Russia’s top football clubs are losing around one billion rubles a week ($12.8 million) as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
All sporting events in Russia have been canceled and the Russian Premier League season has been suspended until at least 31 May. Business daily RBC reported that the 16 clubs in Russia’s top league of football could lose a total of ten billion rubles ($128 million) over the ten-week shutdown, which started on March 17.
Players at Spartak Moscow — which said it was losing 125 million rubles a week in foregone matchday revenues — took a 40% salary cut after Moscow imposed a strict quarantine which meant they could not attend training sessions. Zenit St. Petersburg, which is currently nine points clear at the top of the league with eight games remaining, said it was also losing a similar amount to Spartak.
The fall in the ruble has compounded problems for some clubs, the president of Akhmat Grozny told RBC, as salaries for non-Russian players are often contracted in foreign currencies. Meanwhile, contracts with gambling firms, which heavily sponsor the clubs, are under review, as the betting industry also racks up losses from the lack of sports events.