No more Petro Dollar for government run sports clubs in Iran
The global privatization fever is reaching the world of Iranian sports and is certain to affect many, if not all, of the Iranian football clubs.
Earlier this week in a letter to the presidents and general managers of the four Iranian companies affiliated with the Ministry of Petroleum, Masoud Mirkazemi, Iran’s Minister of Petroleum Supervision, informed them that starting with the next fiscal year they must cut all the subsidies to the athletic clubs affiliated with the Oil Ministry. This order comes directly from the office of the presidency.
Approximately twenty athletic clubs receive their operating budgets or large subsidies from the Petroleum Ministry or companies affiliated with it. The most notable of these clubs is Tehran’s Athletic and Cultural Club, the parent club of Naft of Tehran FC. Naft is currently Iranian top division.
On Monday, Mansour Ghanbarzadeh, the president of Tehran’s Athletic and Cultural Club questioned the move and suggested that in the absence of a professional infrastructure and a transitional plan there will be a lot of confusion in the process.
Many of the Iranian football clubs including Sepahan and Zob-Ahan of Isfahan are affiliated with other Iranian industries. It would be interesting to see if this order will be extended to those industries as well.
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