What happened to FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk

When the tongue twister troop from Dnieper Dnepropetrovsk goes on a trip to Central Europe, they always have to fear an unusual enemy: the judiciary. Two years ago, for example, she went to a training camp in the spa town of Bad Erlach when an Austrian bailiff was standing in front of the hotel door - and only disappeared again when the manager of the Ukrainian soccer club handed over a few thousand euros and dollars. Before the away game at Ajax Amsterdam in March, news reached the Dnieper that Dutch officials had confiscated tickets for the visiting sector. Whether something like this will happen again at the Europa League final on May 27 against Sevilla FC in Warsaw cannot be ruled out.

The background to these events: A few years ago Dnjepropetrowsk commissioned the Essen company Hochtief to complete the home stadium. At that time, the city was still speculating about becoming a venue for the Euro 2012, but in the end it was left behind. The completion of the venue cost a good 40 million euros, but the Ukrainians never paid the sum in full. The group won an international arbitration award and has since tried to collect the money, reportedly around twelve million euros. "We are still following the issue and have already achieved partial success in enforcement. However, payments in the millions are still outstanding," says a spokesman for Hochtief. At Dnieper they do not respond to inquiries.

Power struggle with President Poroshenko

One could assume that the finances of the Dnieper Dnepropetrovsk are only a minor problem. Because behind the club is one of the richest (and most controversial) oligarchs in the country: Igor Kolomojskij, 52, who made his money with the private bank and the private group that resulted from it and is active in many industries. The relevant statistics estimate the fortune of the man with the distinctive white-gray beard at around five billion dollars. Although he did not put as much money into his club as his eternal oligarch rival Rinat Akhmetov did with Shakhtar Donetsk, he did, but he did invest considerable sums of money.

The budget is $ 80 to 90 million. In addition to the new chic stadium, he has signed players with melodious South American names such as Leo Matos or Matheus for years or as a coach the Spanish specialist Juande Ramos, who previously worked for Real Madrid and since his departure from Dnieper in 2014, he has also been there Demands money from Kolomoisky. But the Dnieper also has some regular members of the Ukrainian national team such as Ruslan Rotan or Yevgeny Konopljanka under contract.

Ukrainian football is rearranging itself

This results in a very powerful unit, but a lot is rearranged in Ukrainian football precisely because of the complicated political situation. The total number of teams in the league is reduced, and so does the number of teams with greater ambitions. Metallist Kharkov, who belongs to a close follower of the former ruler Viktor Yanukovych, has not played a role since its owner fled to Moscow. The future of the serial master Shakhtar Donetsk is uncertain because he can no longer play in his ancestral home in eastern Ukraine due to the war and is in exile hundreds of kilometers to the west in Lviv; some observers are even speculating with a complete withdrawal of the club for the coming season.

And also at the Dnieper, currently third in the league behind Donetsk and the designated champions Dynamo Kiev, a lot can happen in the next few weeks. The owner Kolomoisky, who initially supported the country's political reorganization and acted as governor of the Dnepropetrovsk region, has been fighting a violent power struggle with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko for several weeks - the outcome and possible consequences for the football club are uncertain.