Tampere United Makes a Comeback
Joint press release from Tampere United and TamU-K:
The five-year period of not playing football is over for Tampere United. When the club was banned from the Finnish top division amidst still unsubstantiated allegations in 2011, the supporters’ trust TamU-K took over the football operations, and has since then been carrying the colors of Tampere United in Finnish football. In 2016 the supporters will take over the original Tampere United club, and all the football operations will be transferred from TamU-K back to Tampere United.
In the upcoming 2015 season, TamU-K will still represent Tampere United in Nelonen, the fifth level of Finnish football. For the following 2016 season, the shorthand for Tampere United will again be just “TamU” without the added “K”, and all the football operations will be moved to the original club. A new board has been elected for Tampere United, consisting of current members of the board of the supporters’ trust TamU-K.
”The goal of the supporters’ trust has always been to help Tampere United return to its former glory. When Tampere United was banned from playing in 2011, our goal was that Tampere United should return to playing football, and TamU-K should return to its core activities as a supporters’ trust. Now this is going to happen”, says TamU-K Chairman Heikki Wilen.
When the football operations are transferred over to Tampere United in 2016, the club that has won the Finnish Championship three times and the Finnish Cup once – not to mention the many successful adventures in European cup competitions – will again play football.
At its prime Tampere United was coached by Ari Hjelm, who now says that the success of the club in its hay day will give a solid basis for the supporters who are taking over the club. ”Tampere United was the top club in Tampere for more than a decade and still has great name-recognition throughout Europe. I hope that our period of success at the top of Finnish football will be followed up by even more success. The new leadership of the club takes over the most successful club in Tampere, and will guide it to a new and glorious future”, says Hjelm.
Our History Shall Not Be Buried
The Honorary Chairman of Tampere United Jyrki Laiho expects that the new organization will make Tampere United gain back the respect that it deserves. ”The successful history of the club shall not be buried with the problems of the company that ran the club five years ago. The supporters have shown their affection for the club, and now it is time for them to take the club over. I am certain that the club will gain new momentum under the leadership of the supporters. I expect the club to achieve great success in the future”, says Laiho.
”We have had many constructive discussions with the current leadership of the Football Association of Finland with regard to the comeback of Tampere United. We discussed many practical solutions, and the approach agreed upon now is the best one for all the parties involved.”
Many operational details will be decided during 2015. In any case, Tampere United will be a club owned and controlled by its supporters, just like TamU-K has been since 2011 when they took over the football operations. The switch back to Tampere United will not change the ways in which the supporter-owned club operates, and the decision making power will remain with the supporters.