SOCCER AND MONEY Becali lent another 4 million Euros to Bucşaru

DARIUS PORUMBOIU (Tradus de Cosmin Ghidoveanu)
Ziarul BURSA #English Section / 17 septembrie 2009

Becali lent another 4 million Euros to Bucşaru

Businessman Gigi Becali, owner of football club Steaua Bucureşti, lent an additional four million Euros to Dumitru Bucşaru, owner of football team Unirea Urziceni, which was expected to debut yesterday in Champions League, in Sevilla, the same town where Steaua won its most important European trophy thirteen years ago.

The frequent loans that Gigi Becali granted Dumitru Bucşaru sparked speculation that the two clubs could merge, which would have sent Steaua into the Champions" League for the fourth year in a row. But the money flowing from Becali to the owner of the Urziceni football club seems to be going into real estate businesses instead of football, even though Unirea Urziceni will play its Champions League matches on the stadium of Steaua in Ghencea.

Rumors about the merger between the two clubs were launched three months ago by another Romanian football entrepreneur, Marian Iancu, head of Poli Timişoara, and was confirmed by a rather angry Gigi Becali, unhappy that the news had leaked two rounds before the winner of the championship was known.

The club participating in Champion"s League would receive 10 million Euros from UEFA.

Dumitru Bucşaru owed Gigi Becali a similar amount, after borrowing 9.24 million.

Our newspaper has uncovered data from the loan contract between the two businessmen, which features a previously unknown clause. According to the contract, Dumitru Bucşaru undertook to assign Comaico by March 4th, 2013 to Becali to cover the amount of the loan.

The owner of the Urziceni team used the loan to pay the remainder of its debt to SIF Muntenia, from which it acquired Comaico, the former Communist Party Production Company which owned greenhouses.

Comaico owns 110 hectares in Ilfov, in the 1 Decembrie commune. On the location of the former greenhouses, Dumitru Bucşaru began building a residential complex scheduled to be completed in2014. The project is being developed by Green City Construct, incorporated by the Bucşaru family on March 28 2008, just three weeks after Bucşaru had pledged to sell Comaico to Gigi Becali.

Comaico holds 11% of the future residential 110 hectare-complex, which will feature approximately 4000 homes. Coincidence or not, Mr. Bucşaru"s residential complex has ads on display on the stadium of Mr. Becali"s team, Steaua.

As an asset, the complex could be transferred to another company, Green City Residence, created in 2009, in which Comaico holds 99%.

On September 10 2009, Gigi Becali lent another 4 million Euros to Dumitru Bucşaru, in exchange for which the latter offered a 40% stake in Comaico as collateral.

This could mean that the relationship between the two businessmen goes deeper than this loan, which could justify the possible intention of Gigi Becali to take over the Urziceni football club, as published by "Bursa" as early as May 29th, 2009.