Mark Temnycky –
The coronavirus pandemic took a toll on the world. Several nations have lost a significant amount of their GDP, businesses were forced to close, and unemployment skyrocketed. Football is no different. While several countries, including Ukraine, restarted their respective leagues, many clubs have struggled to adjust to the restrictions caused by COVID-19. One of these clubs is Karpaty Lviv.
When the Ukrainian Premier Liha restarted at the end of May, Karpaty Lviv found themselves at the bottom of the league table. The threat of relegation loomed, but a more severe matter emerged. On the opening weekend of the restart, Karpaty Lviv had to cancel their match against FC Mariupol as 25 members of Karpaty’s squad and staff had tested positive for the coronavirus. Karpaty then went into a two-week self-isolation period, where they were forced to miss an additional two matches.
As the UPL looks to conclude the 2019/20 season on 19 July, Karpaty still find themselves behind. The club from western Ukraine failed to arrive and compete in their most recent matches, citing financial troubles as the cause, and now Karpaty face the possibility of expulsion from the UPL. Among the financial hardships endured by the pandemic, the health problems associated with the coronavirus, and Karpaty’s poor league form, it appears that the club from western Ukraine will certainly face relegation.
The more pressing matter for Karpaty, however, is liquidation. Any club that is relegated from their country’s top tier will lose a lot of money in revenue from television rights, publicity, and other royalties. The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic will also have an effect on the financial standings of these relegated clubs.
Karpaty have previously shared that they are strapped for cash, and stated that they are unable to complete the season due to their financial standings. (For more information on Karpaty’s current financial situation and internal struggles, please see this piece written by Zorya Londonsk, an acquaintance of the Futbolgrad Network.)
Overall, Karpaty have a serious financial crisis, and it would be a shame to see the liquidation of one of Ukraine’s biggest clubs. Will they follow a similar fate to Metalurh Donetsk and Metalist Kharkiv, or will Karpaty resolve its issues in time to ensure that they do not fold? Based on the current situation, it appears that time will run out for the club from western Ukraine.
Mark Temnycky is an AIPS accredited journalist who covers the Ukrainian men’s national team and Ukrainian clubs competing in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League for the Futbolgrad Network. Follow him @MTemnycky