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Chinese owner of Slavia Praha football club buys its home stadium

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Prague, April 28 (CTK) – The Chinese firm CEFC that owns the Slavia Praha football club on Friday became the owner of the Eden football stadium, which the club uses for its home matches, after it paid approximately one billion crowns for the stadium.

The CEFC Group became the majority owner of Slavia in September 2015 and it has gradually gained 99.9 percent of the club’s shares. The firm wanted to buy the stadium for more than a year.

“The CEFC Group took over the Eden Arena without any liabilities, legal or financial. We insisted on this from the very beginning and this also was the reason why it took about one year to complete the transaction,” CEFC Europe Executive Vice President Marcela Hrda said.

Since its opening in 2008, the Eden Arena has had several owners, but until now the stadium and the club always had different owners, which caused problems.

As the previous owner leased the arena for concerts, Slavia will have to play its last home match of the season at some other Prague stadium in late May.

Slavia’s director general Martin Krob will now also be the director of the Eden Arena. Thanks to this, the club may invest in increasing the stadium’s current capacity of more than 20,000 spectators.

“We managed to return Slavia to the top of the Czech football league… The oldest football club and one of the most famous in the Czech Republic deserves to have its own stadium,” Slavia board chairman Jaroslav Tvrdik said.

Slavia has been playing football since the end of the 19th century. This season, the club has the ambition of being the league’s champion after eight years. Slavia ended in fifth position in the last season and in several previous seasons it was mostly near the bottom of the rankings.

The Eden Arena will officially be handed to Slavia before a league match on Sunday.

CEFC will continue to use the stadium also for other sport, cultural and social events. The exact price of the arena will not be released, the two sides to the transaction agreed.

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