Russian oil firm Lukoil acquires Spartak Moscow soccer club

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Spartak is reeling from financial problems in the wake of Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine, which prompted a flurry of Western sanctions against Moscow and further isolated the Russian business community.

Lukoil, which had been Spartak’s general sponsor for more than two decades, said its acquisition of a 100% stake in the club meant that long-time owner and president Leonid Fedun would be relinquishing all of his managerial roles.

Fedun stepped down as vice president of Lukoil in June. The billionaire bought the club in 2004 when it was in serious financial difficulty.

“I want to express my sincere gratitude to my friends and colleagues from Lukoil for agreeing to support such a significant social project as Spartak in this most difficult situation,” Fedun said in a statement on the club’s website.

In May, Nike (NYSE:NKE) terminated its sponsorship deal with Spartak, 10-time Russian Premier League champions, because they will not be taking part in European competitions next season due to Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

Spartak Moscow has also dismantled its second-tier team, citing financial difficulties and the need to cut its budget.