Newspaper “Lelo” talked to Roman Pipia about the last season. After FC Dinamo Tbilisi became champion of Georgia Football Academy was opened, Cristiano Ronaldo visited Tbilisi and now Dinamo is going to play at UEFA Champions League.
So we had to talk much with the president of Georgia’s most outstanding football clubs and beside the themes mentioned above we spoke about many other issues as well.
In the last interview with newspaper “Lelo” you told us that on the day of opening Dinamo Academy you would brighten Tbilisi. It seems you worked on bringing Ronaldo in Georgia for a long time.
Ronaldo was our priority, but we also had other versions as well. Portuguese star brightened Tbilisi indeed. He decorated the opening ceremony of our academy. He wouldn’t visit Georgia only to attend friendly match between Dinamo Tbilisi and Dynamo Moscow.
I didn’t intend to surprise anyone. If I wanted that we would announce about his visit long before. My main goal was to glad children of academy and stimulate them.
Can you tell us how much did you pay to bring Ronaldo to Georgia?
I categorically deny that we paid hundreds of thousand Euros to bring here. We only paid the travel costs of Ronaldo, his son and girlfriend. For this we hired an airplane.
He was so charmed with our academy and training base that even mentioned it in his interviews with European TV channels. Perhaps Ronaldo takes millions for such visits. He promised us that he will visit us again.
You have said for many times that Dinamo base is your home. Now you have another home-Dinamo academy.
This house is our hope and future. We established Dinamo Academy to make stars from talented Georgian children. This isn’t only job of Dinamo. We care about future of Georgian football. The main thing is to care about future. We wish there will be more Georgian in Dinamo in the future.
How many coaches are there in the academy at the moment and how many children train there?
There are 12 coaches together with other members of the staff. About 200 talented children train in 9 age groups. Nowadays 20 best children from different regions of Georgia live here. As for Dinamo football school 400 children can train there.
Soon we’ll open a dining-room in academy where coaches and other personal will be served with meal. We plan to host those children in the dining room who don’t have conditions for good feeding.
Friendly match between Dinamo Tbilisi and Dynamo Moscow was accompanied by political announcement…
Russia as a neighboring country won’t be changed by anyone. We are connected with this country by history. We have enough reasons to normalize relations with Russia.
I have relations with businessmen working in Russia. Among them are people who are involved in football. We could invite Spartak instead of Dynamo but as Dynamo Moscow was always a awkward rival for us, we decided to bring Dynamo Moscow in Georgia.
I respect everyone but as I know not many people was interested how we managed to organize this match. I want to thank everyone who helped us to organize this match.
At what stage are negotiations with VTB Bank?
This bank is the owner and sponsor of Dynamo Moscow. It proposed us to be the sponsor. VTB Bank doesn’t demand share of Dinamo Tbilisi. It only wants to become the sponsor of our club and I don’t see the reason to refuse this proposal.
Dinamo Tbilisi has always been the brand and this interest isn’t surprising. Recently our club returned leader positions. At the same time they have branches in Tbilisi and want to progress.
The issue of VTB’s sponsorship will became clear in August. Bank will become sponsor and not shareholder of owner of the club.
Are Dinamo transfers enough for the championship of Georgia?
It’s more than enough. Without strong competitors the club won’t succeed. 5-6 real competitors are necessary for us. I am sorry that there are no strong competitors in Georgian championship and this prevents our development.
Strong competitor needs GEL 3 million budget annually. Otherwise club isn’t able to function normally. State must support owners of the clubs. The period of privileged clubs must end at last.
State must free clubs from income tax at least for 5-10 years. This won’t hit state budget.
Several days ago I was elected as a member of executive committee of GFF and we discussed this issue. I have been instructed to prepare draft law which we’ll present to Ministry of Finance and parliament. All the 12 clubs have identical opinion towards this issue.
Why Mikel Alvaro left the club?
Because he demanded much and I decided that it wasn’t fair. He demanded to increase his salary otherwise he was going to leave the club. This was an ultimatum from him and we decided to say good bye to him.
I don’t refuse that he played a big role in winning the championship but I can say the same about many other players of the team.
I wish Alvaro all the best in Inter Baku but I think he could play better here.
Dinamo was in the best form in the end of championship. Perhaps you are satisfied with the quality of playing together with the result.
Of course I’m satisfied. I am very glad that Dinamo played convincingly. This was proved by the last season and by the matches at camp as well. Now I can say that it is a real team. Footballers have very good relationship with each other, with coaches and with the staff. The main thing is to have confidence and we did it.
Slowly young footballers appear in 18 player squad of Dinamo…
Dusan doesn’t like to hurry up. He has to decide when and who will be given chance. We are sure in young footballers of Dinamo. They are our future.
Perhaps you are satisfied with the quality of competition as well.
Competition has really grown in the team and I am very glad for this. The injury of Grajciar is lack for us but we’ll try to add his substitute. If the footballer doesn’t feel competition he won’t grow and develop.
After opening academy the main goal of Dinamo is Champions League.
I think that our team will honorably overcome this challenge. We appeared among seeded teams and afterwards sortition was also lucky for us. We must not miss this chance.
We must convincingly overcome Faroean barrier and after that suitably compete with any competitor.
What is your comment connected to the campaign started by sport society Dinamo recently?
Their pretension isn’t adequate. Nobody wanted to pay for Dinamo training base before years and their pretensions appeared after I bought it. No some people want to make fortune from this but I won’t allow anybody to make chaos in Dinamo.
Let’s wait by what kind of suit they will address court after that we’ll act. The truth is on our side and that’s why we keep clam.
When do you plan to open Dinamo fan shop which opening was announced long before?
In September-October fan shop and museum will be opened at Dinamo Arena. Both of them will be highly arranged and I hope visitors will like them much.
Besides this we plan to place bigger monument of Boris Paichadze at the stadium to remind everyone after whom the stadium was named. This must also stimulate our children. They must see how outstanding footballers are honored in Georgia and know that they have chance to become so honorable.
Levan Janezashvili, Gia Tukhashvili
Daily newspaper “Lelo”