Snagov host UTA Arad on Thursday evening in an important match for the top half of the Liga 2 table. In their last league outing, UTA Arad were beaten by promotion rivals and league leaders Academica Clinceni. This will be Arad's second bite at the cherry, so to speak, to gain ground on the teams leading the promotion charge. The match against UTA Arad will be an real test for Snagov, as Arad had won their previous four league matches before losing at home to Clinceni.
Snagov's excellent start to the season has captured the imagination of many within the area. Former Mayor, Apostol Mușat, has urged the local population to get behind the team and support them in their quest to win promotion to the first tier of Romanian football. The success of the Snagov first team could provide a major boost to the local economy of Snagov, with increased attention from potential matches against clubs such as Steaua and CFR Cluj.
Who are UTA Arad?
As I am sure will become a recurring theme from these blogs, UTA Arad's history is complex, involving the club going out of business and being reborn.
In 1945 IT Arad was formed in the city of Arad, a medium sized city of roughly 160,000 people. Arad is steeped in history, with the first mention of the city coming in 1028. Interestingly, Arad is partnered with Kirklees in the U.K. Arad has a sizable Hungarian minority with approximately ten-percent of the population coming from the neighbouring country. Save for Timișoara, Arad is the Westernmost major city in Romania, sitting only twenty or so kilometres from the Hungarian border.
UTA Arad's current logo.
I was surprised to learn that IT Arad is considered one of Romania's most successful clubs, having won the Liga 1 title six times and the Cupa României twice. However, most of their success came before 1970; the year of their last domestic championship. The following years saw fairly steady decline with league positions dropping from 5th, to 8th, to 15th. In the following two seasons there seemed to be a slight improvement with Arad finishing 12th and 10th. However, in the 1975-76 season Arad finished in 17th place and were relegated for the first time in the club's history.
For the next few years the club moved frequently between Liga 1 and 2. However, in the 2005-06 season, Arad fell even lower and were relegated to Liga 3. However, in a situation unthinkable in modern English football, Arad started the following season in Liga 1 after agreeing to trade places with Liberty Oradea who sold their spot in Liga 1 to Arad.
The return to Liga 1 was short-lived as Arad were once more relegated to Liga 2. In 2013, a splinter club was formed in protest at the running of UTA Arad. This splinter club was awarded the history, name and logos of the orignal Arad club. As a result, the original club had to change their name to FC UTA SA. This club was wound up shortly after, as they failed to attend two games and were disqualified by the Romanian Football authorities.
The new UTA Arad were allowed to join Liga 4 and after back-to-back promotions, this new club following in the old traditions of Arad once more finds itself in Liga 2.
The history of Arad's name.
The current home ground for Arad is Stadionul Motorul, however it is thought to be a temporary arrangement whilst their traditional home of Francisc von Neuman Stadium is rebuilt.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about UTA Arad. As I have done with Arad and Craiova, I will start to focus more on Snagov's opponents in these blogs and hopefully shine a light on Romanian football; a league which does not receive a lot of publicity but is steeped in rich history.
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Critic. Writer. Thinker. Observer. Creator of nowwelive.com.