Play-Off Sunday: Who’ll Play in the RFPL Next Season?

On Sunday, two of the most important fixtures in the Russian football calendar are played – the final relegation/promotion play-off games for the Russian Football Premier League. These two games decide which teams get to play in the top flight with all the opportunities it presents, and which will play in the dreaded Football National League, where clubs go bankrupt left, right and centre, and the financial prospects are highly limited. This season’s two games are between Arsenal Tula and … [Read more...]

RFPL Winter Transfer Window – Team by Team Summary Part 2

Lokomotiv Moscow Lokomotiv have had one of the better windows in the league. The main event for them was keeping hold of wonderkid Aleksey Miranchuk. For the whole window, a saga of will he, won’t he rumours were in the press as Rubin Kazan sniffed around. In the end, Lokomotiv’s high asking price put off Rubin, who will try to pick up the youngster for free in the summer. However, Loko did lose club legend Aleksandr Samedov to city rivals Spartak, while clearing out some deadweight in Ezekiel … [Read more...]

Mid-Season Review: Orenburg

Introduction A lot has changed in Orenburg in recent months, not least the change in official club name by dropping ‘Gazovik’ from their title after pressure from Vitaly Mutko, thus avoiding a conflict of interest with Zenit St. Petersburg, given fact that the main sponsor and owner of Orenburg is a Gazprom subsidiary.  A well-earned promotion from the FNL after just four seasons in Russia’s second tier was the least their utterly dominant performances deserved, and slowly but surely head … [Read more...]

Robert Evdokimov and the Farce in Krasnodar

Krasnodar and Orenburg drew 3-3 in a game which provided brilliant entertainment both on and off the pitch. Mauricio Pereyra and Ari had the hosts two goals ahead by the 11th minute but a strike from Sergei Breev and a brace from Vladimir Poluyakhtov saw the visitors complete a remarkable turnaround by the half hour. Jules Eboue was sent off for Krasnodar in the 44th minute, prompting a theatrical overreaction by the Ivorian. In the 73rd minute, Andrei Malykh saw red for Orenburg and, … [Read more...]