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SBD Global/November 28, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies
Russian Bill Would Prohibit State-Run Businesses From Owning Sports Teams
Published November 28, 2013
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STUDYING THE IMPACT: A spokesperson for Russian Railways, which owns and funds the Russian Premier League club Lokomotiv Moscow, told SBD Global, “Russian Railways is studying the proposal and is ready to take part in its discussion and to provide the Federal Council with full information regarding the company’s role in supporting amateur and professional sports.” Sports clubs that could be affected by the legislation, if it were passed, declined to comment.
A QUESTION OF 'SURVIVAL': Meanwhile, Russian sports officials criticized the initiative. Russian Football Union honorary president Vyacheslav Kolosko told ITAR-TASS, “I don’t think this initiative is right. Support by state corporations and natural monopolies is the only opportunity for professional sport’s survival at the moment.” He added that revenues from ticket sales and TV rights are currently too low to cover the costs of top-level sports clubs. ITAR-TASS also quoted an anonymous highly-placed official at Gazprom as saying that the proposal will not be passed. A date for consideration of the legislation by the Russian State Duma, the lower chamber of parliament, has not yet been set.
(Vladimir Kozlov is a writer in Moscow.)