Former tennis player Daniel Vacek is the new owner of FC Baník Ostrava after buying a majority share in the Czech first division club for a fee in the region of €2m.
The 31-year-old Vacek has bought a 75 per cent stake in Baník from ice hockey coach Alois Hadamczik, paying a reported €2m. He immediately vowed to keep together a team that lies fifth in the table at the halfway stage of the 1. liga season - and help Baník continue their push for a European place once the campaign resumes after the winter break.
"Returning to European competition is the big challenge for me, as I still consider Baník one of the great Czech clubs," said Vacek, a three-times Grand Slam champion in the men's doubles alongside the Russian Yevgeni Kafelnikov.
Sverkos not for sale
One player Vacek will be especially keen to hold on to is Václav Sverkos, a 19-year-old forward who has drawn comparisons with Milan Baroš, who left Baník to join Liverpool FC in a €6m deal last year. Baník last played in Europe eleven years ago but reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1979.
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