Zagreb - This is an exceptionally good initiative and the state should support it, Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković said on Thursday after receiving a delegation of the Opatija Initiative which has made its recommendations for a new bill on financing Croatian sports.
"This is a plan for comprehensive sustainable financing Croatian ball sports - football, handball, basketball, volleyball and waterpolo. It is a very creative concept, in one way, even revolutionary with regard to financing sports and its role in the overall development of Croatian society," Jandroković said after that talks.
The initiative recommends that team sports be financed from TV rights, sojourn taxes, betting agencies, municipal taxes as well as providing tax breaks for sports.
"This method, in addition to a series of measures that the state and sports federations have to implement, would ensure a sustainable model, a comprehensive model that would be decentralised, which means that it would go to clubs. Sports clubs throughout Croatia would be guaranteed money to exist," Jandroković said and underscored that this model was transparent and that it would ensure permanent and quality supervision of how the money is spent. "This is the first step and it should be continued through talks with the state office for sports and the relevant ministry," he added.
A large number of clubs are on the verge of existence, clubs are being shut down and in the long run it won't be good if children cannot be involved in sports activities, he said and added that today he learned that there are "more than 200,000 registered athletes and what is important, is that 100,000 are under the age of 18."
Speaking on behalf of the delegation, Tomislav Grahovac (Croatian Handball Federation) said that clubs had been left to their own devices yet if excellent results are to be achieved, it was necessary to create athletes, and players were created in local communities.
He called for bringing order to the system of financing sports."Our aim is to introduce a long-term order and system of financing Croatian sports and business operations in sports clubs," Grahovac said. (Hina)