NOVO-OGARYOVO, July 20 (RIA Novosti) - Seven Russian energy companies are ready to give financial assistance to Russia's Tom Tomsk football club, which is battling bankruptcy, the Russian sports minister said on Monday.
West Siberia's Tom Tomsk, Europe's most easterly top flight side, are in deep financial trouble after regional authorities cut funding for the club amid the ongoing economic crisis. The club has debts of some $6 million, including around $2 million in wages arrears, while its annual budget is around $23 million.
Minister Vitaly Mutko and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin met on Monday with the club administration.
"I have ordered my colleagues to talk with companies that work in Siberia... and can provide financial assistance to the club. The talks were held over the last days and agreements have been reached," Putin said at a meeting.
Mutko said in turn that "the sponsorship budget is 300 million rubles [$9.7 mln] and this will help the club finish the season."
The seven sponsors are the Alliance Group, Rosneft, Gazprom Neft, Sibur, Transneft, Inter RAO UES and the MRSK holding.
So far, 11 Russian clubs have gone under during the economic crisis. However, Tom Tomsk would be the first top flight side to go bust.