Spartak Moscow out of 2006-7 hockey season-1

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MOSCOW, August 11 (RIA Novosti) - Spartak Moscow will not play in the highest two divisions of the national hockey league next season because of financial difficulties, a club spokesperson said Friday.

Dinara Kafiskina said the club had been disbanded for the 2006-2007 season and would not play either in Russia's Superleague or the Premier League. But she said the club's management had already asked the Russian Hockey Federation (RHF) for permission to play in 2007-2008 Superleague season.

Kafiskina added that Spartak's youth sports school had not been disbanded and its teams would perform in Moscow tournaments.

Spartak Moscow, founded in 1946, finished 10th in the Russian Superleague last season and lost in the last 1/16 of the play-offs to Salavat Yulayev from Ufa. At the season end in April the club's management announced it intended to leave the Superleague because of budget problems and was seeking to play next season in the lower division, the Premier League.

The RHF was ready to exclude Spartak from the Superleague but gave the club a postponement until July 1 to make a final decision. The day before the deadline expired, Vadim Melkov, the then head of Spartak Moscow, said the club had settled the issue with the RHF and it would play in the Superleague next season, but financial guarantees would be presented next week. On July 9 Melkov was killed in a traffic accident.

Spartak Moscow, which celebrates the 60th anniversary of its foundation this year, won the Soviet Championship four times and enjoyed success at the European level, winning the Spengler Cup five times.

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