Ferencvaros players blaming board
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BUDAPEST, Hungary -- Players at Ferencvaros, Hungary's most successful club, have blamed their board of directors following their relegation to the second division for the first time in their history.
On Tuesday, the Hungarian Football Association's arbitration panel demoted Ferencvaros because the club reportedly failed to comply with UEFA licensing rules.
Ferencvaros' Budapest city rivals Vasas, who were relegated last season, are the main beneficiaries and have been re-instated in the top division.
"Those responsible are located one floor above the locker rooms, I know this is a brave statement to make, but they would do the best for the club if they walked away quietly," said club captain Peter Lipcsei.
Ferencvaros' lawyers said they will appeal against the decision and take the case to civil court.
Ferencvaros finished sixth last season and will will now have to negotiate with individual players, whose contracts stipulate first division football.
Manager Imre Gellei, who is working without a contract, said he would remain loyal, even if Ferencvaros were demoted.
"I have nothing else to do than to wait for the club to react towards me and my staff as none of us has a valid contract. I have already said that I would like to stay even if we have to go to the second division," said Gellei.
With neither the Hungarian FA or the club giving an official explanation, Hungarian media reported that the demotion was ordered due to the club's failure to meet the financial requirements of the top division and because they owed money to former managers and coaches.
There have frequently been reports in the Hungarian press of foreign investors looking at buying into the club, most recently a Spanish consortium, but nothing has come to fruition.
The club, which was founded in 1899, have been champions 28 times and won the domestic cup 20 times.
They were once a force to be reckoned with in Europe, winning the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1965 when they beat Juventus in the final.
Ironically Juventus lost their place in Italy's Serie A for the first time in their history this week, demoted following a match-fixing scandal.
Ferencvaros also reached the Fairs Cup final in 1968 when they lost to Leeds and the Cup Winners Cup final in 1975 when they were beaten by Dynamo Kiev.
They are the only Hungarian club to have played in the Champions League, making one appearance a decade ago.
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