Ice hockey club Slovan leaving KHL due to debt

The club plans to return to Slovakia's national ice hockey league.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo(Source: SITA)

Slovan Bratislava spent seven seasons in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), the second most popular ice-hockey league in the world. The only Slovak team to take part in the league, Slovan made it to the play-off rounds only twice and started having financial problems shortly after joining KHL.

Representatives of Slovan have recently announced their return to Slovakia's top national league, Tipsport Liga, the Sme daily reported.

“We have told the KHL management that we failed to find an investor who would pay all our debts, which are to be repaid by the end of May,” said Slovan Bratislava Vice-President Juraj Široký Jr., as quoted by Sme.

Read also:Slovan players allegedly without wages

There have been talks with a number of investors, but none of them was willing to commit to paying Slovan's ultra-high debts.

Široký Jr. has already informed Martin Kohút, head of the Slovak Ice Hockey Federation (SZĽH), about his intention to register Slovan Bratislava for the national league.

Millions in debt

The Bratislava-based ice hockey club currently has no coach, players, or stadium, Sme wrote.

“Our debts are climbing to several millions of euros,” Široký Jr. claimed, as quoted by Sme.

To date, Slovan Bratislava owes €1 million in rent for the stadium, which is owned by the city. The club's management will have to find resources to pay remuneration to its players. It is also one of the conditions for the acquirement of the licence to play for Tipsport Liga.

Read also:Slovan ends KHL playoff, Višňovský career

“In the last three years, it was a lot of amateurism,” retired Slovak ice-hockey player Ľubomír Višňovský, who had played for Slovan Bratislava, told Sme.

He criticised not only the lack of money in the club but also the way players were picked.

“Some people have completely degraded Slovan,” he added, as quoted by Sme. “That should not have happened.”

Return to KHL?

There is still a possibility for Slovan Bratislava to rejoin KHL. However, it is not Široký Jr.'s aim right now.

“They told me: sort out the situation, and we hope you will join KHL again next year,” Široký Jr. described the debate with the KHL representatives, as quoted by Sme.

However, if Slovan is successfully registered for Tipsport Liga, the club will probably stay in this league, Široký Jr. claimed.

“Our ambition will be to get Slovan where it had been prior to leaving the Slovak league,” he added, as quoted by Sme.

The processing of personal data is subject to our Privacy Policy and the Cookie Policy. Before submitting your e-mail address, please make sure to acquaint yourself with these documents.

Theme: Hockey


Top stories

Six moments that marked Andrej Kiska’s presidency

His tenure was affected by disputes with the ruling Smer party, but also some scandals.

What do we know about Kiska’s emerging party?

We have each others' phone numbers, Kiska said when asked about being open to joining forces with the democratic opposition.

Andrej Kiska and future-members of his political party

We eat about 5 grams of microplastics a week

Problem also evident in Slovakia.

Both bottled waters and natural sources include micro-plastics, illustrative stock photo.

A spy allegedly involved in Golunov’s detention is active in Slovakia

The Ján Kuciak Investigative Centre revealed property and business activities of an FSB agent in Slovakia, near Bratislava.

Ivan Golunov, a prominent Russian investigative reporter, who worked for the independent website Meduza, leaves the cage in a court room in Moscow, Russia on June 8, 2019.