In March, the Magyar Közlöny reported that the Hungarian government supports the preparation of the creation of the Partium Football Academy. In the first round, the government is spending 216 million forints, but this is only the cost of preparation, not its total investment, which can reach up to 9 million euros.
The Partium Football Academy will be the 10th Academy that is beyond Hungary’s borders, supported by the government from the budget. The academies of Csíkszereda, Topolya and Dunaszerdahely are already ready, the Munkács, Sepsiszentgyörgy, Eszék, Lendva academies are being prepared, and the plans of Révkomárom and Rimaszombat academies are in the pipeline, and now the Partium Academy that will be in Szatmárnémeti.
So far, the government has spent ten billion forints every year on cross-border football academies. The Mészáros Lőrinc team in Eszék will have an academy supported by the Hungarian taxpayers’ money, and the best of Csíkszereda will be taken by Puskás Academy in Pécs.
Out of the neighboring countries, only Austria is left out of the network of the Hungarian football academy.
As reported by index.hu, a huge amount of money was directed to support cross-border football in recent years. The paper also notes that the clubs that are in contact with the Felcsút Academy, the team of Viktor Orbán’s native village, received more money.
Over the past two years, eight teams were given 20 billion forints from the Hungarian state budget, half of this money goes to academies and clubs that are in close contact with Viktor Orbán’s football kingdom from Felcsúz, or perhaps their owner is Lőrinc Mészáros.
The other half of the money went to basically “friendly” places as well, for example, Miklós Seszták’s Ukrainian expansion of Kisvárda or the Pharos 95 ‘Zrt’s owner’s journey is helped to Slovenia.
Most of the grants are paid through the state-owned Bethlen Gábor Fund. BGA Zrt. was created to support investments that strengthen the identity and culture of Hungarians beyond the border and help them succeed in their homeland. For the sake of cross-border football, the vast majority of subsidies were allocated during the “big money scatter” at the end of 2016 and 2017.
For the past two years, most of the money was given to Topolya, a Serbian third-class. The team is, of course, a contracted partner of the Puskás Academy and is owned by János Zsemberi, who is a local government representative of the Vojvodina Hungarian Federation (VMSZ), personally sponsored by Viktor Orbán.
The second biggest sum of money – strictly in the past two years – was received by the Székely Land Football Academy and its sub-centers of nearly HUF 4 billion.
The Csíkszereda football team opened the Szeklerland Academy in the autumn of 2013 and its sub-centers in Székelyudvarhely, Gyergyószentmiklós, Barót and Sepsiszentgyörgy. From the very beginning, the investment was due to the help of the Hungarian state. The exact amount of money they received from the Hungarian taxpayers to get started was unfortunately not communicated to the public, and no information was found on the website of Bethlen Gábor Fund.
The Munkács Football Academy is the Ukrainian partner institution of Kisvárda, from which Ukrainian talents arrive to Kisvárda, and in the frame of the big team. Miklós Seszták’s team found a foreign partner in the lower class of FC Munkács. The investment includes not only the 2,65 billion HUF grant to build a new academy in Ukraine, but also the soon-to-be-completed Kisvárda Academy.
Oszkár Világi’s team from Dunaszerdahely, who cares for a good relationship with Viktor Orbán, has gained 2.1 billion forint from the Hungarian budget. In addition, DAC is generously supported by the Hungarian oil company Mol, which has spent 2 million euros on the construction of the Mol Arena.
Eszék, owned by Mészáros Lőrinc, received HUF 2 billion, of course this team is also a partner of the Puskás Academy. Mészáros & co bought the nearly bankrupt football club in early 2016, and they invested so much effort in to the Croatian project that in 2017 the team was already on the podium, and they would build two stadiums right away, and of course an academy.
Luckily, the development of Eszék can count on the billions of Hungarian taxpayers as part of the Hungarian government’s national policy strategy, although according to the 2011 census data the KFC Komárno stadium and academy reached 1.94 billion forints. There has not been much evidence of the concept so far, and it has been a surprise for FC Komárom, who is losing its main sponsor, when in December it was revealed that the Hungarian government would give them a new stadium of € 6 million. There was no sign of the announcement, but of course they were very grateful for it and in return they tried to stay in the second class.
As a partner of the Diósgyőr team, the Hungarian government allocated HUF 1.5 billion to the Rimaszombat Academy, which was worthy of development. Soon two Slovak academies run on Hungarian money can compete for local talent.