After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, FC Schalke 04 is considering ending its cooperation with sponsor Gazprom. Should it come to that, BVB boss and DFL supervisory board chairman Hans-Joachim Watzke advocates financial support for Schalke.
Watzke, who currently also holds the position of vice-president at the DFB, initially welcomed Schalke’s decision to appear without the Gazprom lettering on the shirt with immediate effect.
“First of all, I’m very happy that Schalke have shown their attitude. I hope that will continue,” Watzke said ZDF. Since a separation from Gazprom would entail significant financial losses for the Royal Blues, the 62-year-old called for solidarity with Schalke.
“And if the solidarity of the other clubs in Germany is also required to get them out of this situation reasonably well, then we have to discuss how we can do it,” said Watzke.
In order to find a solution for the miners, Watzke has already had a conversation with Schalke CEO Dr. Bernd Schroeder led. However, nothing has been revealed about the exact content of the conversation.
According to information from WAZ Schalke is currently supported by Gazprom with eight to ten million euros per year. Should S04 return to the Bundesliga, this amount would increase to 20 million.
Sports lawyers assume that Schalke could terminate the contract with Gazprom, which runs until 2025, without notice. Since the Russian state is Gazprom’s largest shareholder, the Russian invasion of Ukraine justifies Schalke’s extraordinary right of termination, says Rainer Cherkeh, a lawyer specializing in sports law transfermarkt quoted.
The former Schalke CFO and designated DFB President Peter Peters also called on his ex-club Current gym to end cooperation with Gazprom.
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