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Is FC Schalke 04 threatened with ruin? Questions and answers on the separation from Gazprom

Russia’s attack on Ukraine also has consequences for FC Schalke 04. The second division club’s controversial million-dollar deal with main sponsor Gazprom is now officially buried. A successor solution is being worked on feverishly behind the scenes in Gelsenkirchen.

Is Schalke threatened with ruin because of the separation from the Russian energy company? Is there already a new donor in sight? What is behind the offer of solidarity from BVB boss Hans-Joachim Watzke and what role does ex-supervisory board chairman Clemens Tönnies play? sport.de answers the most important questions on the explosive topic.

  • Is FC Schalke 04 threatened with financial ruin without Gazprom?

At least the miners, who are still up to their ears in debt, will probably have to tighten their belts a lot more.

Schalke is said to have received up to ten million euros per season from Gazprom – an exorbitant amount, especially for the second division. A return to the Bundesliga should even have waved 20 million euros per year.

It seems impossible that the successor to the energy giant, which is majority-owned by the Russian state and is therefore indirectly involved in financing Vladimir Putin’s Ukraine war, would spend even remotely these amounts on Schalke sponsorship.

Schalke will have to reckon with 60 to 70 percent less income in the future, the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” recently wrote.

The club itself is optimistic. “The club’s full financial capacity to act remains unaffected,” said the club’s statement on the separation from Gazprom.

  • Does FC Schalke 04 have a new main sponsor on the line?

Supposedly yes. According to “Spox”, a local company is in the starting blocks that would like to get involved with Schalke. However, the name of the possible new main sponsor has not yet leaked out.

Arena name sponsor Veltins has already ruled out an expanded commitment to “Bild”.

The Revierklub cannot and does not want to afford a long search. “The club’s management is confident of being able to present a new partner in the near future,” said Schalke.



In principle, however, Schalke could have become even more attractive for other sponsors as a result of the departure of Gazprom. The reputation of the Russians has not only been bad since the Ukraine war and probably prevented some companies from advertising in the Schalke area.

  • What is behind the solidarity offer from BVB boss Hans-Joachim Watzke?

In the case of the separation from Gazprom, Hans-Joachim Watzke, DFL supervisory board chairman, DFB interim president and BVB managing director, brought up a solidarity pot for Schalke last weekend.

“If this also requires the solidarity of the other clubs in Germany in order to get them out of this situation reasonably well, then we have to discuss how we can do it,” he said on “ZDF”.

At the request of “dpa”, Schalke reported on a “good conversation” on the phone between CEO Bernd Schröder and Watzke. However, the royal blues did not want to reveal any details about the content.

  • Will Clemens Tönnies save FC Schalke 04?

That would be the absolute worst-case scenario for many S04 fans, as the long-standing strong man was chased from the court with shame and disgrace after numerous missteps in the summer of 2020.

Those responsible have also moved far away from the ex-supervisory board chairman. At the beginning of 2021, they turned down an offer from Tönnies, who wanted to help the club in the relegation battle with sponsorship worth millions.

In the course of the Gazprom separation, a similar constellation could become an issue again.

“I’m no longer actively involved in the club, but Schalke remains an affair of the heart for me. If I could support somewhere, I would probably do it,” said Tönnies via “Bild”.

Tobias Knoop

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