For my main series “Totalitarian football” I’m going to be managing the made up club CSKA Aransk in the made up post-Soviet totalitarian Communist nation of Bordavia. I have covered the creation process in a series called “Creating Club and Country”:
The idea from the beginning was for CSKA Aransk to get invited into the Russian league system, where most of the adventure would take place. I was going to create a Bordavian league, but only the top tier, as a backdrop. However, after a literal hurricane of interest in getting involved in this adventure the idea took a turn into something completely different. Over 60 people have reached out and contributed with ideas for towns and clubs and stories. Bordavia has turned into a mystic but rather grim nation, full of quirks, stories and lore. I fell in love with both the commitment shown by you and the nation of Bordavia, which has lead to the creation process of an entire Bordavian database. This has been a real team effort, which I have enjoyed massively, but it has also meant that I haven’t had much time to write blog posts or record YT videos. Therefore I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone, by sharing stories from the nation of Bordavia up until the db release around Christmas.
Today’s story comes from JDH FM and tells the unpleasant story of winds of Werstern commercialism and the effects on Bordavia in general and the town of Pyatilivat in particular! JDH FM has a great blog where he is currently doing an interesting Hungarian series.
Background Pyatilivat FC
Pyatilivat FC is not a name known to many Footballing fans, however, this may be something that will change in the coming years. The team having recently been purchased by their main sponsors Бордо – Топливо “Bordo-Fuel”. With this financial backing the small club may be soon on the rise to the top of the food chain in Bordovia, however, the current club founding tenant that any Pyatilivat FC player must be an employee of local mines and/or powerplant may put off some potential players. So, some of you may be asking, “Pyatilivat and Бордо – Топливо have always been linked, given their status as a works team, so what’s changed?” and “Other than that one cup final appearance, they have never really looked like anything much, so why now?” Well, dear reader, let me take you back to the halcyon days of 2010 and the grim payment made by the town of Pyatilivat for these riches, but first a background.
The town of Pyatilivat is located within the Oklast 9 and for most of its time (other than a brief spell as a site of a failed gold rush) has been little more than a works town for Бордо – Топливо. The town itself was founded in 1848 and 3 years later became the hub of a “Gold Rush” which lasted for a short 6-month spell in which the population grew from 3,000 to as high as 25,000. The gold rush was started by Balakhnov Yakovich (local conman and “Gentlemans Establishment” owner) who paid with his life for his lies, rather grimly walled up in one of the early coal mines, which had been discovered instead of the promised gold. The site of his immurement is still visited to this day by locals on April 21st and the local saying of “Only Bala’s ladies, the barmen and the dentists take home the gold.” still refers to this time period.
The Poor Mining Cousin
Since then, little of note happened in Pyatilivat, the town grew as the coal mines expanded, however the permanent residents rarely increased past 10,000. Instead, many workers came to work in the mines and were housed in the “suburbs” of the village. With the few amenities always busy due to the regular shift changes in the mines, there was always a view from others in Bordavia that Pyatilivat was nothing more than the poor cousin of cities such as Severdar. Disparaging nicknames for the town and surrounding region such as гора черных легких “Black Lung Mountain” due to the coal mines, power plants and high incidence of respiratory conditions in the populous. Often those who earn enough to move away from the region move quickly to the fresher air elsewhere in Bordavia.
2010 and the sudden change of events
The coal mines now a well established but unfashionable heat beat of Bordovia, Бордо – Топливо had established themselves as a national company with strong ties to government. Like all good communist companies, they began to chase the profits and seized upon General Ivan’s proposal for Retribution Workers, did I say Retribution? I meant Rehabilitation. 250 workers were moved from various prisons and sites of rehabilitation to begin working gruelling hours in the mines “to prove their (and therefore families) loyalty to General Ivan and Bordovia”. Promised that six months of hard work would atone for their previous sins against the state. Hated above ground due to their wrong-doings but despised underground for the cheap/free labour that was putting honest miners out of work, the RS were given the most challenging of tasks and thanked little for their efforts.
Within three months General Ivan had given 200 more willing volunteers to the mines and the RS were tasked with excavating the layer of coal, forcing many to live within the existing mines as they dug deeper than ever before. Having continued this tiresome effort for a 2-month stretch it is rumoured that the RS volunteers caused a riot within the mines. Their lack of belief in the wisdom of General Ivan and the lack of loyalty to the flag have been stated as official reasons. However, many outside observers suggest horrific working conditions, slave labour and extended lack of sunlight, may have been more realistic reasons.
At some point during the violence and riots, a collapse occurred in the shafts leading to the area that the RS volunteers had been working on, trapping 150 RS and around 75 Бордо – Топливо Security employees tasked with controlling the situation. The nation of Bordovia were transfixed as the rescue mission lasted a whole fortnight, with little supplies able to be delivered and nothing but occasional bangs heard from the trapped people. Upon reaching the collapse victims all but 16 people were found to have perished (15 security guards and 1 member of the RS). They became celebrities overnight with them all re-telling the same horrific and tragic tales of underground fighting in the pitch black, the establishment of various factions and of course cannibalism. They all told of a heroic stand by survivors in which, some comrades fell, against a much larger force of RS volunteers who had overwhelmed a portion of the security forces. This story has become public knowledge and the basis of all Governmental reports on the incident. The “leak” of government documents that suggest many of the bodies had appeared to have been executed, at close range with hands bound, were of course widely denied as anti-government propaganda.
You may still be asking where is the money in all of this? Well, during the attempted rescue various explosions were attempted to clear the collapse which led to the discovery of a rich uranium deposit. Which has since been found to extend throughout the local area. With the public popularity of Бордо – Топливо for their handling and rescue of the survivors as well as strong government ties have resulted in them controlling the building of the Pyatilivat Power Plants, which supply large portions of the local area with power, and also, according to rumours some of the Russian areas outwith the Bordovia borders. With the growing wealth of Бордо – Топливо now being invested in Pyatilivat FC ownership, what will the future hold? If it’s any indication they have already started building a 50,000 seater stadium for the regional division side, which is a full 25,000 more seats than residents in the town. How will the company battle this willingness to spend for success whilst continuing with a core tenant of the club that “All players must be active workers”, I assume with the utmost integrity and honesty!
Addition from Mikaelinho – Pyatilivat FC in the database
Pyatilivat will start in the 3rd tier of Bordavian football, but may very well start making their way up the league pyramid. Some say that money can’t buy footballing success. The rich laugh at that statement!
This was the sixth “Tale from Bordavia” and I’d like to thank JDH FM for his great contribution. There will be a new one every day leading up to Christmas. I hope you’ll enjoy these little stories and that they will spark an interest large enough to follow my main series “Totalitarian Football” and maybe even try the database when it comes out!?
I stream my “Building Bordavia” creation process on Twitch on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Come hang out and say hi!
I also upload episodes about the creation process to my YouTube channel. Make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss any content!