Financial issue became a decisive point for Savchenko, Massot

Aliona Savchenko and Ingo Steuer

A pair skating team of Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot will compete for Germany. The crucial point in making this decision by the skaters was a financial issue.

German magazine Bild also reported about a very possible end of cooperation between skaters and their coach Ingo Steuer.

On 29 September 2014, the Deutsche Eislauf-Union announced that Savchenko/Massot had decided to skate for Germany.

“We made the decision to skate for Germany for financial reasons because we have a great need of help to continue our training in the best conditions,” Massot wrote in his yesterday’s statement on Facebook. ”The FFSG (French skating federation) waited a release of Aliona to unlock money for us but DEU (German skating union) was ready to help us without waiting my release. So this was the main reason,” Frenchman noted.

Since the ISU does not allow any pairing to compete under two flags, one partner is obliged to change country and may not compete internationally until the previous country grants a release. In July 2014, Savchenko said she preferred to continue competing for Germany while Massot preferred France.

In addition, according to German media, a five-time World champion Aliona Savchenko may refuse to continue cooperation with her coach Ingo Steuer. The coach, apparently, did not expect such a turn of events and said Bild magazine that Savchenko has made this decision behind him and that he is extremely disappointed.

“After a meeting with the German federation, we talked with him about finding a financial agreement. We wanted to get as much help from the federation as possible in order to pay for the good work he was doing for us. For now we find no agreement with him,” Massot said.

Ingo Steuer began experiencing difficulties in financing his coaching since the Savchenko/Massot team’s future remained uncertain. This is not the first time when Steuer faces financial issues. Similar problems haunted him, Alena Savchenko and her former partner Robin Szolkowy during many years.

The coach is also not happy to share the ice with Canadian specialists Richard Gauthier and Bruno Marcotte, who are now involved in the training process of the pair.

“Indeed we want to expand our team to gain the maximum experience from the best coaches.” Massot admitted.

This story shows once again that despite the fact that perhaps figure skating is the most beautiful sport, it is still in search of its ascending trend in the economic conditions of sports competition in the 21st century. The exceptions are those countries where the sport is a part of government policy. Though, this advantage may also be lost in our globalized economy.

Photo: Süddeutsche.de

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