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Champions: The Sheriff Empire: 20,000 workers, from the textile sector to banking and football as a “business card for Transnistria” | Champions League 2021

 Champions: The Sheriff Empire: 20,000 workers, from the textile sector to banking and football as a

The company, created after the fall of the USSR by two former KGB agents, powers more than half of the Transnistrian economy.

The players of Madrid, in the field of Sheriff Tiraspol.SERGEI GAPONAFP
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“With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the state’s economic ties collapsed causing a shortage of food and consumer goods in the republic. But a few energetic and motivated people took on the responsibility of providing food to the people. “It seems like the opening lead of a movie set in another time, in another world, but no, it is the presentation of the company’s website Sheriff, the business network that governs everything in the self-proclaimed Independent Republic of Transnistria.

They are very closed. They don’t give interviews. They do not want to, “say people from Tiraspol who do not dare to give their name. There are hardly any reports or communication cracks in the company. Not even the dozens of emails sent over weeks or the attempts of some local journalists are useful to know the opinions (or at least have a paltry reply) of the transnistrian motor, responsible for 60% of its economy, between direct jobs and subsidiaries, and the owner, also, of the Sheriff Tiraspol. Not even before the visit of the Real Madrid in the penultimate day of the group stage of the Champions League.

In addition to football, the sector list where Sheriff operates is to spend the ink of various pens: sector banking, telecommunications, concrete, electric power and thermal, cognacs and wines, textile, products for bakery and confectionery, design and printing, an advertising agency, a sports complex, medical centers, restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, a hotel complex … And they even work on technological improvements in sturgeon breeding. Just take a walk by Tiraspol to discover the word Sheriff on almost every street, even in the casino from the Hotel Russia, where Madrid sleeps in the capital.

The origin will already sound to you. Ilya Kazmaly and Viktor Gushan, two agents of the KGB, created Sheriff in 1993, after the fall of the USSR. And for the last 30 years has grown to be in the 20,000 workers. “It is one of the large Moldovan companies, not only from the Transnistria area “, he tells EL MUNDO Valery Pavlichenko, responsible for scouting at the Sheriff until 2015 and now a footballers agent.

Some of those 20,000 workers are evidently in the football team, which they have led to the Champions League after a decade climbing in continental football. “They have built a strategy, step by step, spending money on infrastructure and not just on staff. There are no money problems, “adds Pavlichenko. A sporting success thanks to Sheriff who has motivated the openness in the relations that Transnistria has with the outside. “For this area, football has become a way of expressing itself to the world,” explains Yulya Sorokopud, a correspondent for Sputnik in Moldova. “It is a business card for Transnistria.”

Sentimentality and globalization

But not only football is the thing. On the plane that arrived in Chisinau, several passengers admitted to being on a business trip to the Transnistrian area, praising the business opportunities that was in the territory and confirming that the closed and old image what do the soviet symbols of its streets is far from a reality in which the sentimentality mixes with capitalism and globalization. “The situation has changed a lot in the last four years, although I can’t say that people have a great financial situation“, Pavlichenko assures.” But people are traveling a lot, they are learning how things are done in other countries and they are arriving investors and tourists“.

And everything, with Sheriff in the shadow. Not on the flag, with the communist hammer and sickle as the protagonist, but on a day-to-day basis. In fact, it has received the ‘Order of Honor‘by the government of Transnistria. “Our goal is to create decent living conditions for the people of the Pridnestrovia (That’s how the citizens of the area call their republic) “, explains the company on its website, which owns 18 supermarkets between Tiraspol and Bender, the other important city in the region, with an Ottoman-era fortress that belongs to the army. In the capital, the company owns the most imposing building on the entire Avenida 25 de Octubre, right in the center. A whole block of a classical construction, but not Soviet-style, in which Sheriff is not read anywhere. They have enough, they will think, with all the supermarkets and gas stations in the area.

Reference from elmundo