It reads like a spy novel from the 1960’s at the height of the Cold War. The most successful club in Romanian football history with 25 domestic titles, who won the European Cup (now known as the Champions League) in 1986 and finished runners-up 3 years later is quietly and mysteriously wiped from the record books.
That is the fate of Football Club Steaua Bucharest.
The club turned out for the last match with their yellow Nike jerseys with the club logo taped over with yellow tape and playing under the name of ‘hosts’ after losing out in the courts over their long-held name. In denying the club to use the name, the court upheld the Romanian Ministry of Defense claim that it was an improper use of their intellectual property.
Apparently the Cold War is not over.
Steaua was formed at the initiative of officers from the Romanian Royal House as part of the Romanian army’s sports club in 1947. They continued to be part of the military sports club until private investors bought the club in 1994. Apparently the purchase did not include the team name, badge, etc.
The current owner, Gigi Becali, is reportedly trying to work out an agreement with the army and the other team claiming the name CSA Bucharest about how to proceed. They released a press release stating:
1. The two clubs have noted the decision of the High Court of Cassation and Justice.
2. The clubs have reached an agreement so as not to affect the activity of the football team in the league and European Cups and do not cause damage to the image of the two Romanian sports clubs, valid for the matches that will take place in two competitions to on December 15, 2014.
3. Thereafter the two clubs will continue discussions and will develop terms of future collaborations, finalizing the concrete implementation of the decisions of the High Court of Cassation and Justice.