chanting that Puskas was not from Felcsut (in reference to the name of Puskas Akademia).  Honved were subsequently fined due to the politically motivated chanting of their fans.  Hello Ministry of Truth!!

 

Back to winning ways in routine circumstances if not strange location.

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