As they threatened, the players of BC Khimki Moscow Region (Russia-TBL) have gone on strike due to months of unpaid wages.
As has been reported by sources close to the team, the team is officially on strike, but they are independently working out to prepare for their Friday Euroleague match up with Maccabi Tel Aviv. The players are said to be committed to the work they have started this season and want to see it through, but they don’t want to work for free. The club has asked them to give them some time to work out their financial situation, but the players feel that they need to take a stand as it’s gone on for far too long already.
Oleg Sharkhov, Mayor of Khimki, has said that he met with players and management after a recent game for an extended period to discuss the situation. In a recent interview, Sharkhov stated that the municipality will continue to financially support the club as best that they can, but that with economic conditions as they are, they can’t increase that funding. A meeting with the acting governor of the Moscow Region, Andrey Vorobeev, took place on Tuesday to see what could be done on a higher political level and reports out of Russian media say that Vorobeev has pledged to get the financial situation cleared up by the end of the month. It was reported that two private companies and city funds will be used to erase the current debt (player salaries), that is estimated at 174 million rubles (Eur 4.3M, USD6.0M). It is rumored that the two companies involved are Promsvyazbank Bank and MITS, an investment company. They are also planning on attempting to renegotiate some contracts and will most likely have to release one or more players. It’s all speculation, but with the debt they currently face, the situation is very serious.
BC Khimki MR currently sits in third place of Group F in the Euroleague at 2-1, are 6-2 in the Russian PBL and has not lost a home contest this season.
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