Former Russian Football Champions Alania Vladikavkaz On The Brink Of Financial Collapse
Former Russian football champions Alania Vladikavkaz "appeared on the brink of financial collapse Monday after coach Vladimir Gazzaev admitted they lack even the funds to travel to their next match," according to R-SPORT. Alania won the Russian title in '95 and "made regular appearances in the Champions League and UEFA Cup" throughout the '90s, but has "endured crises on and off the pitch in recent years." After relegation from the Russian Premier League last season, the club has been "battling to return to the top flight." Alania’s players have gone "unpaid for several months, and their next match puts particular strain on the club’s budget because it involves a journey across seven time zones to Russia’s Far East for a meeting with Luch-Energia Vladivostok." Gazzaev said, "At the moment, we don’t have the funds to fly to Vladivostok and take part in the match with Luch-Energia. Moreover, several players are not willing to fly." Gazzaev’s father, Valery, who serves as club president, said last month the club was "living off bank loans because its main sponsor RusHydro pulled its funding after relegation from the Premier League last season" (R-SPORT, 11/18).