Dinamo Moscow to sign Abdul Tetteh as VTB Bank are set to pull financial support

The VTB Arena, as of 12/01/18 lies empty and unfinished due to a lack of funds and serious delay. Source: VTB Arena Park.

Dinamo Moscow is set to confirm the signing of Ghanian central midfielder Adbul Tetteh as part of a €1.2m move from Polish Ekstraklasa side Lech Poznan. Sources close to RFN exclusively understand Tetteh will put pen-to-paper on a 2.5-year-deal, worth €360,000.

On paper, this is good news for Dinamo fans, with reinforcements crucial in their bid to avoid relegation. Tetteh is a powerful 27-year-old midfielder and is expected to compete with Samba Sow for a starting berth in the side, yet brings into doubt the futures of both Aleksandr Zotov and Aleksandr Sapeta. However, not all is rosy for the white-blues. RFN also understands that VTB-Bank, owner and chief financier of the side are looking to pull all financial support, and could do so in the near future.


Head of the Bank, Andrei Kostin, earlier today claimed;

While we are looking at what will happen to Russian football in the framework of this contract, hockey probably has better prospects. We do not refuse assistance and will not abandon the business started, but on condition that these projects are successful. FC Dinamo for today is not a very successful project, the association with him does not add anything good to us. If this project is successful, then we will continue to finance it, if it does not, we will, of course, have less desire.

The bank is contractually obliged to fund the club until 31st December 2019, after they sold a controlling stake in the central council of the Dynamo company for a symbolic one ruble in December 2016. The terms of the deal required VTB to support the club and community for three years until a buyer could be found by funding 10.62 billion rubles over the course of three years.

However, it is our understanding that Dinamo has attained a huge financial burden in the shape of debts amounting to €15m in debt since th e judt the summer, a price simply uncontrollable nor maintainable to VTB, who is already looking for a way out now. VTB is to cease financial support in the near future and the likelihood of the three-year deal been seen through is very low – if they can find a way out. Their current debt, however, is dwarfed by the amount in fall 2016 when it stood at a staggering €191m (which was paid off by Spring 2017).

We believe this was thanks to a cash injection from VTB, but due to Dinamo struggling near the bottom of the table, VTB is expected to cut all funding as they see profitable football ownership in Russia as a lost cause – despite owning and running the second-highest supported and second-most successful club in Soviet and Russian history.

VTB’s new deal and recent lack of funding are allowing the current smaller amount of debt to cripple the club’s day-to-day running and swallows up any potential profit. This was due to their previous transfer policy, as Toke Theilade explained in mid-October, where Dinamo spend €15 million on Yuri Zhirkov only to sell him to Zenit for €640,000 a few years later, €21 million on Igor Denisov who left on a free transfer, and they even paid Denisov €200,000 each month while he played on loan at Lokomotiv Moscow last season.

Furthermore, the whole Pavel Pogrebnyak saga has dragged both the club’s name and finances through the mud, Theilade also nicely summarised this, claiming;

At the end of the season, Pogrebnyak had just made 16 appearances and scored a single goal as Dinamo were relegated for the first time in club history. Hardly the return the club expected for the €2-2.5 million they are reportedly paying the striker annually.

The following season, when Dinamo were trying to claw their way back to the top flight, Pogrebnyak made a measly eight appearances. Starting just two games, Pogrebnyak saw only 169 minutes Football National League football without scoring, and once again his spot in the headlines was secured by events off the pitch.

The beanpole striker has now left, but Dinamo’s future is once again heavily in doubt, with the club unable to become self-sustainable nor find a new owner. To make matters worse, the new stadium, the VTB Arena, still sits unfinished and years behind schedule. The club this winter had made a few promising moves; signing Evgeni Markov and Konstantin Rausch as well as tying down Samba Sow and Aleksandr Tashaev to new long-term contracts – but it seems even this spending has tipped the club over the financial precipice once again.

But if so, why spend? Well the answer is simple. They are contractually obliged to protect Dinamo and therefore stop them being relegated. The costs of signing a few players now . Is dwarfed by those VTB will have to incur if Dinamo were indeed relegated again.

READ MORE: Pavel Pogrebnyak – A Constant Reminder of Dinamo’s Chaos

History is repeating itself for Dinamo Moscow, only a history in minuscule compared to the gargantuan sums of last time.

Tetteh is highly likely to join Markov and Rausch at Dinamo Moscow this month, with the financial fears hanging over Moscow and worries over a long-term knee injury the only stumbling blocks. Yet, nevertheless, the VTB circus rolls on again at Dinamo, and as usual, the fans pay the highest price.

Author: James Nickels

Born and raised in South Shields, the direct mid-point between Sunderland and Newcastle in North-East England during an era of sustained success and European football for the Magpies, while the Black Cats floundered in the lower divisions, so naturally I decided to support Sunderland. I’ve developed an interest in Russian football over the last decade or so, but it piqued while studying for my Masters’ Degree in Russian and Soviet History, and I’ve been hooked by Spartak Moscow ever since. Considers Eduard Streltsov the best of his generation, and a fond proponent of his repatriation.

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