Oltchim Rm.Valcea is known as one of the biggest names in handball-world, as in last years was always in top of Europe, playing CL-final in 2010 (lost against Viborg) and beeing semifinalist in CL in 2012 and 2013 (both lost against Győr).
The club had struggled with serious economical problems during this season, despite the fact that they signed a bunch of star-players earlier (Katarina Bulatovic, Allison Pineau, Silvia Navarro, Alxandrina Barbosa, Amandine Leynaud).
In December 2012 started to flow the news about having problems paying salaries to the players and trainers as well.
The club had an intermediate solution, when they managed to sign an agreement with a bigger sponsor (Petrom), but conditions of the contract were to qualify to the final of CL and even to get the trophy, otherwise Petrom was willing to pay only a part of the money. As known, Oltchim lost the semifinal against Győr, then they lost the Romanian Cups-semifinal as well, against Corona Brasov.
The general opinion is that this was the last drop on the way out from the elite of the handball, since sponsors won’t support a team, without results.
Some weeks ago Oltchim has officially announced that they will keep their main players as Ungureanu, Neagu, Barbosa, Bradeanu, Managarova, Nechita and Puscasu-Curea, building a good team, with more youngsters in the formation. Some days later, surprisingly, players got an email from the club, which informed them about the fact that they won’t have the necessary resources to keep them for next season, so they are released of their contracts, free to find another team to play for.
The club will have the old name, Chimistul and they will build a team with youngsters.
Players have to find new clubs and rumors started to spread about it:
Cristina Neagu and Iulia Managarova are negotiating with Buducnost, Adriana Nechita has signed a contract with HCM Baia Mare (team, which will play in the CL-qualification tournament, and which is considerably strengthened lately). Head-coach Jakob Vestergaard left Valcea, he will work as assistent-coach at FCM in Denmark.
Amandine Leynaud and Allison Pineau has earlier signed with ZRK Vardar from Macedonia, Katarina Bulatovic will play in Győr from next season, Marija Jovanovic moves to Russia (Astrahanochka) and Oana Manea will wear Krim Ljubljana’s shirt next season. Adina Meirosu has announced her retirement from handball-career and Ramona Farcau has signed to Dunarea Braila.
It’s a sad history about a famous handball club and team, which fought always at the highest level and teams like this are still needed on the sky of European handball. Money or the lack of it steers the quality of the handball, generally of the sport.