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Archive for the ‘UEFA Europa League’ Category

Liverpool’s Europa League campaign begins today against Unirea Urziceni. The surprise champions of the Romanian league made a good showing in the Champions League group stage, finishing in third place and only one point behind Stuttgart.

Urziceni is located in southeast Romania. It takes almost half the town to fill up the 7,000 seat stadium where Unirea Urziceni plays their home games. Thus, the team has been using Steaua Buchuresti’s massive facility 15 miles away for Champions league fixtures. This agreement is one of many between Urziceni owner Dumitru Bucsaru and Bucuresti’s Gigi Becali. The two oligarchs are close business associates and they have grown closer as Unirea has rocketed up the Romanian league ladder. This has led to speculation that Becali is considering a takeover of Urziceni. Both businessmen made their money through dubious land deals with the government (or in Becali’s case, the army) so their interests are intertwined on many levels. (more…)

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