A large number of individuals responsible for organising the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 have resigned this afternoon.
The resignation comes after the collapse of the tender process and reports that no progress has occurred with this years contest for over two months. According to reports in the Ukrainian press, work regarding the venue, Euroclub, TV production and other matters have stalled with no tender processes or contracts having been signed.
In the past week the ticketing provider for the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 had to be withdrawn following the decision of the Anti-Monopoly Comittee to void the contract. The letter released this afternoon has been signed by a total of 21 individuals including Oleksandr Kharebin and Victoria Romanova who were the Executive Producers for this years contest in Kyiv.
The resignation letter reads as follows (Translation from ESCKaz):
In December, after our team has achieved confirmation from the EBU that the Eurovision Song Contest will be hold in Ukraine, we saw our powers taken off, since a new actual head of the contest in Ukraine has been appointed, who got the complete control over all the Eurovision aspects in Ukraine.
This appointment and all the actions that accompanied it, stopped for almost two months all work on the project, the work of our team was completely blocked. We have repeatedly informed about the state of things to the management of UA:PBC, management of the State Committee on TV and Radio Broadcasting, representatives of the Cabinet of Ministers, we tried to find a compromise and make every effort for the further implementation of the project.
During this time, besides presenting of the results of our team work made in the period September-December 2016, new management has not carried out any of the real actions to ensure that the project will be realized in the required period of time.
We regret to inform that our team can not accept such an appointment and does not see the possibility to continue our work on the project for the preparation and organization of the Eurovision Song Contest in Ukraine.
New management structure of the contest proposed to us, lack of transparency in decision making process in key areas of work, lack of any legal obligations towards the specialists invited by us to work on the contest, disruption of the schedule of tenders, – all this, in our view, hinders quality and timely preparation for the event in Ukraine.
Our alternative and compromise proposal on the distribution of powers and responsibilities within the Eurovision team, unfortunately, was not supported by UA:PBC management. In this regard, we inform you that the team, well known to you for many months of our work on the preparation to the Eurovision sees no more opportunity to continue our work on the contest in the conditions proposed to us.
We sincerely thank all of our team members for the many months of work, their professionalism and dedication.
Update – 16:40 CET – EBU Statement:
Victoria Romanova, Oleksandr Kharebin, Iryna Asman, Denys Bloshchynski and his team and Oleksii Karaban informed the EBU on 10th February that they were resigning from their roles for the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest. The group felt they were not able to continue work on the project owing to staffing matters at UA:PBC, which the EBU cannot fully comment on.
The team have been instrumental in the planning for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, and we thank them for their hard work. We have reiterated to UA:PBC the importance of a speedy and efficient implementation of plans already agreed, despite staff changes, and that we stick to the timeline and milestones that have been established and approved by the Reference Group to ensure a successful Contest in May.