The Ukrainian coach of Dynamo Batumi, Andriy Demchenko, has clarified the details of the conflict with his former club, Dila.
"Dilah could not forgive the coach for his decision to work for Dynamo and immediately after saying goodbye to him launched a campaign to discredit the Ukrainian specialist.
- Andriy Anatoliyovych, I would like to hear your position on your history of relations with Dila.
- It was six months ago, when my previous contract with Dila was coming to an end. After the first year, I was happy with everything. I came up with a proposal to the management: "Do you want me to sign a 1+1 contract, but the figure will change slightly?" They said they were fine with it. We'll work for another year at the old figure, and I met them halfway. It was a small matter of increasing my salary by one point, and I would have re-signed the contract with Dila for two years. They did not agree to this.
Then the contract expired. I received an offer with a salary three times higher than I was earning in Georgia. I informed Dilu that I was leaving the club because they were aiming for the championship. The numbers are acceptable. It's just that I would have to go to Asia for a good salary. They told me: "Andrii, can you stay for another year on our terms as a brother?". They didn't even ask me what I wanted or how I saw the situation.
- How did they convince you?
- They clearly told me that they would raise my salary by $1,000 and that was all they could do: "But if you want, we will write a clause into your contract that allows you to buy out your contract after the European Cups. You'll get a better offer and you can buy out your contract for $25,000." They offered me this because I accepted a 3-4 times lower salary than I was offered. I agreed to these terms because I put my heart and soul into this team and wanted to achieve something in Europe.
They begged me tearfully: "Andrey, we can't offer you any more." It was a situation where they told me in a categorical way whether I should accept or not. My family is very comfortable in Georgia. My child went to school, so I had to accept Dila's terms and continue working.
- Which Asian countries have you been invited to?
- Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, China. These were clubs that set serious goals in both the league and European competitions. With Uzbekistan and China, we talked about participating in the AFC Champions League. The financial component and the level of equipment were at the highest level. The conditions offered were good. I just wanted to prove something with Dila. I put my heart and soul into this club. In the previous two years, we failed to achieve anything in Europe. Moreover, the team was good. I had already taught them well and we were comfortable working together.
We did well this summer in the European Cups. We earned two million euros, which is a very big achievement for Georgia. The price tags for players have increased. "Dila sold Gale for one million euros to Rapid. Kovtalyuk was invited to Poltava.
"After Dila's elimination from the Conference League qualifiers, I received an offer from Dynamo Batumi and I took advantage of what they had written in the contract. I bought out my contract for 25 thousand to join a club that is fighting for the championship. This is how it really happened.
- Why is there so much blackness at Dila's matches against you?
- "Dila wants to twist this situation and make it look like I'm a bad guy out of their greed. To justify to the fans why they couldn't keep Demchenko. They just wasted their time, and then, when I received an offer, they started writing to people and manipulating their opinion that Demchenko left because of money.
- And what did they offer in return?
- They said they were ready to offer $10,000. When I was already in negotiations with Dynamo Batumi, they offered me 8,000 not for six months, but for a year and a half. Do you understand what I mean? It was not part of my plans.
I want to say right away that people are taking certain phrases out of context and want to convince them that Demchenko is bad. They started to move, realising that I could use a clause in the contract. If they had said: "Andriy, please finalise this situation and we will talk further". It was still fashionable to consider that for the results I brought to the team, I raised the value of the players. To raise salaries and get the team to the end of the season. This is understandable. But I was not going to sign a contract for another year. No. You tell people that you offered a contract for a year and a half not for 10 thousand, but for 8, but he refused.
- What happened next?
- I seriously started considering the option with Dynamo Batumi, who have the championship as the first clause in their contract. They don't consider second or third place at all! We can buy players, hire players in the range of 10-15 thousand dollars. We want to play in the Champions League.
I have outgrown Dilu. I have become stronger, I need to move on, and they are trying to twist their greed in my direction. They want to show that Andriy is bad. He's not! Andrey is not bad. Andrey has grown up and wants to move on.
- Your choice is generally understandable, especially when the leader of the championship calls you.
- That's exactly right! In a conversation with these people, I said that I was negotiating with Dynamo Batumi, and they told me that they accepted my position. They thanked me for my work. People say one thing and then do something completely different. They blame their mistakes on others.
I have really built a team that is respected in Georgia and plays good quality football. I made a brand out of Dila, everything was fine in words. They lose to Dynamo Tbilisi 0-3 and start throwing mud at me before the game with Batumi. People wearing masks started throwing dollars.
- Did you part ways with the Dila players and fans on good terms?
- I have a great relationship with the players and coaches. Before signing a contract with Dynamo Batumi, I gathered the team and said: "I am negotiating so that you do not read speculation on the Internet. I wish everyone well. We have come a long way together".
They understood my decision. Everyone supported me and even after that game we warmly greeted each other.
My conscience is clear before the players, the fans, the coaching staff. I worked honestly. Even if it was for a pittance, I did my job in good faith. Not a single person has said a reproachful word in my direction. Everyone supports me in my decision. I see only resentment from the management.
Dila's management promised me that they would settle all salary issues, including bonuses for the European Cup. When it came time to pay, no one did anything.
- How much do they owe you?
- Around 15 thousand dollars. I asked them: "Why haven't they paid me?" And they told me: "There is no money, sorry". The European money comes after you participate and plus the payslips that I worked. They said: "We will fulfil everything in front of you". When it comes time to pay, there is no money. That was what struck me.
Then came the interviews, and they started throwing dollars at me. I stayed with this club in my heart, but I have no warm feelings in my heart with their management.
I can tell you another story. My contract stipulated that I was entitled to 3% of the transfer fee for the fact that I had brought up the player and the club had made money on him.
On 25 August, I left Dila, and they held out with Gale until the 28th so that I wouldn't get my $30,000 out of that million. I worked with this person for a year and a half, put my heart and soul into it, and they sell it in three days to avoid paying me. It was unmanly of them. I would have agreed to even 15, but they are dragging their feet until I go to Batumi.
- Are you ready to seek justice in the courts if you fail to find a compromise with Dila?
- They have insulted me and started insulting me publicly. I want to defend my dignity. If they behave in such a nice way towards me, we will act accordingly.
- Are there still possible provocations against you from Dila?
- It would be decent for them to end the conflict, shake hands and part ways in a nice way. When everything is good in life around you, but when you feel bad, you realise who was really next to you.