The Department of Physical Development and Sports of the Atyrau region began the new year with an announcement of a tender for the amount of 1 billion 922 million 700 thousand tenge for the purchase of ‘training services and participation by the regional football team in the championship and the cup of the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2019’. Funds are allocated from the regional budget and applications are being received for the tender.
What is the process?
The contract holder is the head of the department of physical development and sports, Tlekkabyl Esdauletov, with the chairman of the tender commission Rinat Ibragimov, determining the winner. The commission also includes the deputy, Nurzhaugan Tolueuova and specialist Amanzhol Sagingaliev.
“A similar amount of money is allocated annually, why are you making a fuss? The money goes to support our football club in Atyrau. Our goal is to support sport”, - Rinat Ibragimov told Ak Zhaiyk correspondent in a telephone interview.
Does this amount include the repair of the home stadium Munaishy?
“No, for this we are planning to attract investors. Last year, the Kazakhstan Football Federation would not allow matches to be held at this stadium due to the lack of a grass pitch. Several games were therefore played in Tomarly. “I believe this season with a grass pitch at Munaishy everything will be fine and the team will hold all home games at their stadium”.
When will the results of the tender be known, and how many applications have been received?
“There are no applications, as you know there is only one club and they will likely win”.
The club, referred to above by R. Ibragimov, is ‘Professional Sports Club’ Atyrau, the winner of a similar contract last year of 1 billion 473,121,000 tenge, almost 500 million less than the amount allocated for 2019.
The deadline for the tender is January 26th. At this time, the regional sports department allocates the money to the winner, but has no right to interfere in its personal policy.
“WE CAN AFFORD SUCH AN AMOUNT”
In recent years, local authorities have tried unsuccessfully to sell the regional football team for firstly 10 billion tenge and subsequently 9 and 8 billion. In the absence of buyers the FC was transferred to trust management with the right of subsequent redemption.
“It would be wrong to stop allocating money to the club because it has passed into private hands”, says head of the regional finance department, Nursultan Bisembiev. “The club is in trust management and can be redeemed in 10 years provided there are no debts and all requirements of the Football Federation are fulfilled. The amount we are talking about is not that big, we can afford to allocate such a sum from the local budget for the development of sport”.
THEN AND NOW
In recent years, FC Atyrau has been placed near the bottom in final standings. For example, the team finished 9th in 2018, out of a total of 12 teams. The most recent success was in 2009 when the team won the country’s Cup. When the oil capitals team were in the top ten, won silver medals and competed in European competitions in two consecutive years, the home stadium was crammed with fans and attracted media attention for extended periods.
Local fans, (not so many now), believe that, instead of spending money on foreign players, the club should develop and connect promising young local talent to the main team. For several years now, Atyrau FC has had a junior football centre, where many children of different ages are involved. In 2019, the club purchased two foreign players, 30-year-old Serbian, Darko Bjedov and, 28-year-old Croatian Josip Ivančić. The transfer fees are not disclosed.
The Atyrau team is currently in a training camp in Turkey where they will participate in several test matches.
Photos by author