Season cannot end soon enough for Red Star

BELGRADE - An embarrassing 2-1 defeat in the Serbian Cup semi-finals to second division Sevojno on Wednesday has left Red Star Belgrade's season in tatters.

With their debt to creditors and players swelling to 28 million euros and potential buyers backing out after angry fans forced the board out last month, Red Star will endure a second successive season without a trophy.

"I am a professional and I will live up to my principles until the end of the season and then it's over," said Ognjen Koroman, one of many of Red Star's players who have said they had not been paid for months.

"This was our most important match of the season and we played an awful game of football."

Red Star's bitter rivals Partizan Belgrade have already wrapped up the league title and will meet Sevojno in the cup final after beating Banat Zrenjanin 1-0.

In addition to their on-field woes, Red Star had their water and telephone lines cut off for several days in March because of unpaid bills, and were also forced to shut the club canteen.

Coach Cedomir Janevski came under fire from the fans and media for failing to lift the players and he too is likely to leave the club in the close season.

"We have brought unseen shame to Red Star with the defeat in Sevojno, the biggest in the club's history," he said.

"The poor financial situation is no excuse and I have never had to stomach a more difficult defeat in my career."