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Katowice future hangs in balance

Published: Monday 14 February 2005, 17.37CET
Monthly round-up: The future of GKS Katowice has been a major talking point during Poland's winter break.

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Published: Monday 14 February 2005, 17.37CET

Katowice future hangs in balance

Monthly round-up: The future of GKS Katowice has been a major talking point during Poland's winter break.

By Maciej Iwanski

The long winter break continues in Poland where the saga surrounding GKS Katowice's future continues to dominate the headlines.

Licence revoked
While many of the Ekstraklasa sides prepare for the resumption of the season on 11 March in Turkey, Cyprus and even, in MSK Pogon Szczecin's case, Brazil, Katowice remain stationed in the bitterly cold south of Poland with their future hanging in the balance. The Polish Football Federation (PZPN) first cancelled the club's licence before then revoking this decision on 11 February.

Four points adrift
Katowice currently lie four points adrift at the bottom of the league after collecting just two wins from the opening 13 games, and are prime candidates for relegation after shedding much of their squad. Even if they do survive, with no electricity or warm water at the stadium, the PZPN is likely to remove their licence for good at the end of the campaign.

Szymkowiak sale
Their fortunes contrast markedly with those of league leaders Wisla Kraków, who hold an eight-point lead at the top of the table after going through the first half of the season unbeaten. However, the champions lost playmaker Miroslaw Szymkowiak to Turkey's Trabzonspor at the end of January and Maciej Zurawski almost joined him. Such was Trabzonspor's desperation, they even convinced the Turkish Football Association to keep the transfer window open for an extra day but to no avail and Wisla kept their man.

Favano arrival
It is good news for new coach Werner Liczka who none the less continues to look to sell so he can bring new faces in. The disruption could help second-placed Legia Warszawa mount a serious challenge when the season resumes. At the other end of the table, second from bottom Lech Poznan have signed Argentinian midfield player Matías Favano from Club Estudiantes de la Plata can spur them on. The 24-year-old penned a one-year-deal and has already impressed in several friendly matches.

Last updated: 15/02/05 16.29CET

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