Berdyev’s Masterpiece is Falling Apart


After two and a half incredible seasons at FC Rostov, which saw the club challenge for the Russian championship and play in the Champions League, both for the first time, Kurban Berdyev has left the Yellow-Blues, and with him the club’s hopes of staying in the top of Russian football too.

There is little doubt that Turkmen Berdyev was the mastermind behind Rostov’s sudden flight towards the stars. Under Berdyev, the club went from fighting to avoid relegation to battling CSKA Moscow and Zenit St. Petersburg for the championship, and they later qualified for the Champions League.

Not only did Berdyev’s tactical mind master the performances on the pitch, he also influenced the club off the pitch. Every single member of the staff was handpicked by Berdyev, and last summer he was even appointed vice-president of the club, thus giving him even more influence over every single aspect of daily life in the club.

This of course has made the blow of losing Berdyev even harder as he was more than just a manager. Earlier this week, it was officially announced that he would return to Rubin Kazan, the club that made him one of the biggest names in Russian football, and with him he brings eight staff members from Rostov, including Ivan Danilyants, who acted as Rostov’s head coach this season.

On top of that, a number of key players have also left the club. Goalkeepers Soslan Dzhanaev, a Russian international before he was injured, and his back-up Nikita Medvedev, who broke the RFPL-record for most minutes in a row without conceding, have both departed. Furthermore, central defenders Cesar Navas – the absolute leader of the team – and former Russian international Vladimir Granat as well as full-back Denis Terentyev and central midfielder Christian Noboa have all left the club, which leaves Rostov without the leading figures of their prime asset – their defensive strength.

Left in Rostov-on-Don is a however a crippling debt. Rostov have struggled financially for years now, and even last season, when they received millions from UEFA for qualifying for the Champions League group stage, players and staff often had to wait months for their pay checks to arrive. The press service of the Rostov Oblast recently revealed that the club’s debt was on €5.65 million, and with local patron Ivan Savvidis, owner of Greek club PAOK, and his company Agrocom no longer around to bail out Rostov when the problems get too bad, this is likely to get even worse.

READ MORE: Ivan Savvidis – Fighting Against the Establishment

The fact that Rostov doesn’t have a lot of funds to use in the transfer market, and isn’t an attractive place for players anymore, can be seen by the players signed to replace those who have left. Sergey Parshivlyuk has been signed from Anzhi Makhachkala, while they have also signed goalkeepers Sergey Pesyakov and Ilya Abaev from deputy roles at Spartak and Lokomotiv Moscow respectively. Last but not least, they have signed Polish central defender Maciej Wilusz, who struggled to make an impact at Lech Poznan last season.

In the future, even more players can follow their now former teammates out the door, and every player with the option to leave is likely to take it, which includes offensive aces Sardar Azmoun and Dmitry Poloz, who are both wanted by numerous clubs from across Europe.

As one Rostov fan hopelessly commented on Championat after Terentyev joined Zenit: “The last guy who leaves better remember to turn off the light at the club.” One can hardly blame him for his lack of optimism at the moment.

Toke Møller Theilade

Author: Toke Møller Theilade

Brøndby supporter, groundhopper and more importantly Editor-in-Chief at As a hopeless romantic, I still believe Fyodor Smolov and Viktoria Lopyreva has a future together.

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