Russian oil giant takes control of football club — RT Sport News
Russian energy company Lukoil has announced that it has acquired full control of national football giant Spartak Moscow, also confirming that longtime Spartak president Leonid Fedun will step down.
Spartak are Russia’s most successful team in terms of domestic titles, winning 22 top-level Soviet/Russian championships over the years.
Lukoil was already a top sponsor of Spartak, but announced on Monday that he had now taken full control of the club and its 45,000 capacity Otkritie Bank Arena in the Russian capital.
« In the near future, Lukoil intends to implement a number of strategic initiatives aimed at improving the club’s management system and streamlining the decision-making process with the participation of industry professionals. proven sport », read a press release from Lukoil, which is the second largest Russian oil giant behind Rosneft.
« The company believes that these initiatives, together with continued sponsorship support from Lukoil and other club partners, will strengthen Spartak’s competitive position and lead to further victories. »
The statement confirmed the departure of Fedun, 66, as chairman and chairman of the board, saying he « no longer be involved in the management of the club. »
Fedun was a co-founder of Lukoil and continued to serve as vice president of the company until June, when he stepped down after reaching retirement age and for what was described as family reasons.
Fedun had been in charge of Spartak since acquiring a majority stake in the club in 2004. He sent a farewell message to the fans and insisted he would remain a strong supporter.
“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to my friends and colleagues at Lukoil for agreeing to support such an important social project as Spartak in this most difficult situation,” read a statement shared on the club’s website.
“I leave them a young competitive team with an ambitious coach, as well as a team of very professional managers. And, of course, a magnificent stadium. I believe that together they are capable of achieving new victories!
“PS. Yes, and this is not an obituary. You can always count on my help and support. I remain a devoted fan of my favorite team, Spartak. Forward, red-whites! New titles!
Fedun has long divided opinion among Spartak fans, especially after his wife Zarema Salikhova briefly joined the club’s board last year.
Salikhova, 35, is one of the most colorful and controversial figures in Russian football, regularly speaking out on transfer policy and refereeing decision scandals via her social media accounts.
Spartak exercised near-total dominance of Russian football in the 1990s, although the team dropped out at the turn of the millennium and were forced to watch rivals CSKA Moscow and Gazprom-backed Zenit Saint Petersburg. which have enjoyed national and European success.
Spartak ended a 16-year league drought in 2017 by winning the Russian Premier League under Italian manager Massimo Carrera, although Lokomotiv Moscow won the title the following season before a run of four crowns successive for Zenit.
Last season Spartak finished a lowly tenth in the Russian Premier League table but enjoyed the silverware with a dramatic Russian Cup victory over intercity rivals Dynamo.
Led this season by Spaniard Guille Abascal, 33, Spartak find themselves second in the standings with 13 points after six games played, one point behind leaders Zenit.
The Moscow club suffered their first league defeat of the current campaign against Dynamo on Saturday.
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