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Wednesday, August 17, 2022

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German club Schalke ends partnership with Russia's Gazprom

A photo shows flags of German second division Bundesliga football club FC Schalke 04's main sponsor Russian gas company Gazprom at the Veltins-Arena stadium in Gelsenkirchen, western Germany. The club have announced that they’ve ended their relationship with the gas company

FILE - A photo shows flags of German second division Bundesliga football club FC Schalke 04's main sponsor Russian gas company Gazprom at the Veltins-Arena stadium in Gelsenkirchen, western Germany. The club have announced that they’ve ended their relationship with the gas company. Photo: Ina Fassbender/AFP

Published Feb 28, 2022

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Gelsenkirchen — German football club Schalke 04 announced on Monday they had prematurely ended their partnership with Russian gas giant Gazprom following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The deal between the second-tier German club and Gazprom had been due to run until 2025 with Schalke receiving around €9 million ($10 million) per year in sponsorship.

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Had the Gelsenkirchen-based club won promotion back to the Bundesliga at the end of this season, the sponsorship figure would have risen to €15 million annually.

Schalke had already removed the Gazprom logo from their shirts for Saturday's 1-1 draw at Karlsruhe.

In a statement, Schalke said their finances were "unaffected by this decision".

"The club's management is confident that it will be able to present a new partner in the near future."

Gazprom representative Matthias Warnig resigned from the club's supervisory board last Thursday.

Hans-Joachim Watzke, interim president of the German Football Association (DFB), had already hinted there could be financial aid for Schalke if they split from Gazprom.

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"If this requires the solidarity of other clubs in Germany to get them out of this situation, then we have to discuss how we can manage that," Watzke told ZDF.

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