Landmark sports stadium sold

Take note – story published 9 years ago

There is good news for both football fans and the State Treasury this week, as the Skonto sports complex was sold off Wednesday by joint-stock company Reverta to Latvian soccer star Vladimir Kolesinicenko's company SSA, which has been running athletic events there since 2012.

The new owner has “already paid in full”, Reverta confirmed to sports news portal Thursday. As it was being announced to the media Wednesday by bank spokesperson Marita Ozolins, the €13.8m deal had reportedly been closed and all monies transferred.

Reverta is one of two successor banks that took over assets of the failed Parex commercial bank. After the state bailed out Parex in 2008, it created Reverta for the recovery of its “bad” assets. Senior vice-president and board member Edgars Miluns called the Skonto sports complex “one of Reverta’s most complicated objects, and its sale can be considered a success, as it means the state will recover some very significant cash resources.”

Parex had originally wished to purchase and develop the stadium on its own, however went into arrears, leading Reverta to assume control in 2011. In July of 2012 Reverta contracted with SSA to ensure activity at the complex and maintain the development of Latvia’s professional sports culture, serving its athletes and fans. An auction planned in October 2013 was called off for lack of bidders.

SSA is owned and run solely by former Latvian national team star Vladimir Kolesinicenko, who on Monday resigned as football club Skonto president, a position he had held since the beginning of 2012.  At the time he had replaced Latvian Football Federation (LFF) chief Guntis Indriksons, whose dual role as Skonto club president was no longer allowed in the LFF’s newly-adopted bylaws.

The football club cited Kolesinicenko’s “reluctance to cooperate with new club owners” Dmitri Balalikin, Andrey Rozkov and Andrey Popov as a contributing factor in his decision to resign.

The club was founded in 1993 and has gone through various owners. Indriksons owned it until September 2010, when Bislans Abdulmuslimovs, a businessman of Chechen descent with investments in Latvia’s metalworking and meat-processing sectors took it over. Since March 2011 the Skonto club has been under the control of Cyprus-registered Tremova Ltd, whose representative Igors Zaicevs is assumed to be in line to become the club’s next president, reports news journal Ir. also reports that former Latvian national team star Imants Bleidelis could be given an as-yet unspecified executive role in the football club.

Kolesnicenko played 40 games with the Latvian national team from 1997 to 2000, scoring five goals. The team has long been struggling with financial troubles and is currently in 1st place with 46 points over 20 matches despite forfeiting one loss because of a player's refusal to take the field, reports Ir.

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