Calling Time on Cherchesov’s Reign

Stop all the clocks. Call time at the bar. The final whistle has sounded after another lacklustre performance by the Russian national side and this time no one should be covering their ears. The alarm has finally rung for Stanislav Cherchesov and it should signal his imminent departure. Patience has been exhausted. Hope has been abandoned. Not even the most ardent fans of Sbornaya can dismiss what took place on Friday evening. When disgrace gave way to disgust as the most listless, … [Read more...]

Editorial: Tom Tomsk Hurts the Sporting Integrity of the RFPL

Here are some numbers for you: Eight. That’s the number of months Tom Tomsk’s players have gone without being paid. 18. That’s the number of players who left the club this winter because of the unpaid salaries. 11. This was the number of academy players that were registered for the first team in the winter to replace those that left. 10. That’s the number of goals Tom have conceded in the first two Russian Football Premier League games this year. Zero. That’s the number of goals they have scored … [Read more...]

RFPL Winter Transfer Window – Team by Team Summary Part 1

The Russian transfer window closed at the end of February, and as we have finally gathered the full overview over a long and hectic winter, it is time to evaluate how the 16 Russian Football Premier League clubs did in the transfer market. In the span of three articles, which will be published in the following days, we'll evaluate all the clubs and grade their dealings. Amkar Perm Amkar started the window in the worst possible fashion, losing Russian prospects Aleksandr Selikhov and Georgy … [Read more...]

Denis Davydov: The Russian Messi, or just another False Dawn?

Denis Davydov made his debut for Spartak almost four years ago at the tender age of eighteen after a string of impressive performances for Yevgeni Bushmanov's Spartak-2 side. However, whether operating in his preferred position as a centre-forward or on the wing for the first team, the Moscow-born striker has not managed to live up to his early hype, and the "Russian Messi" tag attributed to him by Spartak Moscow owner Leonid Fedun has slowly diminished. Prior to this season, fans of Spartak … [Read more...]

Why the World Cup 2018 in Russia Is Our Last Chance for a Dialogue

Disappointment. Helplessness. Anger. These were the feelings after watching BBC’s “Russia’s Hooligan Army”, as we perfectly understood that this story will be widely shared and watched among people who are considering coming to Russia for the World Cup in 2018. As Russian football fans, we believe that the World Cup 2018 in our country is a unique chance for all of us to build bridges, not walls. That is why we want to focus on certain constructive measures to overcome the widening gap of … [Read more...]

All aboard the Good Ship Anti-Russia

I don't know if it can be termed anti-Russian or anti-Russia as those lining up to take shots are a mix of both. The sentiment remains the same, Russia/Russian bad and we're going to prove it no matter what - even if there is no proof. It's a great time to turn rogue and go full on with the prevailing wind, it will make you money. And if you're good, it'll be regular. Fashionably Anti-Russia A writer on Russia, whom I respect and with pleasure co-operate with, had a chance to make some decent … [Read more...]

‘Strip Russia’ campaign aiming for World Cup 2018

So there it was. Russia just awarded the World Cup in 2018, and the prime time sports show on Ireland’s top radio station, RTE Radio 1 and I got the call to give our reaction in Moscow. It was fair enough; I’d helped on the bid and worked in Russian sport. Logical as they couldn’t get anyone from the Russian Football Union (RFU) or a Russian sports journalist to come on. Plus my colleague was contracted with RTE and the producer knew me personally. I was there as a favor to give local reaction, … [Read more...]

Why I’m Glad Steven Caulker Didn’t Join Lokomotiv Moscow

My mum always tells me that "everything happens for a reason", and she's right. We shouldn't be too worried about what goes on in our everyday lives. Joys and disappointments are both part of us. For Lokomotiv Moscow fans, the transfer of Steven Caulker represented both the joys and disappointments. Starting with the joy of signing a well-known defender, it ended up as a disappointment when the deal collapsed. However, behind this, there's something which is worth being analyzed. When it … [Read more...]

The FNL Cup – And Why It Matters

While fans back home shiver in temperatures well below freezing, the traditional winter break tournament featuring the majority of Russia’s second tier teams, the FNL Cup, kicked off today in the mild Cypriot sunshine. For most participants, it is their second or even third warm-weather training camp as they gear up towards the resumption of domestic league duty in March, and the 16-team event is ever so gradually edging into more than just a relaxing holiday. It is far from the finished … [Read more...]

Carrera’s Catenaccio or Alenichev’s Authoritarianism?

Spartak Moscow is on the way to returning to the zenith of their powers; the team currently lead the way in this season’s Russian Football Premier League (RFPL), have arguably the best player and manager in the league, and are one of the economic powerhouses with a deep pool of oil money. Leonid Fedun has long been one of the richest oligarchs’s in Russian football through his status as the major shareholder (9.2%) of LUKoil, but for the first time since the demise of the great Oleg Romantsev, … [Read more...]