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SBD Global/February 27, 2014/Finance
Ukrainian Club Metallist Kharkov Faces Bankruptcy As President Flees Upheaval
Published February 27, 2014
ON THE LAM: The club's President & Owner, Sergei Kurchenko, who had some ties to the ousted president, left the country alongside former Interior Minister Vitaly Zakharchenko, and their whereabouts are unknown, the Ukrainian wire service UNIAN reported. According to other reports, salaries to the players, many of whom represent their countries' national squads, have been delayed. Metallist won the Ukrainian league's bronze for six consecutive seasons and was runner-up in the '12-13 season, qualifying for the Champions League. However, the club was suspended from the European tournaments for a year because of an investigation into an allegedly fixed '08 Ukrainian league game. At the moment, the club's future is up in the air, and only the arrival of a new sponsor could help Metallist to avoid bankruptcy. Meanwhile, Kharkov's authorities promised support for the team, which has existed since '25. Kharkov Mayor Gennady Kernes told wire service Ukrainski Noviny, "I don't want to see Metallist cease to exist. If there is a need for guarantees and pledges, I'll take part in that process."
Vladimir Kozlov is a writer in Moscow.