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Soccer: Warta Poznań owner asks for financial aid

2nd January 2013
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The former Playboy model says without financial assistance, her club won't survive

Izabella Łukomska-Pyżalska
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

In mid-December Warta Poznań owner Izabella Łukomska-Pyżalska wrote a letter to city authorities requesting financial assistance for the professional soccer club. In the letter, Ms Łukomska-Pyżalska, a former Playboy model, said, “I am no longer able to maintain the finances of the Warta Football Club. Without any help from the City of Poznań, the club will fail.”

The average budget for a club in the I Liga (the second tier of Polish soccer), in which Warta plays, is around zƒł.2-2.5 million. “If Warta wants to compete for a spot in Poland’s top league, the Ekstraklasa, the budget would need to be somewhere around zƒł.4-5 million, wrote Ms Łukomska-Pyżalska. gThe current amount that the club receives from the city is zƒł.40,000.”

Later on the same day, Ms Łukomska-Pyżalska, an active Twitter user, tweeted the question, “I wonder if this time the city will turn its back on Warta?”

The City of Poznań subsequently organized a meeting with Ms Łukomska-Pyżalska and the Committee of Sports and Tourism. Local councilors then agreed to allow her to present the financial situation of the club and her vision for its future.

Ms Łukomska-Pyżalska is expected to present her case for financial assistance at the next committee meeting, scheduled for January 7, 2013.

However, the city;s 2013 budget has already been voted on, presenting a major hurdle for Warta to receive any financial aid. The final decision will likely rest with Poznań Mayor Ryszard Grobelny.

Warta, which is currently sitting in 10th place in the I Liga, has seen its profile skyrocket since Ms Łukomska-Pyżalska took charge. The club, which has often been in the shadows of cross-city rivals Lech Poznań, has won the Polish championship twice in its history, with its last title coming in 1947.

David Ingham

From Warsaw Business Journal

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