How to travel around Russia for free during World Cup 2018

For fans who are heading to this summer's World Cup in Russia, now is a crucial time in terms of planning where to stay, how to get to the various cities and what to do once there. As Russia is so vast, the host cities for the World Cup are widely spread out. The three most extreme cities of Kaliningrad in the west, Sochi in the south and Ekaterinburg in the east are all around 3000km from each other - roughly a 3-hour flight between each city. For fans following their country, they will … [Read more...]

How have the summer RFPL departees fared?

If there is such a thing as a circle of life in football, it is that players move around. When one player joins a club another has to go, and the other way around. This is obviously also the case in Russia, where we saw several big profiles leave the league last summer. These players have now been away for six months, but how have the departees fared at their new clubs?   Giuliano: Zenit St. Petersburg to Fenerbahce - €7 million The Brazilian impressed everybody when he joined Zenit … [Read more...]

Moritz Bauer: The RFPL’s latest export to England

Moritz Bauer has become the most recent RFPL export to the English Premier League, moving from Rubin Kazan to pastures new with currently-managerless Stoke City. The Austrian put pen to paper on a 4.5-year contract, in an undisclosed deal we understand to be as high as €6 million. Bauer joined Rubin in the summer of 2016, the first signing made under the management of Javi Gracia in a summer where the club ended up spending €40m in total, and around €4 million of that was on Bauer. A right … [Read more...]

Nikita Simonyan Biography: Football – Is It Just a Game? (Introduction)

Nikita Pavlovich Simonyan (1926-  ) is the current vice president of the Russian Football Union, and one of the most noteworthy figures in Russian and Soviet football. Between 1949 and 1959 he became the highest scoring player ever for Spartak Moscow, with whom he won four Soviet championships, and he was also one of the stars on the Soviet national team that won the 1956 Olympics and finished fourth at the 1958 World Cup.  He later went into coaching and he won three Soviet championships … [Read more...]

RFN Podcast: Which RFPL players should foreign clubs sign?

In the latest edition of the RFN Podcast, Thomas Giles, Toke Theilade and Andrew Flint discuss the recent proposals to reform the Premier League as well as the upcoming transfer window. You can find the podcast on SoundCloud, or subscribe via iTunes by clicking here. You can also subscribe via iTunes by selecting – File, Subscribe to Podcast – and entering the following … [Read more...]

Round Table: Russian Football’s New Year

  As you will be aware people are aware, we recently turned the calendar from 2017 to 2018, and it is thus time to evaluate the year that went by and look forward to the new one. To do so, we found four RFN writers and asked them about their Russian football highs and lows of 2017 as well as their hopes for 2018. In the panel, we have: Toke Theilade (@TokeTheilade) Andrew Flint (@AndrewMijFlint) David Sansun (@RFN_David) James Nickels (@JamesNickels)   Question … [Read more...]

Valery Gazzaev – The Ossetian Polymath

A polymath isn’t usually a word you use to describe a person associated with football, but in Valery Gazzaev’s case, an exception can definitely be made. Gazzaev scored more than a 100 goals as a player, made history as a manager, is often seen talking about reforms in Russian football and is a member of the Duma. Wherever the man goes, he makes an impact, which makes him one of the most revered figures in Russian football. Gazzaev was born in the Ossetian city of Ordzhonikidze (now … [Read more...]

The tumultuous history of the Soviet League

The Soviet football championship is probably unique in the variety of formulas used in the league. After recent comments by Leonid Fedun, who recently discussed league reform in-depth and offered a two-stage league formula similar to Belgium, I decided to go into the depths of history and show the various quirks of the Soviet football officials. There actually were tournaments called "Soviet championships" before 1936, but they were contested by town and city teams rather than clubs (clubs … [Read more...]

1994 World Cup: The Letter of Fourteeners Mutiny

The 1994 World Cup is famous for two things; being the first held outside of Europe and South America, and Diana Ross’ goal-exploding penalty – of which she missed by some distance - at the opening ceremony. The tournament is without a general wonder goal such as James Rodriguez’ in Brazil, or a pivotal moment like Paul Gascoigne’s yellow card at Italia ‘90, however, highly emotional moments have burned into our retina’s today; Diego Maradona’s lung-bursting roar against Greece and subsequent … [Read more...]

Amkar Perm & the perils of regional government ownership

One of the sad truths of Russian football is financial instability, and every couple of weeks, stories of insolvency and huge debts spring up seemingly out of nowhere. In the last six weeks, we have already highlighted crises at Luch-Energiya Vladivostok and Rubin Kazan, and now, it is the turn of Amkar Perm. Despite establishing themselves as a stable mid-table club in the Premier League since promotion in 2004, finishing in European spots just once in 2008 and in the relegation … [Read more...]