NEUCHATEL: Swiss club Xamax Neuchatel – home-town club of legendary 1930s star Max Abegglen – have lost their appeal against expulsion from the league because of its financial failure.
Controversial Chechen businessman Bulat Chagaev owns the club who lost their playing licence last week after the SFL alleged the club had falsifying a bank document used as a guarantee when Chagaev bought the club in May 2011.
The club unsuccessfully appealed to the commercial court in the Swiss canton of Bern and the regional court of Bern-Mittelland, saying the SFL disciplinary committee did not have the authority to exclude them.
Chagaev, who blamed the club’s failure on a media campaign against him personally, sacked all players and team officials on Tuesday and recalling them early from a training camp in Dubai. Earlier during his turbulent ownership Chagaev had dismissed five coaches and terminated contracts with all the club’s sponsors.
During the summer break in the 2011 season, the club unveiled a new crest featuring Chechen symbols and submitted an application to the SFL to change its name to include a reference to the Vainakh people of the Caucasus, which was rejected. Some reports in Swiss media claimed Chagaev even threatened the players with violence.
He has been held on custody on remand by police in Geneva since Tuesday.
Before buying Neuchatel, Chagaev was best known for bringing Dutch manager Ruud Gullit to Russian side Terek Grozny, where he was a club sponsor. Gullit left the Chechnya-based team in June 2011 after five months in charge.