A sponsor comes forward to save an Isthmian League club from potentially going out of existence after their future had looked uncertain.
It was at the beginning of August that the future of FC Romania was looking bleak as their founder, chairman and manager announced that he stepped down.
There is a huge amount of doubt for many non league sides along with still so many unanswered questions with pleas still being made for more cash to be filtered down to non league teams lower down the English football pyramid.
The many hours volunteers spend, the communities teams bring together, it is so sad to see so many clubs struggling, help and answers are desperately needed.
This man wrote the history for our club? https://t.co/dK1EOqQm0r
— FC Romania (@FCRomania) August 6, 2020
Ionuţ Vintilă made that sad announcement that he will be departing FC Romania, from the Isthmian League South Central Division, on Thursday morning.
They were founded in 2006, having progressed from Sunday League on Hackney Marshes to the Isthmian League.
He often stated how he always dreamt of being in the FA Cup, and since then they have achieved that and so much more than they could ever imagine.
Vintilă wrote: “Dear fans of the FC Romania team! I never wanted to write this words, to feel that this is the end, but after 14 years of football in England (amateur and semi-professional), successive promotions, cups won, memorable matches, participations in the FA Cup, the FA Trophy, FA Vase, today its ended the most beautiful football chapter of my life, called FC Romania.
“The reason: the lack of a sponsors or people to continue supporting the project at this level of football in the United Kingdom!
“Nobody and nothing, will be make me proud to see the name of FCR on Wembley, the news and articles in the newspapers of Europe or the appearance at some important sport televisions in the world!
“I have done everything that depends of mine for this club to keep it alive, but I couldn’t do it more.
“Thank you to EVERYONE to involved in this project, from beginning at who care like a sponsors, players, committe members, supporters, until my last day of management. The history will be remain in English football archive.
“Always together and in my heart FC ROMANIA. Ps. I looking forward for the next challenge if any clubs need my experience from last 14 years.”
However since then, they have signed a sponsorship deal with civil engineering company SF Stefan which will be worth £750,000 across the next five seasons.
We are delighted to announce an amazing new sponsorship deal of £750,000 across 5 years with Romanian-owned civil engineering company, SF Stefan. Massive thanks to the incredible Stefan Voloseniuc & all at SF Stefan for making this happen and securing FC Romania’s future ! pic.twitter.com/xJIdcNgbrP
— FC Romania (@FCRomania) August 13, 2020
It comes just a week after the club had confirmed they were experiencing serious difficulties because of the impact of COVID-19, which had resulted in a complete loss of income and sponsorship. Local businessman and entrepreneur Stefan Voloseniuc is currently visiting family at home in Romania but saw the social media announcement by the club’s owner and manager Ionuţ Vintilă last Thursday and immediately called him to see if he could help.
Voloseniuc explains: “Like many Romanians in the UK, I was aware of the club and knew that it would be dreadful for the team and their local players and supporters if they had been forced to close because of a situation that is completely out of their control. When I spoke with Ionuţ, I was deeply impressed to hear how he has dedicated his life to FC Romania and providing a chance for so many Romanians and others to play football at a very competitive level in England.
“I managed to convince him not to give up on his amazing club and look forward to our company working with him and his team to help take his brilliant project forward. I am enormously happy that by sponsoring FC Romania for the next five seasons, we are able to put something back into the Romanian community, especially as SF Stefan was founded and grew out of the North London area where so many of the Romanian diaspora now live.”
Ionuţ Vintilă, who founded the team in 2006 and has been their manager for the past 14 seasons, is astonished that the future of his club has been secured in such a short space of time.
He said: “This is better than anything I could have possibly imagined. It was a heartbreaking position to be in after all we have achieved during the past 14 years, but a few days after I spoke with Stefan last Thursday, the deal was concluded.
“I really feel that God has brought us the right man at the right time to support our club and our great community. Stefan is one of the best Romanians that I have met since I came to the UK and I feel blessed that we both share a love and dedication for our community, and I’m confident that with having SF Stefan as our sponsors we will build together a great club.”
FC Romania was founded in August 2006 by a group of Romanian workers in England who wanted to play football in their spare time.
“I had the support of many Romanians in London when I first created and began to build SF Stefan so it is very good to now be able to support others,” he added. “Our company motto is ‘We Build To Last’, so it seems a very good and natural fit that we should work with Ionuţ and his team at FC Romania, as they have shown by their results and reputation that they are also built to last and deserve to have a long and successful future.
“A phrase I was taught long ago is that we can all do small things but with a great love, and that together, we can do something beautiful, and that has been the case this week.”
LEAGUE HISTORY (SINCE FORMATION):
06/07 LONDON FOOTBALL SATURDAY PM PREMIER | 1/8 POS
07/08 LONDON FOOTBALL SUNDAY AM PREMIER | 3/9 POS
08/09 ESSEX BUSINESS HOUSES DIV TWO | 6/7 POS
09/10 ESSEX BUSINESS HOUSES DIV TWO | 4/9 POS
10/11 MIDDLESEX COUNTY LEAGUE DIV ONE | 2/11 POS
11/12 MIDDLESEX COUNTY LEAGUE PREM DIV | 2/16 POS
12/13 MIDDLESEX COUNTY LEAGUE PREM DIV | 2/16 POS
13/14 ESSEX SENIOR LEAGUE | 5/20 POS
14/15 ESSEX SENIOR LEAGUE | 6/20 POS
15/16 ESSEX SENIOR LEAGUE | 3/21 POS
16/17 ESSEX SENIOR LEAGUE | 3/21 POS
17/18 ESSEX SENIOR LEAGUE | 3/21 POS
18/19 ISTHMIAN SOUTH CENTRAL | 16/20 POS
19/20 ISTHMIAN SOUTH CENTRAL | 19/20 POS
Fans reacted after seeing that a sponsor comes forward to save Isthmian League club FC Romania from what could have been a bleak future…
— Emanuel Roşu (@Emishor) August 14, 2020
Wow – is this a welcome present for the new owner who purchased it on Wednesday ? So generous ?
— LOVE NON-LEAGUE (@Love_non_league) August 13, 2020
Doing deals for your new owner is an amazing gesture.
— Lee (@Mr_Recruitment1) August 13, 2020
Great news! So good to hear te club will keep going with this ??
— CSM London FC (@CSMLondonFC) August 14, 2020
Fantastic news !!! Well done
— PG1964 (@PG1964Nov) August 13, 2020
Great to see the club saved!
— Non-League Next (@nonleaguenext) August 14, 2020
Fantastic news guys! Well done ??
— Canvey Island FC (@CIFC) August 13, 2020
Fantastic – so good to hear something positive. ??????
— Football Pirate (@LesterEDrake) August 13, 2020
— Robert Dillon (@redz456) August 13, 2020
Yes get in ??
— mihai_mitroiu (@mihai_mitroiu) August 14, 2020