RFPL Mid-Season Review – Part Two

As we are at the halfway stage of the 2017/18 season, it is now time to look at the season so far and how it has transpired for each RFPL member club. This mid-season review will look at the pre-season expectations for each club based on their squad and summer signings, cross-referencing with last season's performance and reputation. Then deducing whether or not each club is achieving its pre-season goals so far this season, the comparative high and low points so far for each club, expectations … [Read more...]

Pavel Pogrebnyak – A Constant Reminder of Dinamo’s Chaos

The hype was substantial when Pavel Pogrebnyak returned to the Russian Football Premier League (RFPL) prior to the 2015/2016 season after six years abroad in Germany and England. The former UEFA Cup winner and Zenit St. Petersburg top scorer signed a three-year contract with big spending Dinamo Moscow, which made him one of the best-paid players in the country. However, Pogrebnyak's stint at Dinamo  has far from lived up to the expectations, and his contract has caused Dinamo  a headache ever … [Read more...]

Yann M’Vila – Justice Denied

As I entered my 2nd full season in the management of a professional football club I was encountering some really strange moments. Not only had the newly elected club President tried to steal money set aside to repay investors, players and pay for a pre-season tour to Russia, but players were turning up at my home in shock as they were being told that agreed payment schemes were no longer valid. Rubin Kazan’s Yann M’Vila has been there and done that. What happened around me in Malta was very … [Read more...]

RFPL Round 6 Review

  The Anzhi Arena in DagestanA superb late turnaround gave CSKA, who defeated Young Boys in the Champions League on Tuesday, a 2-1 win and bragging rights over Spartak in the Moscow derby. The league champions’ defeat means that they sit eight points behind Zenit St Petersburg, who fired four unanswered goals past Akhmat Grozny. Amkar remain winless but have gone two games undefeated after a credible draw with Krasnodar. Anzhi manager Aleksandr Grigoryan stepped down following his … [Read more...]

RFPL 2017/2018 – Who Has the Best Kit?

SKA-Khabarovsk Premier Liga newcomers, like some other teams, decided not to bother and use last year's kits. They probably figured that nobody saw it last season anyway, as the coverage of the FNL is almost criminally low. The kit itself is nothing special, but there is nothing to criticize either. I personally like their massive badge, which looks appropriate on this empty T-shirt. FC Tosno The club from the Leningrad Oblast, founded in 2013, still hasn't built its own identity. … [Read more...]

Season Preview: Dinamo Moscow

Following their relegation to the Football National League in 2016, Dinamo Moscow had one main task for the season ahead. This was to bounce straight back up to Russia’s top flight. Not only did they manage this, but they did it in style, winning the league with 12 more points than second placed Tosno, and only losing three times in the league all season. Determined to start climbing back to the top of Russian football, Dinamo have already made four signings this summer. Having tied down … [Read more...]

Dinamo Moscow’s 1945 Goodwill Tour of Britain

“The Russians are Coming”: Arrival 4th November 1945, Croydon. Two planes, appearing to be Douglas DC-3 Dakotas, approached the runway and touched down amidst a barrage of London sunshine, a characteristically mundane and everyday sight for an airport which based RAF Transport Command from 1944. These giant planes would ferry ammunition and vehicles from factory to operating unit throughout World War Two. However, on this day, the influx of these two planes was a prodigious and preternatural … [Read more...]

Dinamo Moscow Return to the Top Flight After Hectic Season

On April 18 Dinamo Moscow, Russia's oldest football club celebrated its 94th birthday. Just five days earlier they had secured a trophy they had never won before, the Football National League, the country's second tier. After last season's catastrophic relegation, which meant Dinamo left the top tier for the first time since the foundation of the club in 1923, the White-Blues are now back where they belong as they have a 12-point gap down to the second place, and 24 down to the … [Read more...]

Five Stars With a Past in Russian Football

Since the formation of the Russian Football Premier League in 1992, a long range of quality players have amazed fans around the country. However, with so many players coming through the ranks, some more memorable than others, others more profitable for bookmakers, it is easy to forget a couple, especially for people who don't follow the league closely. Therefore, we have dived into the history books to find five superstars you might not know played in Russia at some point in their … [Read more...]

Dinamo Moscow’s Worries Deepens

Ever since the 11-time Soviet champions Dinamo Moscow were penalized for breaching UEFA's Financial Fair Play regulations last summer, the Blue-Whites have been in constant turmoil. Last season infamously ended in Dinamo leaving the top flight for the first time in the club's 93-year history, and this season the proud Moscow side have been demoted to the deep seas of the Football National League (FNL), the second tier, where clubs constantly struggle to stay above water. There were those … [Read more...]