On matchday, FC Olt’s promotion rivals were playing at the same time. Police support was arranged, with officers placed in a communication relay about 30km from one another so they could talk over radio. They had to make sure the score got to Scornicesti as soon as goals were scored.
At half-time, one of the officers heard a wrong message. Instead of 2-0, he understood that FC Olt’s rivals were winning 9-0.
Those at Scornicesti began to panic and netted 18 goals against their sham opponents, trying to make sure it was enough. On their way to the locker rooms after the match, the players and officials stopped to wait for the result in the other match.
Confirmation finally came that the other promotion contenders only won their game 2-1. Things would have been settled with an extra few minutes added on if required.
The next season, Dragomir, who went on to be Romanian Professional Football League president between 1996-2014, was told he must win promotion to the first tier. They threatened him with exclusion from football if he failed. He succeeded – but only by two points.
In 1978, Barbulescu hired a 32-year-old Dumitru Dragomir as chairman. Dragomir had previously worked in two other clubs with good results and was admired for being ‘resourceful’.
He arrived just before the end of the season, when Scornicesti were fighting to get promoted to the second tier. To get ahead of their rivals, FC Olt needed to win their last match of the season by a big goal difference. Dragomir laughs as he recalls how they managed it.
Scornicesti were due to play Aluminiu Slatina, a team that had abandoned the competition and so were forfeiting each game 3-0.
As you enter Scornicesti, the ‘Viitorul’ (Future) Stadium immediately catches your attention.
When it was built, it was the most advanced in the country. It had the first seated-stand in Romania, a mini-hotel, VIP boxes, a lounge, a swimming pool, modern dressing rooms.metasports
The seats are still there, not one missing despite the 35 years gone by. But many of its other facilities have long been forgotten. The hotel rooms are now used for housing by social services, while many of the spaces behind the stands host clothing manufacturers working for English or French brands.
FC Olt, the football team, still play here, an amateur club in the fourth tier. At full capacity, the arena used to hold up to 25,000 people. Now at most around 200 show up for the minor local derbies.