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Sergei Palkin: Donbass Arena lives and helps people

Friday, April 22, 2016



The CEO of FC Shakhtar shared his impression of the visit to Donetsk. Sergei Palkin paid a visit to the Donbas Arena, Kirsha training facility, called in at the training session of Academy boys and visited the humanitarian aid distribution points

- Sergei Anatolyevich, what is the purpose of your trip to Donetsk?
- First of all, I wanted to meet with the staff currently staying there. And that’s no less than five hundred people! Some of them are involved at the Humanitarian Centre, others work at our infrastructure facilities, with the third group of colleagues working at the children's Academy. Therefore, we met with our people and discussed a lot of important issues. We launched the granite ball at the entrance to our home – the Donbass Arena. In general, all facilities of FC Shakhtar are well maintained, everything is good. A vivid proof of that is the appearance of the park around the Arena! By the way, besides the arena and Kirsha training facility, I have visited Shakhtar stadium, where our children's Academy were training at the moment. There were many children with their parents. I am glad that children come to us to play football, with increasingly more people willing to engage in the activity. In addition to sports facilities, I visited several points for distributing humanitarian aid: I communicated with those who receive it, asked them for their opinions.

- And what do Donetsk residents say?
- They are whole-heartedly grateful to the president of FC Shakhtar. Many of our compatriots have survived only owing to his Humanitarian Centre - in the literal sense of the word.

- What’s the current condition of Kirsha training centre?
- Pitches and sports infrastructure wise, everything is in proper condition. That is, you can take the pitch and train even tomorrow. As for the first team building that was affected by the bombardments, nothing has changed in this respect yet. We have not started repairing it, because in the current situation, it is impossible to do yet.

- The Donbass Arena facade was also damaged...
- We have covered the façade with a special material which visually hides the absence of certain sections. We will need to restore them either. At the moment, that’s not possible technically.

- What’s your overall impression of the visit?
- You get sad at heart when you see one of the best stadiums in Europe, being in excellent condition, just abandoned. You feel a bit uneasy. But I want to say that owing to the Humanitarian Centre, the infrastructure of Donbas Arena, so to speak, is partially operated. And that's good, because such a great building should exist, operate and benefit people. I caught the moment when another humanitarian convoy of 19 large trucks just arrived. I am glad that at least this way, as a logistics centre, the Donbas Arena currently lives and helps people.