Things are all kicking off again at Konwiktorską – you’d be forgiven for thinking nothing had changed at all. After seemingly becoming bored after the period of relative stability at the club, owner Józef Wojciechowski has again pulled his itchy trigger finger; this time to get rid of Polonia Warszawa‘s vice-president Włodzimierz Lubański as well as Sporting Director Kazimierz Jagiełło.
Former Olympic football champion and Polish legend Lubański was relieved of his position by renowned axe-swinger Wojciechowski after allegedly taking a holiday to Belgium – where he had been working previously – without the owner’s knowledge. However, Lubański claims that he was sent to Belgium by Wojciechowski to look at a number of possible signings, before the owner changed his mind and pretended not to know where the 64-year-old was.
After finally gaining contact, Wojciechowski apparently asked Lubański if he was living in Belgium (prior to his appointment at Polonia he had been working for Belgian club Lokeren). The former Polish International stated that he had moved back to his homeland after being told by Wojciechowski it was necessary for his position at the club. It was on his return to Warsaw a few days later where Lubański was told of his dismissal.
Lubański – who scored an impressive 327 goals during his career – only joined the Czarne Koszule back in October, and was given the task of overseeing the club’s transfer activities, scouting and team preperations. Yet Wojciechowski claims that Włodek had absolutely no part to play in the capture of Polonia’s first Winter signing – Israeli midfielder Avira Baruchyan from Beitar Jerusalem.
Since his dismissal, Lubański hasn’t exactly gone on record to claim state that working conditions under the notoriously hot-headed Wojciechowski were untenable – but to be perfectly honest, it would be hardly surprising to hear. There is already a long list of incidents involving Polish football’s most fiery personality, many of which involving the sacking of someone within the club.
Former Barcelona midfielder Jose Mari Bakero and ex-National Team coach Paweł Janas were both pushed onto their swords by the owner; as was current Polonia boss Jacek Zieliński back in 2009, after a 4th place finish.
Zieliński’s return to the capital’s second club; combined with the fact that Wojciechowski hasn’t reached for a P45 in the last nine months, does however indicate that a working relationship between manager and owner is possible. Whether the coaching staff are forever walking on egg-shells though, could be a different matter entirely. Whilst both coach and owner believing that the club are heading in the right direction (Polonia are currently sitting just two points behind rivals Legia in third); with Wojciechowski intent on being the man behind the transfers, it may not necessarily be long before a difference of opinion occurs.
After Lubański left the club, he told reporters that the Zieliński and his entire coaching staff were almost fired by Wojciechowski after Polonia’s 4-0 loss away at league leaders Śląsk Wrocław. Wins against Lech Poznań and Wisła Kraków have since cheered up the owner, but it’d be very surprising if there wasn’t another instance this season in which an angered Józef Wojciechowski is ready to yank Jacek Zieliński from the Polonia hot-seat.
Whilst there may be many differing views on who was right or wrong in the conflict, there is ultimately only one view that matters – that of Wojciechowski. The owner himself has his ideas on how he wants the club to work, and – as if any further proof was needed – the end of Lubański’s three-month tenure will only go to show that anyone who is willing to go against him will swiftly find themselves seeking a new employer.