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    Spartak Moscow out of next ice hockey season, finds sponsors

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    MOSCOW, August 25 (RIA Novosti) -The ice hockey team Spartak Moscow will not play in the Russian championship this winter, despite finding new sponsors, its president said Friday.

    "Unfortunately, we cannot put together a team for the championship this coming season, but we found reliable sponsors who seem to be committed," Gelani Tovbulatov said.

    He added that it will take the sponsors at least a month to study the legal and financial details.

    A club spokesperson said earlier this month that the club was disbanded for the 2006-2007 season and would not play either in Russia's Superleague or the Premier League because of financial difficulties.

    Spartak Moscow, founded in 1946, finished 10th in the Russian Superleague last season, and lost in the last 1/16 of the playoffs to Salavat Yulayev from Ufa. By season's 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 Russian Hockey Federation 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 settled the issue with the RHF and would play in the Superleague next season. He said financial guarantees would be presented next week. On July 9 Melkov was killed in a traffic accident.

    Spartak Moscow, which celebrates its 60th anniversary 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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