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2015-01-08 13:16:00

Legia is the new member of ESSMA

Autor: Kacper Ruszczak Fot. Jacek Prondzynski
Legia Warsaw continues the policy of consistent international activity by joining over 200 European clubs, leagues and stadia associated in the European Stadium & Safety Management Association (ESSMA).
Legia Warsaw profile on the ESSMA official website

ESSMA was founded in 1996 and serves the best football and business parties as a platform for development and exchanging information within the range of all aspects of stadia management. The reasons for joining ESSMA and the Club's goals for activity in the association are best explained by Tomasz Zahorski, Proxy of the Management Board for International Matters and Sports Administration.

'Our goals as a club are clear - on the sports level we want to play in the European cups every year, reaching the highest rounds possible and constantly proggressing in the UEFA club ranking, whereas on the business and management level we are going to develop our competence and efficiency in all the areas of Legia Warsaw activity. We carry out a number of original projects, but in many cases there is no need to reinvent the wheel and it is best to consider the solutions used in the best clubs and facilities. And these are associated in ESSMA.

'We want to learn the best solutions, know-how and experience of other clubs and stadia. In this business - just like in any other - you have to be up-to-date all the time, introduce new solutions, optimalise, cut costs and look for new sources for maximising revenue. Legia develop dynamically and become a bigger company and a bigger business, which is based on exceptional history, phenomenal passion and managed in a friendly way, but nevertheless we need to constantly develop and progress.

'ESSMA have a gigantic knowledge base and organise cyclic meeting, workshops and courses on various subjects, from grass maintenance, applying new technologies on stadia and safety issues to fan experience, ticketing or sponsoring.

'Moreover, ESSMA cooperates closely with UEFA, ECA, ICSS etc. and some time ago we decided that we had to be more effective in our cooperation with these associations. There is no use is taking offence that someone punishes us and do not see our arguments. We simply need to build a net of people and parties who will know that Legia Warsaw is a professional and prospective club. This is an activity in which we have to engage everyday, not only ad hoc when we face problems.

'The members of ESSMA are well-recognised, international experts and their opinions are important to football decision makers. I met John Beattie, the chairman of ESSMA, in 2008 when he was one of the members of the UEFA advisory team which assessed the stadia infrastructure for EURO 2012, which was held in Poland and Ukraine. Before we started our cooperation, UEFA's reports were massively critical, but three years later the members of the same team became the ambassadors of Poland and our stadia internationally. They became convinced of our professionalism and found trusted and content-related partners in us. At the same time they made Polish stadia much better with their suggestions and solutions.

'In January a yearly meeting of all ESSMA members will be held at Allianz Arena in Munich, where we will show the most important projects carried out by our Club in the past two years. We will also be candid and open about all the areas in which we still face challenges. You cannot expect some kind of a magical recipe at once because an acitivity in such association is a far-reaching project. For us the most important thing is for Legia to be seen in Europe as a club which is strong in terms of organisation, management and content. I say 'Legia' and I think: a trusted partner with a supermodern infrastructure, a club build on innovative business activities. Now, unfortunately, we still fight the stereotype of Legia as a club with dangerous fans while - apart from individual cases - our supporters are also at the top European level and we will always emphasise this.

'The confidence of Legia Warsaw confirms our value for the stadium industry and the continuous growth of our association. We strongly believe we have to continue sharing our knowledge & expertise in stadium management. That’s why we’re very happy to welcome Legia Warsaw –one of the leading clubs in the Polish Ekstraklasa- as second Polish ESSMA Stadium Member. We’re convinced that their experience can be of great value for other stadia & clubs,' said Dimitri Huygen, the Managing Director of ESSMA.

Legia Warsaw profile on the ESSMA official website
    Legia Warszawa

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