Skip to main content

Ukraine-Russia crisis won't force Shakhtar to sell top players

By James Masters, CNN
updated 8:54 AM EDT, Tue June 10, 2014
Douglas Costa is just one of Shakhtar's many Brazilian stars.
Douglas Costa is just one of Shakhtar's many Brazilian stars.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Ukraine remains in state of uncertainty following Russian invasion
  • Shakhtar Donetsk says no players have asked to leave club
  • Shakhtar boasts a number of South American football players
  • Club says it could move its games if political situation deteriorates

Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook

(CNN) -- The eyes of the world may be on Brazil with the World Cup about to kick off but the uncertainty which has engulfed Ukraine since the Russian annexation of Crimea remains.

And if you believe everything you read, then half the squad of Ukraine's leading club Shakhtar Donetsk is ready to leave the troubled region and head for the top European Leagues.

But reports of a mass exodus are premature, according to the club's general manager.

"Nobody wants to leave the club and nobody has asked to leave the club," Sergiy Palkin told CNN Tuesday.

"I understand the concerns and I've had lots of agents on the phone asking me, 'Is it safe and will my player be OK?'

"But I tell them that we can 100% guarantee the security and safety of the players and their families.

"I understand that the families of the players are worried but it is fine here.

"We have not had to give them extra security."

Tensions remain high in the region although the election of new president Petro Poroshenko has provided hope that the political situation may improve.

The club, which regularly competes in the European Champions League group stages, expects the squad to return to Donetsk on July 26 following a preseason tour -- though contingency plans are in place if the political situation worsens.

"It is complicated here in Ukraine as everybody knows," Palkin added.

"But we hope we can resolve all the political problems and we're hopeful over plans to restart the league next season.

"At the moment, it is calm in Donetsk and there are no real problems.

"Of course, we have talked about contingency plans. We could move cities if the problems get worse but we do not expect that to happen.

"We are very confident we will all meet up on July 26 for the new season."

Shakhtar, which has won five consecutive league titles, boasts a number of players from South America including Brazil's Bernard.

The midfielder, who has been included in the country's World Cup squad, has reportedly been attracting attention from a number of English Premier League clubs.

But Palkin rejected claims the club is under pressure to sell off its prized assets.

"I've read everything in the newspapers but there is nothing in it," he added.

"We are not under pressure to sell and nobody has requested a move.

"Of course, if a team comes in with a good offer then we'll consider it but we have no intention of selling our best players."

Read: Poroshenko sets out Ukraine's European destiny

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:29 AM EDT, Sun July 27, 2014
Major League Soccer has snared another big name from England with former Chelsea star Frank Lampard committing his future to New York City FC.
The U.S. government recognizes Kosovo, as do most European states, but getting football's ruling bodies to play ball has proved harder.
updated 11:04 AM EDT, Wed June 4, 2014
National heroes don't always belong to one country. Ask France's World Cup hero Patrick Vieira, who is rediscovering his roots.
CNN's John Sinnott on the quiet Cambridge graduate behind Liverpool's resurgent campaign.
updated 11:19 AM EDT, Fri May 30, 2014
They are the dispossessed -- stateless, and unrecognized by football's ruling body. But these teams will still play at their own World Cup.
Louis van Gaal will be a perfect fit for Manchester United the club, business and brand, says CNN's Patrick Snell.
updated 3:24 PM EDT, Mon May 19, 2014
There's a new force in Spanish football -- and Atletico Madrid's ascendance is sharply contrasted by the fall from power of Barcelona.
updated 8:06 AM EDT, Tue May 13, 2014
Rubber bullets, drones and FBI-trained riot police. Welcome to Brazil's 2014 World Cup -- will protests overshadow football's showpiece event?
updated 9:18 AM EDT, Fri May 9, 2014
The former England international, who famously kicked a banana off the pitch 27 years ago, says education is the key to tackling racism.
updated 8:00 AM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
Of course not. But former Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed seems to think the removal of Michael Jackson's statue was a very "bad" idea.
updated 12:03 PM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 01: Neymar of Barcelona celebrates his goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg match between FC Barcelona and Club Atletico de Madrid at Camp Nou on April 1, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
The Brazilian star's first season in Spain may have spluttered along, but the 22-year-old says he'll be firing on all cylinders at the World Cup.
updated 1:15 PM EDT, Wed April 30, 2014
Former Soviet footballer Sergei Baltacha traveled from the land of the hammer and sickle to join The Tractor Boys and in doing so broke new ground.
updated 5:31 AM EDT, Tue April 29, 2014
Brazil's Dani Alves arrived at Barcelona from Sevilla in 2008 and he has gone on to make over 180 appearances for the club.
Villarreal football supporter who threw a banana at Barcelona's Dani Alves during league match handed a life ban by the La Liga club.
ADVERTISEMENT