“Tom” is completely closed – even the academy. She was mired in debt, although she was in the top of the FNL in terms of money
Expected, but no less sad news: the football Tom loses its professional status and is expelled from the RFU.
For a year, the club did not find financial
injections for further functioning, mired in debts and lawsuits.
The academy “Tom” will also be closed. They will try to employ children’s coaches in other football schools – as well as the pupils themselves. The other day, two of Tom’s best scorers in the UFL, Demyan Evdokimov and Artem Nagaitsev, joined Chertanovo.
“The FC Tom project, which has served Tomsk and the region for 65 years, is coming to an end,” the club’s telegram channel seems to announce the end of the summer school holidays in Artek.
“Well, let’s hope for a new revival of the Big Tomsk football,” the Siberian smm players added optimistically.
While Tomsk fans are advised to hope, let’s figure out how and why the region’s main club disappeared.
What does the loss of professional status mean in general – is the club bankrupt or liquidated?
Neither one nor the other. Although it often happens that the first entails everything else. For Tom, the situation is different. Therefore, a minute of legal tediousness.
According to the regulations of the RFU, a professional football club is a legal entity that has received the right to participate in the RPL and FNL competitions (First League, Second Division).
Accordingly, such a club must pass the necessary licensing. If he did not submit documents on time or was denied licensing (and could not challenge), then he automatically loses his professional status – that is, the right to play at least one of the leagues. Such a club may continue to exist as a legal entity, but will be transferred to amateur status. Professional football players cannot play for an amateur club.
Here a fair question arises – what is the actual news? After all, “Tom” last spring did not pass the licensing and misses the season of the First League. The fact is that the Tomsk club was still a member of the RFU, which still left at least some chances for a revival in the foreseeable future. Now, it seems, the point of no return has been passed.
But at the same time, FC Tom LLC is not liquidated and does not go bankrupt. At least for now.
Why did the money run out? Last year, we did not agree with sponsors – we were left without a license
Deputy Secretary General of the RFU Maxim Mitrofanov explained what happened: Tom remained in the FNL on a sporting basis, but, unfortunately, did not provide a single penny of financial guarantee for participation in the next season. She stated a certain budget, which is necessary for participation in the next season, but could not provide a single document: no subsidy, no letter of guarantee, no commercial contract. Bottom line: “Tom” could not even show up in the Second Division.
The main sponsor of Tom for ten years was Gazprom Neft. The club explained it this way: for a sponsorship document, you need a visa from the parent Gazprom. All key issues are resolved at the governor-Gazprom level. Former governor Sergey Zhvachkin did not have time to agree on the allocation of sponsorship money for 2022 before his resignation. The change of the head of the region took place just at the moment of the meeting of the licensing committee – the new head did not have time to solve the problem.
Acting Governor Vladimir Mazur later said that the problems had been accumulating for years, he had “inherited” the issue, and “there is no question of financing the club from the budget, it cannot and will not go!”.
In August, during a direct line with the population, he shared plans for a “reset”: the authorities are looking for options for financial recovery, the club will develop children’s football. At the same time, the authorities will try to close the debts and prevent bankruptcy – the club has two stadiums “Trud” and “Temp” on its balance sheet, which can go under the hammer.
By the way, there is an interesting story with the stadiums – for some reason the authorities handed them over to Tom in 2014. And now it really turns out that the bankruptcy of the club can lead to the loss of stadiums – they will go to cover debts to creditors.
By December, the problems worsened: the academy coaches threatened that they would stop training if they did not receive salary arrears, and also requested a meeting with the governor. The meeting did not take place, at the end of the year an agreement on sponsorship with Gazprom was not reached, recently Vitaly Solovyov was appointed deputy director of the club for the operation of sports facilities, and the next day it was announced: “There will be no professional team this year.”
Sad, but there is a nuance: Tom has received about 4 billion rubles since 2019
It is interesting that for almost ten years the club received quite decent sponsorship money (especially for the FNL) – in the region of half a billion a year, depending on the division and tasks. For example, in 2020, Gazprom Neft transferred 360 million rubles for current expenses and 300 million to cover the remaining debts, which “have hindered the development of the football club for many years.”
We get the financial statements of the club in the RFU (unfortunately, it is only for 2019-2021) and a calculator.
We consider how much the club received money from external sources. Here we are interested in two lines – commercial income (sponsors) and other operating income (mainly money from budgets of different levels and gratuitous receipts from owners).
In terms of sponsorship, Tom is in the league leaders – only Orenburg and Neftekhimik (in 2021) received more in a year.
Butno one in the FNL has even close such total income for the previous three years (“Wings”, which flew into the league during this period for the season, we leave out of brackets – they have a total income of 5 billion).Tom received 4 billion rubles in sponsorship / other income, which by a margin exceeds the earnings of other FNL clubs (and some RPL) from these two sources. For comparison, Orenburg received a little less than 3 billion, Akhmat and Ufa – 2.2 billion each, Khimki and Pari NN – 1.6 billion each.
Considering that the sole founder of Tom is a state institution, the origin of 2.65 billion rubles is probably budgetary.
All budgets of the RPL: Zenit spends the most, Sochi is the top in terms of efficiency, and Spartak is the other way around
Where exactly and for what purposes this money was received is not known exactly. But it is obvious that due to them, Tom paid off the crazy debts that it had accumulated in an amazing way – annually receiving permanent tranches from Gazprom Neft. The financial statements of the Federal Tax Service over the past ten years show such dynamics of growth in borrowed funds.
But even after reducing this burden in 2020, the habit of collecting debts has not gone away. In August 2022, it was reported that salary debts amounted to 31 million rubles, taxes – 47.8 million. In November, the total amount of the debt was announced at more than 200 million.
Where the money went is a tricky question. Perhaps they will answer it in the investigative committee of Russia – in October , a pre-investigation check began in connection with the club’s debts.
Tom has already had problems. Sponsors were twice found by Putin
The constant problems of “Tom” with money are not new. In 2009, after a personal visit by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin for a distressed club, seven local companies promptly raised 300 million rubles. A little more than a year later, history repeated itself – again debts of hundreds of millions, again a petition to Putin.
The then governor of the region, Viktor Kress, said that there were problems after the club ignored the demand of one of Sibur’s sponsors to report on the spending of the allocated funds. And this despite the fact that over the previous seven years, “Tom” received almost 2.4 billion rubles from the regional budget alone.
Tomsk deja vu also began to strain Putin : “In 2011 they come again, again – give me money.Liked. We again gave 340 million. But the companies we contacted, it’s not me, I’m not taking it out of my pocket, but I’m asking the companies to support some … They say: if you continue to press us, we want to warn you – this will never end. The only way out is to make everything transparent.”
In June 2012, the club was transformed into a commercial structure, which de jure was closed to the regional state institution, de facto – to the regional administration. Under this condition, the club received sponsorship contracts with Rosneft and Gazprom Neft. The agreement was signed in the presence of Putin.
In 2016, Rosneft concentrated on the Tula Arsenal, while Tom had a permanent hole in the budget of half a billion rubles. The club finished the season with youth, naturally flew to the FNL and did not rise from there again. At the same time, Gazprom Neft continued financing. Until recently.