Russia: Instead of being promoted to Superliga, Transgaz close to disappearing
Transgaz Stavropol were close to achieving a long-lasting dream: the participation in the Russian volleyball Championship.
However, they are at risk of disappearing.
The team sensationally won the 2019/20 Russian Division 2 (Visshaya liga “A“). They were at the top of standings at the moment of the season cancelation due to the coronavirus pandemic, and It was the best result in the history of the Kislovodsk team.
But as it seems it won’t be crowned with the participation in the Superliga.
The Russian giant among natural gas suppliers, Gazprom, suspended its sponsorship of Transgaz, which might even lead to the disappearance of the club.
There’s the option that Transgaz move to the city of Nevinnomyssk in which case it will keep their spot in Division 2 for the next season given they would be sponsored by the largest chemical industry enterprise in southern Russia, Nevinnomysskiy Azot.
In the meantime, many key players already left the club: middle blockers Dmitriy Kravchenko (Enisey), Ivan Polyanskiy (both in Enisey), and Yaroslav Vernyy (Yugra-Samotlor), libero Vladislav Dyakov, and setter Marat Gafarov (Dinamo-LO). Also, the head coach Yuriy Lisitskiy leave, he’ll assist Igor Shulepov in Ural.
Transgaz is known as the club in which two London Olympics winners started their careers, Sergey Grankin and Aleksey Obmochaev, while a two-time CEV EuroVolley winner Andrey Ashchev spent one part of his career there.