The Sad State of Luch-Energiya Vladivostok

Dynamo Stadium in Vladivostok

Dinamo Stadium in Vladivostok

Two weeks ago, Football National League (FNL) side Luch-Energiya Vladivostok were supposed to host division leaders Dinamo Moscow at home. The game however, was moved to Moscow and Arena Khimki because of the poor state of the pitch at Dinamo Stadium. While this seems innocent enough considering major clubs like FC Rostov and Rubin Kazan are also struggling with their pitches, a darker story lies behind.

Luch-Energiya find themselves in poor financial shape, and have done for a long time now. Due to them not paying their bills on time, the company running their home turf, Dinamo Stadium, turned off the heating in the pitch during the winter break.

Speaking to VK-page LuchVladivostok, director of the Dinamo Stadium Natalia Ilinichna explained this decision: “The club has a debt to us, and to other companies.”

Ilinichna furthermore explained that Luch could in fact have hosted Dinamo despite the lack of heating in the pitch, but that the club is in a state of chaos. “I personally called up Aleksandr Vladimirovich Golubchikov [Luch’s executive director], and was going to take some measures to the stadium and discuss everything, but no one came to us. It’s a shame. We don’t know what will happen next. No one understands the actions of the current leadership. More and more problems come each day, and no one wants to solve them.”

On top of the missing home field, the club’s training facilities remain without power, as reported per Sport-Express, as the energy company has shut it down because of the club’s missing payments.

However, the biggest blow to the club came when the players went on strike before the end of the winter break. At the time, the club was four months behind on their salaries.

“We have received full salaries for October, and that is it,” striker Ilya Mikhalev stated. “The whole team left from Turkey [where Luch spent their winter training camp], where each one bought tickets at their own expense, and now the players are sitting at home. The solution is to boycott the match against Yenisey. It shall remain in force until the debt is fully closed. Since the arrival from Turkey, we don’t train, we are waiting for the payments. That’s the mood of the team.”

The players have now been paid for 2016 after money was transferred from the regional budget, and they returned to training and travelled to Krasnoyarsk to take on Yenisey. However, Luch remains a mess.

Four games into the spring season, the Vladivostok outfit is yet to score a goal, and the future of the club is looking darker and darker.

On April 12, a tribunal will be held, where Luch-Energiya could be declared bankrupt unless they manage to fulfill their obligations beforehand, which they have promised to do via the help of subsidies from the state and sponsorship contributions.

This weekend, Luch-Energiya take on Volgar Astrakhan at home in a crucial game. The Vladivostok outfit is currently five points above the relegation line, but a defeat to Volgar could bring them in danger.

Toke Møller Theilade

Author: Toke Møller Theilade

Brøndby supporter, groundhopper and more importantly Editor-in-Chief at Russianfootballnews.com. As a hopeless romantic, I still believe Fyodor Smolov and Viktoria Lopyreva has a future together.

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