St PETERSBURG, January 19 (Itar-Tass) – Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Thursday he objects to the proposals to establish privileges and discounts for the sponsors of football clubs.
As he had an informal meeting with football fans here, Putin said: “Any exceptions are fraught with embezzlements.”
“The financing of football clubs should be a business done with a profit, it shouldn’t be a sponsorship,” he said. “Football needs good founders, good conditions, and fair financial foundations.”
While saying this, he proposed to consider various supplementary opportunities for financing the clubs, especially with the aid of advertising and television.
The meeting was held in a restaurant and beer, a drink that the Russians consider to be inalienable from football, featured prominently at the tables.
A greater part of questions asked by the fans concerned the problems of financing and support for regional clubs.
Putin said in response to their queries that the issues of financing are to be resolved, indeed, not least because Russia will host the World Cup in 2018.
“I did everything in my power to bring that championship to Russia precisely for the purpose to focusing attention on the problems of football,” he said. “As a Russian saying goes, a peasant needs thunder to cross himself and wonder, and now we’ve heard thunder and are crossing ourselves.”
“We’re looking more and more attentively at the problem because it’s a thing of paramount importance,” Putin said.