THOUGHTS OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS ON OUR CHALLENGES
Second match of the season of Grasshopper Club Zurich: preparing for the match and thoughts of the Board of Directors on our fresh challenges.
The new season is starting under a special omen for the record champion. The first relegation for 70 years means that we are facing entirely new challenges on the pitch. As you know, we will address them with a new team due to changes in personnel and organisation within the club management. With fresh energy, we aim to ensure a great sense of departure on and off the pitch.
The new club management has decided within the framework of the strategic alignment to start the new season with a reduced budget and to simultaneously establish a competitive team, which largely draws from youth players. The last weeks were used to stabilise the club financially and to give the new team fresh momentum.
The fresh alignment of Grasshopper Fussball AG provides for an economically sustainable management of the club. To this end, the budget was reduced after relegation to the second league and adjusted to the circumstances. It is clear that lower income means having to cut costs. However, we consider the budget o still be competitive.
At the same time, we aim to return to being a top Swiss club even with fewer costs. This is not a contradiction, but on the contrary allows us to focus and consistently rely on our strengths with the funds available. We have optimal training facilities at GC/Campus and plan to rely consistently on training the best youth players nationally. We must aim to integrate our talent in the senior team in a targeted manner and to support them. Each GC youth player must know that he has outstanding framework conditions at our club for starting a successful career as a professional footballer.
This strategy can already be seen in the first match of the season. In the 18-player squad for the first home match at an average age of 22.5 years, Grasshopper Club Zurich successfully fielded one of the youngest professional sides in Europe, of whom more than 80% are in the category of "home trained players". Of these 18 players, 12 were trained in our own youth system and 3 others were integrated into our professional squad via the U21 interface, which creates long-term value and identification.
Simultaneously, the team was strengthened with experienced leaders – such as Vero Salatic and Nassim Ben Khalifa – in individual areas in order to give our team the necessary routine along with our experienced head of defence Marko Basic. We hope to thereby establish a GC team that is passionate about the blue and white jersey and provides joy on the pitch and in the stands.
We cannot guarantee that we will achieve all our targets – commercially and on the pitch. However, as the overall club, we are rolling up our sleeves and working in a targeted, brave and honest manner. That is the only way to successfully address the new challenges and guide Grasshopper Club Zurich into a successful future in a credible and likeable way. After all, we all want GC supporters to be proud of our club.
We hope to receive broad support and thank you for your loyalty. Hopp GC!
András Gurovits, Chairman of the Board of Directors