The Ministry of Physical Culture and Sports of the Primorsky Territory said that the region was forced to redirect funds designed to finance sports teams to the reserve fund for activities to combat coronavirus. This decision is due to the fact that a number of competitions are currently suspended for an indefinite period, and there is no specificity regarding their resumption.
Such steps could not affect the clubs themselves. So, the football “Ray” is guaranteed to leave the FNL and will spend the next season in the country's third most powerful football division - PFL, and the “Admiral” will completely leave the KHL draw. Moreover, the team from Khabarovsk will not take part even in the VHL championship, the second most important in the country according to the existing system.
“In the KHL“ Admiral ”from Primorye will not play in the new season, the club will only have youth teams in the MHL and U-18, as well as a youth sports school. FC Luch will move into the third division and the Training Center for Young Soccer Players will be preserved. The youth project of the basketball “Spartak-Primorye” will play in the Russian Championship until the age of 21 of the VTB League, and there will also remain a youth sports school, ”the official statement on the official website of the region’s Ministry of Sports says.
It is also noted that “Primorochka-2” will play in the First League of the Russian Volleyball Championship for women, and “Primorochka-3” - in the Far Eastern competitions among players no older than 14 years old.
As it turned out, the clubs themselves were surprised by the decision of the regional leadership to limit funding. So, the Admiral’s press service said that they were preparing to speak in the next regular KHL championship, and this message “came as a surprise.” At the same time, the director of Luch, Evgeny Strizhichenko, called this initiative “unpopular, but reasonable.”
“Playing FNL in the Far East is a serious financial cost. In addition to the pressure from the authorities, for whom this is a problem, extrabudgetary funds are needed. Without this, the FNL has nothing to do. We are forced to make this decision of the region and continue to work ”, - quotes Strizhichenko Sportbox.
It is worth recalling that the “Admiral” was founded in 2013 and since then has regularly performed under the auspices of the KHL. Over its short history, the team made its way to the playoffs three times, but has never been able to overcome the barrier of the first round. Over the past three seasons, the Vladivostok team has never been among the 16 strongest, but managed to escape the fate of the Novokuznetsk Metallurg and not fall under reduction. At the same time, back in December 2018, they talked about the possible exclusion of “sailors” from the championship, but then the leadership of the region managed to pay off debts and keep the club afloat.
As for the “Ray”, for the past seven seasons he has been playing in the National Football League. The team can not boast of high results and is either fighting for survival, or is in the middle of the table. The brightest period in the history of the “tigers” was in 2006-2008, which the team spent in the Premier League. In their first year in the top division, Sergei Pavlov's wards took seventh place, but after that they noticeably slowed down and could not gain a foothold among the best.
In the current situation, the problems of the “Admiral” and “Ray” are hardly surprising. In connection with the spread of coronavirus, even the grandees of world football, having huge budgets and sponsor support, suffer damage. In this case, the decision of the region to reduce funding for sports clubs and put these funds into more important goals seems quite understandable. Especially considering the fact that the teams do not fight for high places and do not provide a serious influx of fans to the stands.
Over the past few days, it has already become known that the seven-time Slovak champion Zilina and the Estonian BC Kalev announced self-liquidation. The coronavirus deprived them of sponsorship bonuses and the opportunity to earn money, and the contracts of players, coaching staff and other employees turned out to be an unbearable burden.
In Russia, in recent years, clubs have experienced difficulties without coronavirus. It is enough to recall the example of the bankrupt Anzhi, who had difficulty completing the past season and then immediately descending into the PFL. A year earlier, Tosno was disbanded, finally taking the Russian Cup. Before that there were examples of Amkar, Kuban and others. In total, in recent years, about 60 teams have disappeared, and some fans even jokingly announced the creation of the Football Sky League.
There is no doubt that soon the situation with a reduction in funding will affect other sports clubs in the country, and football in particular. The welfare of many depends on the regional budgets, and in the current conditions it is not necessary to wait for help from them. At the same time, teams must pay salaries to their players and other employees, which only drives them into a debt hole.
So, the Accounts Chamber of the Samara Region has already reported that “Wings of the Soviets” may soon follow the example of “Zhilina”. According to experts, the financing of the team from the regional budget does not bring the desired results.
“The club’s total income is 80% of the regional budget. This runs counter to the trend of lower funding for sports organizations. At the same time, despite all the efforts of the Ministry of Sports to attract sponsors and investors, the costs of maintaining the club are constantly growing. Despite the increase in balance sheet assets, the value of net assets remains negative. According to the law, this can lead to the forced liquidation of the club, ”63.ru quotes auditors
In a difficult situation may be not only the middle peasants, but also the grandees. Most likely, they will be able to avoid the fate of the “Admiral” and “Ray”, but they will have to make certain corrections.
Perhaps all this will lead to the fact that Russian clubs in the near future will take into account the experience of foreign colleagues and will more thoroughly approach the issue of reducing the salaries of athletes. In particular, Juventus and Barcelona have already decided on such measures.