Saturday 7th May 2016 ko 18.00
4 Liga Bucuresti
VENUS BUCURESTI 0
ACS LUCKY SPORTS MANAGEMENT 3 (Gheorghe 21 Militara 37 C Achim 60)
After a late lunch, and an unfiltered beer or two at the Nenea Ianca restaurant in Strada Covaci there was the collective feeling that despite the tragic events of the night before, that we’d regained control of our situation. But with our scheduled game at Concordia Chaijna postponed hop organiser Andrei Otineanu diverted to a local game, and it’s history made it arguably more interesting than the game we’d lost.
Delve into the history of Romanian football and the first club to make it big was Venus, formed in 1914 and named after the district of Bucharest of the same name. They were famous for their all-black kit with the 8 pointed star badge, and played at the Venus Stadium, a 15,000 capacity arena just north of the Dâmbovița River. Between 1920 and 1940 the “Negrii” won 8 national titles and in 1935 became the first Romanian side to play under floodlights. It’s worth reading up on the history of the club, there’s even a rumour that the team was funded from proceeds of Bucharest’s brothels!
Post World War II, communism did the club no favours, and they were forced along those beliefs in 1948 to merge with a governmental organisation, in this case Uzinele Comunale Bucureşti, or in English, the Ministry of Sewage Works! I’m sure you can add a suitable one-liner! Unsurprising they folded a year later.
The Venus Stadium didn’t last much longer. It was used by ASA București (Asociația Sportivă a Armatei București) – the Army Sports Association for the first 3 league games of their existance in 1947. They eventually became Steaua București but not before rivals Carmen Bucuresti were forced to disband by the authorities to allow Steaua a free ride to promotion in 1949. The Venus stadium was demolished in 1953 and the site is now part of Parcul Operei, roughly at the intersection of Strada Stirbei Voda and Splaiul Independentei next door to the Opera House.
Venus reformed 2 years ago and moved into the Baza sportivă Biruința, Juventus București’s former training ground on the basis that it’s the closest they can get to their old home. They’ve built a clubhouse with a quite stupendous collection of scarfs but following a theme here the pitch was awful! But I grabbed a beer, and watched the, er, oddly named visitors run out easy winners.
It was difficult to associate the Venus we saw with the patricians of yore, but all credit to the club for managing to revive a famous old name. We headed back into central Bucharest and went for a traditional Romanian meal at Pub Horezu in Bulevardul Pache Protopopescu. It was delicious although the waitresses seemed a little puzzled as we all wanted to try the locally produced beers! Still I bet for next year Andrei will have taught them….