SportsSlovak millionaire and ice hockey patron Rudolf Hruby dies, leaving club in turmoil

Slovak millionaire and ice hockey patron Rudolf Hruby dies, leaving club in turmoil

In the photo: Rudolf Hruby
In the photo: Rudolf Hruby
Images source: © Licensor | Slovan Bratysława

6:24 AM EST, December 17, 2023

Rudolf Hruby was among Slovakia's wealthiest individuals. Born in Dubnica nad Vahom, Hruby co-founded Eset, a software company. He also held the position of chief financial officer within the company.

Forbes Magazine closely examined Hruby's wealth. It's estimated to reach up to 770 million euros (approximately 872 million dollars). At 69 years old, Hruby had ample resources to assume control of Slovan Bratislava's struggling ice hockey club.

Thus, since 2020, Hruby had been Slovan's majority owner. Under his guidance, the club secured a win for the Slovak championship during the 2021/2022 season. Despite this victory, the club is currently performing poorly, ranking second-to-last in the league.

As first reported by Slovan, the 69-year-old Hruby passed away on Thursday evening (December 14). His family confirmed the news to the hockey club. However, both Slovak and Czech media only began reporting two days after his passing. As of now, his cause of death remains undisclosed.

Hruby's true passion was hockey. With a lifelong devotion to Slovan and the Slovak national team, he swiftly intervened to provide support when he learned of the club's financial difficulties. Recently, he also served as a member of the Slovak Ice Hockey Federation's Executive Committee.

Due to Slovan's underwhelming performance, Hruby, at 69, decided to terminate the coach's contract just a day before his passing. As a result, the Czech coach and former distinguished hockey player, Vladimir Ruzicka, was relieved of his duties after only three months.

"HC Slovan Bratislava extends its deepest condolences to family, friends, and acquaintances of Rudolf Hruby on behalf of all players, employees, and fans. We honor his memory," the team shared on their official website.
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