The former owner of Kharkiv Metalist Football Club Oleksandr Yaroslavsky will not return to the club until the bankruptcy procedure surrounding the club is unlocked and Metalist is able to operate with a clean slate, according to a top Ukrainian football pundit.

“At this stage, the authorities continue to block any decision over the Metalist bankruptcy that would allow for the purchase of assets, and most of all, for the acquisition of the Metalist brand and logo. In the right circumstances, I think Yaroslavsky would love to return to the club,” commented sports TV journalist Ihor Tsyanyk, who hosts the About Football show.

Tsyanyk noted that numerous people are currently using resources belonging to Metalist Kharkiv FC for their own interests, thus preventing the reacquisition of the club’s assets. The pundit also commented on the possible involvement in other projects that are attempting to fill the void caused by Metalist’s fall on hard times. “Yaroslavsky needs Metalist, not Metalist 1925 or any other team. He has no interest in other artificial projects. Metalist has a long history of success in both the Soviet era and in the Ukrainian Premier League (UPL). Yaroslavsky is a part of this history.”

Yaroslavsky has previously said the return of the club to its former status in the UPL was possible in a short space of time. “We must continue to fight,” the businessman commented earlier. “It is already known that Metalist Stadium has been transferred to the ownership of Kharkiv Regional Administration. Kharkiv residents now have the entire infrastructure. We have only the brand itself left to return.”

Yaroslavsky oversaw the development of Metalist Kharkiv from 2005 until 2012, a period that coincided with the peak years of the UPL. With Yaroslavsky as president, Metalist emerged as a serial UEFA Cup and Europa League contender while also challenging the long-established domestic dominance of Dynamo Kyiv and Shakhtar Donetsk.

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