Doing construction work and owning a football team can be tough, says FC Romania owner 28 April 2010. Ionut Vintila, from Targoviste, Romania, came in England in 2005 and now he is the proud owner of a Romanian football team here, called FC Romania.
At only 32, he has accomplished his biggest dreams: to have a happy family and to lead a football team in England.
But he has one dream yet to accomplish: for FC Romania to play in FA Cup, the most important competition in UK.
‘I hope in 4-5 years this dream will come true’, he says, confidently.
Tell us a few things about the team.
FC Romania operates in Essex Regional Championship, and next year we will take part in the Middlesex Regional Championship, amateur league. We are two steps away from the semiprofessional competitions. I am having also the support of the team’s coach, Victor Glavan, ex-football player in the Romanian First League (Divizia A).
Where did you get your passion for football?
I inherited it from my father. I started to play football in my hometown, first in the junior league, then I went on to the senior team from Targoviste. I also played for several Romanian senior teams from the lower echelons. I had team colleagues who are now well known names in Romanian football.
Why did you leave the country? Why didn’t you accomplish this dream back home?
I came to England in 2005, hopping to have a better future. I’d wanted to fulfill my dream back home. Unfortunately, as I believe is true for others as well, in Romania this couldn’t happen. Where would I get the money from? How to succeed when the system was as it was? As it still is….
You came in 2005 and started from scratch.
Exactly. We all do it. We take it from scratch over and over again. You leave behind your country, your life-style; you come here and start everything all over again. Here I met people that in Romania were teachers, but when they came in UK they started from the beginning. At the moment I do construction work and I own a football team. It’s not easy. Simultaneously I am taking coaching classes within English Football Confederation. At the moment I am on level 2 and I am studying for the next level.
Where did you get the idea of setting up a football team?
The idea doesn’t belong to me, to be honest. A few of my friends had the idea, in 2006. Unfortunately, since all the other partners gave up for various reasons. I didn’t quit and I do not think I will ever quit.
How do you manage from the financial point of view? Where you get the money from?
It is not easy. Everything costs. Approximately 5000 pound a year. I have to pay tournament subscription, the football field, the referee, equipment. Until now all the team members helped with the costs. Starting next year, we will try to find an official sponsor. Our team is legally affiliated. Very few people know that there is a legal regulation regarding sponsorship in sports too and that one can benefit from sponsoring a football team (tax reduction for example).
Does the team need more players? For the ones who want to play in FC Romania, how can they reach you?
We are always looking for football players. The ones who would like to play or to participate to competitions as a supporter can call me: 0791 2889916. I am sure there are lots of people with the same passion for football like us. I have to underline the fact that home games are played in Walthamstow area. We welcome everyone to come and join us.
Transl. Larisa Arama