KHL Report: Salavat Julajev Ufa Asks for Help

KHL team Ufa Salavat Julajev has revealed a letter to the President of Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, where there team is asking for help to save their general sponsor.

As announced earlier in October, an investigation into Bashneft bank accounts of a charity organization Ural (the general sponsors of Salavat Julajev) has left their accounts frozen.

At first, the hockey club refused to give any comments or information related to the situation between the team and Ural, but it was pretty clear that there would be money problems which are now affecting the team.

The letter stated*:

“Eight years ago, Ural took us under their wing. Ever since, our hockey club has gained huge popularity in the Republic of Bashkortostan. Here hockey is above all sports because we can win, we have medals. In 2008 Salavat Julajev won Gold in the Russian Championships, in 2011, KHL’s Gagarin Cup. These are the moments the team, fans, veterans and everyone who dreamed that the team will become champions will always remember.

Players of our club care not only about hockey, they care about culture, politics and everything related to the Republic of Bashkortostan. We know that evolution of hockey is one of the main priorities in our country. Sports, hockey, those are things that brings our nation together, and makes us a healthy community.

Families with kids are coming to our games, we are happy to see that different ages of people are attending our games. We are playing for our fans, they help us win games. When rumours appeard that our team is going to lose money, we decided to contact you as soon as it is possible.

Please defend our sponsor charity organization Ural, that way saving our club as one of the strongest teams in Russian hockey. Vladimir Vladimirovich, we all know that you love hockey, you always celebrate wins of the Russian national team. We hockey people appriciate that you are paying so much attention to hockey in our country. We are hoping for your support.

With honor, Team Salavat Julajev Ufa.”

The team is currently in fourth place in the East Division with 35 points in 21 games.

Salavat’s Kiril Koltsov is leading the league in points for defensemen, with 25 points (seven goals and 18 assists). Their goalie Vitaly Koval is in the top 5 among goalies with highest save percentage, and is 2nd in shutouts with three.

After a tough loss against SKA Saint Petersburg, Ufa’s defensmen Arturs Kulda said:

”We are playing like we played, we are the ones that decide what happens with our team. We didn’t know anything about that letter, well at least I didn’t sign anything. We have got our payment and nothing is going to change. We will keep playing the way we are”

Seeing what is happening with the club, we can only hope that the President of the Russian Federation will be able to help this KHL team, which has a great past, always being one of the teams to watch when they are playing their elite hockey.

*Letter translated by author.

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