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 third.

However, the season hasn’t been as easy as the results might suggest.

Especially during the first half of the season, the ghost of bankruptcy permanently haunted the club, who struggled with an enormous debt. In November last year, Vasily Titov, who represented the owner and head sponsor VTB Bank’s interest in the club, stated: “If the creditors will call for the debt to be paid now, the club will go bankrupt. But to date, none of the creditors has asked for the debt to be paid.”

Then, in December, the sponsorship deal with VTB Bank ran out, and the bank transferred 75 % of their shares in the club to the Dinamo Sports Society for the symbolic price of one rouble.

Therefore, Dinamo had to reject the invitation to the traditional FNL Cup, a training tournament for the clubs in the FNL held during the winter break in a warmer climate abroad.

In the end, however, Dinamo got through their financial problems, and on February 1 chairman of the Dinamo Sports Society Vladimir Strzhalkovsky announced that the club was no longer threatened by bankruptcy, but also that the budget had been cut by 60 percent.

When it later that month became clear that the club managed to hold on to top scorer Kirill Panchenko, whom they have now signed permanently from CSKA Moscow, the fans could breathe a sigh of relief as the club was allowed to plan ahead.

The fact that the players were finally allowed to focus solely on football, has been obvious to anyone in the spring. After ten games, Dinamo are yet to lose, and top scorer Panchenko has contributed to the impressive streak with seven goals.

While the promotion has been secured with a backbone of experienced players like 30-year old goalkeeper Anton Shunin, 29-year-old defender Vladimir Rykov, 27-year-old midfielder Aleksandr Sapeta, and of course 27-year-old striker Kirill Panchenko, the current Dinamo team also has a long range of promising young players who have used the previous year to mature and grow away from the public eye and pressure, and Dinamo once again look relatively healthy.

Toke Møller Theilade

Author: Toke Møller Theilade

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


  1. Andrey Mil says:

    Vperyod, Dinamo, mi s toboi!

  2. Nikita Volkov says:

    Fuck in garbage!)

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