Money Problems For Dynamo?
Team bus for sale: 50000 Euros or best offer
Dynamo Moscow, the team founded by the Soviet KGB that has won nine Russian Super League titles in the last 16 years, has been having trouble meeting its payroll lately, according to several reports from Russian news sites over the past few weeks.
Pavel Rosa, formerly with the Los Angeles Kings and a star player in the AHL when he was with the Manchester Monarchs, was recently given the right through arbitration to break off his contract and leave Dynamo to play in Sweden for Timrå IK, due to Dynamo's failure to pay.
This is how the story originally appeared in Soviet Sport, January 27:
"(Rosa) asked that his contract with Dynamo be considered ineffective, since the Moscow club did not satisfy the conditions of the agreement. Rosa claims that three months' payment is due to him, based on the terms of the contract. Last week, Rosa was released from Dynamo at his will in accordance with the Russian Federation Labor Code. But, based on Russian Hockey League regulations, he did not become a free agent, since there is still an active contract. Only after authorization through RHL arbitration will he be allowed to go to another club, in this case Timra of Sweden."
Further along in the Soviet Sport article, it says that Rosa and his agent considered their contract with Dynamo voided by the fact that they hadn't been paid in three months, and so they travelled to Sweden and signed a contract with Timrå. However, Dynamo claimed to still have the rights to Rosa and would not sign off on the transfer, instead asking the Swedish club for a fee of $100,000 dollars, which Rosa's agent referred to as a "shakedown".
Pavel Rosa skating for Dynamo earlier this season
Then, on January 28th, the Russian site gazeta.ru reported positive news for Rosa:
"On Thursday, former Dynamo forward Pavel Rosa made his debut for the Swedish team, Timra, in a game against Mora (a 5-2 loss-- Rosa played left wing, and was credited with an assist on Timrå's first goal). As it was previously reported, in the beginning of the week the Russian Hockey Federation refused to grant the transfer of Rosa to the Swedish club, saying that Rosa had left the team without following procedure. Russia signed the transfer late Thursday evening... the Dynamo club promises to close out their wage debt completely in a few days."
As this was going on, back in Moscow the Dynamo team was having to deal with rumors that more players were unhappy with the financial situation. This is from an article that appeared late last week on gazeta.ru:
Dynamo's Denis Kulyash refuted information that said the team's players planned to refuse to leave for their 46th game, against Ak Bars, because of the salary arrearage. 'All of us are united to play to the end, in spite of that situation', said Kulyash to RIA News. 'Everything will be set straight, everything will be fine. I think that they will pay everything off to us in February. But, no one on the team is paying any attention to all of this. It is very obvious that all of the players are bearing down to the very end, regardless of the fact that there are some delays."
Dynamo's Denis Kulyash skating against Spartak
Kulyash himself, who has one of the hardest shots in the Russian Super League, won the game against Ak Bars with a hat trick that included the game-winning goal in overtime, for a 4-3 victory. It was the first hat trick in the traditionally low-scoring RSL by a defenseman in many years. Kulyash was given some more good news yesterday, when it was announced that he was being added to the Russian Olympic team as a replacement for the injured Dmitri Bykov.
I should probably note that ticket prices to Russian Super League games are generally priced in the low single digits, and most teams meet their budgets only because of the large sums of money (as much as $10 million or so) that they get from their team sponsors.
There's been even more fun and games in the Russian Super League, as yesterday the president of the Russian Hockey Federation, Alexander Steblin, made a public apology to a Sport Express reporter following an incident at the European Champions Cup (which Dynamo Moscow won). At a banquet after the Cup and in an apparent drunken rage, Steblin threw a tray of hors d'oerves at the reporter, among other things.