Our contact in Russia has informed us about some major development in Russia. According to him, the global financial crisis is having a direct effect on the Russian basketball. If you really think about it, it just makes sense and critics of high-paying Russian investors are finally proven right.
He also explains why Russia is having problems:
Much depends on the value of the dollar. If the oil prices keep dropping – the ruble (Russian currency) will fall. It is expected that the ruble will fall. From there, everything will get worse. Many Russian basketball contracts are in dollars, but sponsorship of the clubs and salaries is in rubles, meaning the clubs will have to pay more money to their players.
If you take a look at the sponsors and their stocks, it is obvious what clubs will or already have problems.
CSKA Moscow, Dynamo, Khimki, Triumph Lyubertsy and CSK VVS are not paying salaries right now. While CSKA and Dynamo are just going through long delays, Khimki’s and Triumph’s situations are much worse. The CSKA women’s team is on the edge of bankruptcy: Its main sponsor sold his business and the new owner does not want to have any relationship with the club.
But that does not mean that CSKA will have any problems with players, though there has been a delay to payment of more than a month. CSKA CEO Andrey Vatutin said that there are difficulties, but the main sponsor of the team, Norilsk Nickel, has assured it would continue to fully meet its financial obligations. It is not clear why CSKA has problems, because Norilsk Nickel stocks have not fallen significantly for the year.
There are more problems with Khimki and Triumph: Yesterday, Carlos Delfino refused to go to play in the third quarter. Head coach Kestutis Kemzura said that he doesn’t want to see a player ignoring his instructions.
I am sure Carlos doesn’t want to see his team not paying him, either.