BELGRADE, August 28. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian energy giant Gazprom is likely to purchase famous Serbian football club Crvena Zvezda (Red Star) for €100 million ($131.9 million), Serbia’s daily Blic reported on Thursday.
According to the newspaper, if the deal on the club’s purchase goes through, the Russian energy giant will be also the owner of a land area in Belgrade, where Crvena Zvezda’s 55,000-seat capacity stadium and other club’s facilities are located.
As part of the deal at the issue, the Serbian government will receive a compensation of €40 million ($53 million), Belgrade’s municipal budget will gain €20 million (over $26 million) and €40 million ($53 million) will be channeled to repay the football club’s debts.
Gazprom has been the official sponsor of the titled Serbian football club since the five-year sponsorship contract was signed on July 12, 2010.
Crvena Zvezda FC was founded on March 4, 1945 and is the most titled Serbian football club, having won a total of 26 national championships up to the present day.
It is also the only Serbian and ex-Yugoslav football club to win the UEFA Champions League, grabbing the title in 1991, and the only team in the South-Eastern and Eastern Europe to win the Intercontinental Cup, which it won also 1991.
Next week Crvena Zvezda travels to Russia for its away game with Spartak Moscow FC. The match will be held at the newly-built Otkritie-Arena on September 5.
The 42,000-seat capacity Otkritie-Arena in the north-west of the Russian capital was constructed for Spartak FC and the game between the hosting club and Crvena Zvezda will be the inaugural match for the new stadium as it will be played as part of its official opening next Friday.