Slavia Prague welcome Chinese investment

Prague.TV new weekly football round-up

What a week it's been for Czech football. The national side qualified for next summer’s European Championships in France with back to back victories over Kazakhstan and Latvia - which is a remarkable feat considering their qualification group contained Netherlands, Turkey and Iceland – while the major news domestically was the CEFC takeover of Slavia Prague.

The Chinese firm acquired a 59.97% stake in the club with Czech businessman and Travel Services owner, Jiří Šimáně, upping his share to 40.03%. The news has come as a welcome relief to fans and all those connected with the club - nevertheless, the hard work begins now for the Slavia management as they attempt to get the club back on an even keel.

Slavia haven't had much to cheer since former owner Aleš Řebíček took over the club five years ago. Their last title success was in the 2008-09 season and it's be a story of negativity ever since.

But the financial stability that the new owners can offer gives the famous red and white shirt's a chance to clamber back into the spotlight.

The investment from CEFC is a clear statement of intent from China's sixth largest private company - and it hasn't stopped there. CEFC have also acquired a 10% stake in Czech airline Travel Services (increasing to 49%) and bought various real estate in Prague as well as a significant share in the brewery Pivovary Lobkowicz.

But while the Slavia fans digest news of the CEFC takeover, the club has an important home match this weekend against Mlada Boleslav. Slavia have won back-to-back games in the league and will be eager to ride the positivity surrounding the club and take three points against a Mlada Boleslav side that includes Milan Baroš. The match kicks off at 20:15 on Saturday 12th September and ticket information can be found here.

Meanwhile, Sparta Prague are back in the action this weekend with a tricky looking match away at Jablonec. David Lafata, despite not scoring for the Czech Republic during the International break, looks in great shape domestically with five goals in four games and has been pivotal to their blistering start.

The Spartans sit top of the table after five matches but more importantly they are five points clear of title rivals Viktoria Plzen.

Sparta Prague may have taken a backseat in terms of headlines over the last week but the club still have reason to celebrate after signing 29 year-old former Viktoria Plzen midfielder Petr Jiráček. The all action midfielder, who joins Sparta from Bundesliga side Hamburg, signed on a four year contract at the end of August and looks an excellent addition to an already talented squad.

Sparta have also had their UEFA Europa League group confirmed with Schakle, APEOL Nicosia and Asteras Tripolis scheduled to play at Letna in the coming months. Ticket news has been announced with prices starting from 350kc for the home matches against APEOL and Asteras, while the higher profile match against Schalke starts at 800kc.

However, tickets can be purchased in a package for all three matches - with tickets for individual matches on sale from 24th September. Full information on Sparta's UEFA Europa packages can be found here.

Finally, Dukla Prague will host Banik Ostrava on Monday evening at 18:00 and it’s the perfect opportunity to enjoy the Juliska Stadion in Prague 6 before the evenings begin to draw in.

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