Gazprom reportedly to buy Serbia's biggest football club

Serbian football club Red Star (Crvena Zvezda) will soon be privatized, and the new owner, Russia's Gazprom, will invest EUR 100 million.

Source: B92, Tanjug, Blic, JT

This is according to a report published in the Belgrade-based daily Blic.

The paper further claims that "the arrival of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Serbia on October 19, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Belgrade, will mark the beginning of a new era in the business of the former European champions."

According to the article, it will then be announced "when Red Star will open a new page in its history."

Gazprom has been the club's general sponsor since 2010, and the current contract expires in 2015, while Putin is the honorary president of Red Star.

According to the daily, the Russian energy giant wants 100 percent ownership of the club, "which means they wants to have everything under their control." This includes the purchase of land on which the stadium and the facilities located in Ljutice Bogdana Street.

The state will get compensation of EUR 40 million, while the city of Belgrade will earn EUR 20 million for the land, claims the article. Gazprom will spend EUR 40 million more to cover the club's debts.

"The Russians will appoint their own management team, while they wish to see Petar Škundrić in a high-ranking role," wrote the newspaper.

Škundrić is a former energy minister and current president of the Sports Society Red Star.

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