Deal worth billions

Is Putin’s Gazprom making a big investment in the Hungarian champions?

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22.04.2024 19:02

Fans of Ferencváros Budapest are currently experiencing exciting days - no sooner have the green and whites secured their 35th championship title last weekend, their 6th in a row, than they are apparently about to receive a veritable windfall from Russia! Gazprom, the world's largest natural gas production company, is said to be on the verge of acquiring a stake in "Fradi" ...

There is already speculation in the Hungarian media about the extent of the financial contributions from Vladimir Putin's empire, and it is said to be a billion-euro deal for club boss Gábor Kubatov's team. Incidentally, Gábor Kubatov is a board member of the ruling Fidesz party and a confidant of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. And Viktor Orbán is probably one of the European politicians who has the least reservations about Russia and its President Putin ...

20 billion threshold should probably be clearly exceeded
Of course: sponsorship worth several billion forints - which, at the current exchange rate of 393.90 forints to 1 euro, will not necessarily mean that Ferencváros will attack the Champions League title. A significant increase in the budget should always be in the cards for the Hungarian champions; according to the corresponding annual report, they had to manage with 17.2 billion forints in 2022. With Russian support, Hungarian media expect the 20 billion threshold to be clearly exceeded ...

Serbia's champions Red Star Belgrade, with whom Gazprom has already entered into a liaison, are currently being supported with around five million euros - a little less than 2 billion forints. At Ferencváros, it currently seems to be assumed that Gazprom will transfer a significantly larger amount to Hungary ...

As a reminder: Gazprom was a sponsor of Schalke 04 for many years (from 2007) as well as a partner of the Champions League (from 2012/13) and FIFA (from 2015). Following the invasion of Ukraine by Russian armed forces from February 2022, many - but not all - partners ended their cooperation with the Russian state-owned company.

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