Red Star Belgrade president Dobrivoje Tanasijevic has resigned after failing to haul the Serbian club out of a serious financial crisis.
Tanasijevic, 75, came under pressure from fans to step down after the club revealed that it owed around €23 million to its creditors.
“I did not quit because of the fans,” Tanasijevic was quoted as saying by Belgrade’s B92 broadcaster. “They are not just Red Star’s problem, they are the government’s problem too.”
Tanasijevic’s resignation came after a section of Red Star fans said they would take “radical measures” to force the board out following the club’s 1-0 league defeat to Javor Ivanjica on Wednesday.
Last month, the club had its water supply and telephone lines cut off for days over unpaid bills while players complained they had not been paid for three months.
Some said they had received no money for food or rent and the severity of the situation became apparent on Wednesday, when the team were forced to travel to Ivanjica on match day because they had no money for a night in a hotel.
“We’ve had an outstanding relationship with Tanasijevic, who worked hard to get the club out of the doldrums,” said managing director Ilija Ivic.
“He came close to producing good solutions for the club’s stabilisation, but this has proved to be an uphill battle.”