RFPL 2017/2018 – Who Has the Best Kit?

SKA-Khabarovsk Premier Liga newcomers, like some other teams, decided not to bother and use last year's kits. They probably figured that nobody saw it last season anyway, as the coverage of the FNL is almost criminally low. The kit itself is nothing special, but there is nothing to criticize either. I personally like their massive badge, which looks appropriate on this empty T-shirt. FC Tosno The club from the Leningrad Oblast, founded in 2013, still hasn't built its own identity. … [Read more...]

Problems with the Trans-Siberian Football League

The Russian Football National League (FNL) has been in place since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, unchanged from 1994 and remains one of the toughest logistical and fiscal challenges in world football. The Soviet Top Division and First Division were combined into the Russian Top Division in 1992, with the new Second Tier regionalised into a Centre, East and West. However, this model was scrapped in 1994 in favour of a 20-team single-region division we see today. The Russian Top Division … [Read more...]

Season Preview: Arsenal Tula

  The 2016-17 campaign was an utter disaster for FC Arsenal Tula and it was only saved by Igor Schevchenko’s goal in the second playoff relegation match against FC Yenisey at the end of May. Parting ways with experienced head coach Sergei Pavlov early on and for no understandable reasons proved to be an enormous mistake by the club’s board since his replacement, Sergei Kiryakov, didn’t bring anything new to the team, despite being given plenty of new players during the winter … [Read more...]

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...]

Emmanuel Frimpong’s Career Takes Another Hit as He’s Set to Join Unnamed Swedish Club

When Russian Football News’ Andrew Flint met Emmanuel Frimpong in Ekaterinburg in August following the Ghanaian’s debut for Arsenal Tula, Frimpong was optimistic about his future in Tula. He had just played his first game in 2016 after being released by FC Ufa earlier in the year. Frimpong played 24 minutes that evening in Ekaterinburg, and told RFN: “It’s good to be back. After a couple of games, I can get fitter.” Those games never came though, and at the end of the year, Frimpong had just … [Read more...]

Mid-Season Review: Lokomotiv Moscow

The season began with some unexpected shocks. Head coach Igor Cherevchenko resigned before it was announced that club’s president Olga Smorodskaya and her team were leaving Lokomotiv. The most famous women in Russian football was replaced by Ilya Gerkus, former Zenit’s development director and ex–CEO of Liga–TV. Gerkus hired Igor Korneev, who also worked for Zenit, as sporting director, while Lokomotiv’s legendary coach Yuri Semin returned to the club for the fourth time to take over after … [Read more...]

Mid-Season Review: Arsenal Tula

Tula, a city known for its metalworkers and for being the main centre of Russian samovar production, is also home to FC Arsenal Tula, who are currently second from bottom at the Premier League table. The 2016-17 campaign has been extremely complicated for the Tula outfit so far. Two different head-coaches, just two wins from seventeen league matches, the elimination from the Russian Cup and a long and never ending list of injured players since the first day of the season have undoubtedly … [Read more...]

Alenichev and the Tula Gingerbread

Since Dmitry Alenichev was sacked at Spartak Moscow in August following an embarassing Europa League defeat to AEK Larnaca from Cyprus, the Red-Whites have looked like a different team. Although they suffered a defeat in the cup earlier this week to SKA Khabarovsk, Spartak are currently leading the Russian Football Premier League (RFPL) with 19 points from the first seven games and a goal difference of +12. Earlier this week, Alenichev gave his first interview after being fired from Spartak. … [Read more...]

The Return of Emmanuel Frimpong

Before the international break Russian football welcomed back one of its more colourful characters as Emmanuel Frimpong made his debut for Arsenal Tula in the closing stages of their 1-1 draw away to Ural. Although his late cameo was brief as the predominantly direct style mostly bypassed him, he wasted no time in making headlines upon his return to the Russian Premier League, although thankfully this time is was not at the centre of a disgusting case of racist chanting from opposition … [Read more...]

The Russian Messi and Spartak’s Missing Youth

Fans of the Red-White Moscow side Spartak didn't have much to celebrate last season, as the club finished sixth in the league, six points behind the historic rivals from Dinamo. One of the few bright spots during Murat Yakin’s single year in charge of Spartak was, however, the amount of youngsters he managed to give debut and utilize on the first team. Most noticeable was the striker Denis Davydov who played 19 matches throughout the season, but also 22 year old Vyacheslav Krotov, 21 year old … [Read more...]