The Bratislava club is among the KHL's best when it comes to infrastructure, marketing and audience interest.
Some of the Slovak sports websites started speculating about Slovan's future presence in the upcoming KHL season after they'd heard information from Russian media according to which the management of the KHL have been thinking about decreasing the number of participating teams. Alexei Jashkin, KHL's executive director, explicitly negates these reports:
"Slovan submitted their application (so-called zayavka) for the 2017/18 KHL season few weeks ago already. Of course, just like the other teams, they need to meet KHL's requirements until the end of June. There is no single sign from the KHL's management that they would not count on Slovan in the league. Currently, we are looking with the corresponding KHL department into the authorization of new player contracts, which we had to change a bit, so they would comply with the Slovak sports law," said A. Jashkin for hcslovan.sk.
According to Jashkin, the KHL management regularly and frequently analyze each and every KHL club in multiple areas. They watch their financial situation and stability, quality of infrastructure, TV broadcast quality, overall marketing presentation, and last but not least, development of the fan base and audience interest in KHL games in particular city.
"Slovan meets majority of the criteria without any problems. Actually, Slovan is one of the best in the marketing area and in the audience interest area," says A. Jashkin. "KHL obviously knows about our financial stability problems. On the other hand, they appreciate that Slovan's budget is compiled from multiple incomes, while the majority of it is created by ticket sales."
KHL's president Dmitry Chernyshenko recently criticized the less successful Russian clubs for relying on money from the government, although their quality is questionable and doesn't meet the KHL standards, and they play with half-empty arenas. Many Russian clubs that are in the league are dependent on financial support from governmental companies and regional committees that keep them afloat. Because of this, KHL started thinking of decreasing the number of KHL teams from 28 to 24, which would decrease the costs of players' salaries. As it is known to general public, salaries of Slovan players are one of the lowest in the league.