Top club ‘refuse to pay Shakhtar for missed friendly’ after asking for donation

A ‘well-known’ European club has allegedly refused to pay Shakhtar Donetsk the fee for a missed friendly game after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Ukrainian football has been rocked since Russian troops invaded the country back in February. Shakhtar were top of the Ukrainian Premier League before the season was suspended and eventually scrapped on April 27.

Club chief executive Sergei Palkin has now claimed agents are attempting to exploit the situation by convincing other clubs that all foreign players in Ukraine will become free agents and leave for free. And he revealed how one specific club has still not paid Shakhtar for missing a friendly after it was cancelled.

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Palkin told The Athletic: “There are people who go around saying ‘I support Ukraine but then finally you say ‘OK, show us that you support Ukraine’, and they don’t want to support.

“We have one European club — a well-known club — we have a contract with them that includes a clause which means they must play us in a friendly game or they are obliged to pay us €300,000 (£258,000).

“We didn’t play this game, despite trying many times (previously) to organise it. When the war started, we said to them, ‘Look, we’ve not played the friendly, we don’t need the money as a club, so please donate this money to Ukrainian refugees’.

“They have not paid it. This club has money — big money. Therefore, when people are trying to get hype for their work supporting Ukraine, I don’t pay very much attention.”

Palkin went on to explain that some clubs have, however, gone out of their way to help the situation. He expressed his appreciation for friendly matches, medical boxes for the army sent by Olympiakos and humanitarian aid from Benfica.

The Shakhtar chief also admitted he was touched by tributes from clubs like Liverpool, who displayed Ukraine flags last season. He compared the show of unity to a “shot of adrenaline” to the Ukrainian people.


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