As they say, every cloud has a silver lining. And this article is another confirmation of the saying. The situation with COVID-19 has doubtlessly influenced our life, even in a positive kind of way. We’d like to write a few words about small football club from Belarus, called Slutsk. The team is quite mediocre and modest, so is the little Belarusian town, where in 1998 the club was founded with the assistance and sponsorship of a local sugar refinery company. As a matter of fact, there are only about 60000 people living in Slutsk. And they are definitely the most devoted fans.
In 2014 FC Slutsk performed in the Belarusian Premier League, which is the highest league in the country. In 2017 Children’s and Youth Sports School “Slutsk” was opened. Nowadays, the school has 250 kids, 12 full training groups.
COVID-19 helped the club by providing a real antivirus advertisement. As you may probably know, Belarus didn’t cancel any public sports events, like other countries did. That’s why sports fans all over the world started watching Belarusian Championship. Moreover, fans from other countries even founded fan clubs and created pages in social networks, which brought the club unexpected fame. The players obviously didn’t expect such a stir. The Facebook page dedicated to FC Slutsk was created even in Australia. By the way, you may have a look at it here.
There is, however, an opinion that the club became so popular because in English its name is consonant with the word “slut” meaning “whore”. But let’s hope that it is not the reason.
Despite the growing popularity, club’s current financial situation leaves much to be desired. Experts agree that Slutsk is experiencing the worst financial crisis for all 22 years of its existence. The sugar refinery company, which sponsored the club, stopped funding, although Slutsk already had 3 wins (2 of which were on a visit) and now firmly sits in the 2nd place of the Championship standings. And until recently, the club was leading the table! Slutsk Chairman Vitali Bunos keeps up hoping and does his best, holding the meetings and negotiations with business and government establishments. The club already has debts to the players. As the Championship continues, there is no reason to cut the players’ salaries.
Unexpected popularity and new fans motivated the team management to look for an alternative way of sponsorship. At present, Slutsk is collecting money with the help of Crowdfunding. Melbet team offers to participate, if you can, in this noble endeavour. You can find the detailed information on the club’s official page.