To honor the seventh anniversary of the first UEFA EURO 2012 match in Kharkiv, Oleksandr Yaroslavsky’s DCH Group has officially confirmed its decision to establish a museum of the tournament.
It is still fresh in the memory that the 31 matches of the 2012 European Football Championship were played in Ukraine and Poland following the decision by UEFA (the Union of European Football Associations) to allow the two neighbouring countries to co-host the event. Originally, Kharkiv was selected as a reserve city. But, after major upgrading of the city’s sports and transportation facilities, the UEFA Executive Committee promoted it to the status of host city. The key facilities related to the tournament – stadium, airport, training camps etc. – were constructed thanks to DCH Group’s private investment which totalled in excess of $ 300 million. Oleksandr Yaroslavsky, the Group’s owner and president, became not only the major investor in EURO 2012 in Kharkiv but also the official facilitator to prepare the three high-profile matches played in the city.
DCH plans to establish a museum reflecting EURO 2012 under the auspices of Kharkiv International Airport and the 5-Star Kharkiv Palace Hotel – both built during the city’s preparations for the tournament, with the latter adopted as UEFA’s regional headquarters. The exhibits are to include items connected with the tournament (documentary photos and videos, memorabilia etc.) and interactive solutions based on augmented and virtual reality. The forecast volume of investment totals approximately $ 1.5 million.
Oleksandr Yaroslavsky says “The idea of the museum emerged when the team of my colleagues who had been engaged in EURO 2012 projects were remembering those momentous days. We came to the conclusion that the tournament had shaped the destiny of the city as a whole. Thanks to UEFA’s belief that Kharkiv deserved the joy of participating in the top European sports event, a lot of Kharkiv citizens were able to contemplate new opportunities – and the city embarked on a metamorphosis. A beautiful airport offered chances to travel the world. The stadium, apart from its own facilities, provided an incentive to develop areas around it and provided a blueprint for development further afield. Areas where people want to live and develop lifestyles for themselves and their families. Very few people think of sports competitions in terms of the way in which they can profoundly influence the economy of host cities and the quality of their citizens’ lives. But this has become obvious in Kharkiv. That is why we decided to offer Kharkiv citizens a possibility to feel and re-live the incredible atmosphere of EURO 2012 via a special museum. The city may go on to stage many more equally wonderful events. But the memory of the first one must live through the ages.”
UEFA was highly appreciative of the initiative and contribution by DCH. According to Martin Kallen, chief operations director of EURO 2012 in those days and the current CEO of UEFA Events SA, “In the history of the 2012 European Football Championships Kharkiv will be remembered as an exceptionally orderly host city. Moreover, it was a unique case in that the city had a single control centre for the construction of facilities and experienced such huge private investment. The DCH initiative was a pleasant surprise for us and we believe that the museum will be a success. Especially as the project’s idea is focused on lesser-known aspect of sports competitions – their influence on the development of host cities. We hope the teams who played in Kharkiv in 2012 – none other than major footballing nations Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal – will help the museum-to-be to acquire its exhibits. And that the museum itself will make both Kharkiv citizens and their guests happy for years to come.”
The official opening of the permanent EURO 2012 exhibition in Kharkiv is scheduled to take place on 5 December 2019 – the very day when the grand opening of the Metalist Stadium was staged 10 years previously. It was the first tournament facility which offered Kharkiv citizens tangible confirmation that the ambitious plans to host the 2012 European Football Championship in their city were absolutely realistic.
DCH is one of the largest Ukrainian conglomerates with more than 20-years’ history. At present, the business group’s key activities are finance, machinery, production of construction supplies, real estate development, transport, sports facilities and hospitality business. DCH Group’s current investment portfolio includes Kharkiv International Airport, Kharkiv Tractor Plant, Dnipro Metallurgical Plant (DMP), UGDK, Premier Palace Hotel Kharkiv, Karavan Megastore SEC chain, Vozdvyzhenka housing estate in Kyiv, INGO Ukraine insurance company, Sukha Balka mining company, RC Olymp, etc.
Oleksandr Yaroslavsky is the founder, owner and president of DCH Group. He is one of the most successful businesspersons in Ukraine. PhD (Technical Sciences), Doctor Honoris Causa of the V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, Doctor Honoris Causa of the National University of Urban Economy (Kharkiv, Ukraine). His investments only in Kharkiv region’s economy are over $ 1 bln.
Oleksandr Yaroslavsky became the owner of FC Metalis (Kharkiv) in 2006, and during his presidency the club established a national record by winning the bronze medals in the national championship for six consecutive years. During this period, FC Metalist also reached the semi-final of the Ukrainian Domestic Cup on two occasions and consistently participated in the UEFA Cup, reaching the quarter final stage in 2011-12.
During 2007-2012, Oleksandr Yaroslavsky invested $ 300 million to prepare his hometown - Kharkiv – to become a host city for Euro 2012. Owing to his efforts, Kharkiv received a new stadium and an airport, its first 5* luxury hotel (Kharkiv Palace) and other infrastructure improvements. For his contribution to the UEFA 2012 tournament, he was awarded the UEFA Order of Merit.
Oleksandr Yaroslavsky is also a keen rugby fan and sponsor/president of RC Olymp in Kharkiv. RC Olymp is the most important rugby club in Ukraine. It is the key club for the national team and the head coach of Olymp is the national team coach. They have won the Ukrainian championship 12 times and are current holders of the Ukrainian Cup.