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...]

Kuban Crisis Could Promote FC Sochi

Being a football fan in Sochi isn’t the easiest thing. Although the city has the top modern Fisht Stadium, built for the Winter Olympics in 2014, and adjusted for the 2018 World Cup, the city’s best football club, FC Sochi, play in the Second Division South, the third tier, where they are currently 5th, 15 points from promotion. Nevertheless, Sochi could be about to earn a ticket to the Football National League, as the club could take Kuban Krasnodar’s spot in the division according to … [Read more...]

Pavlyuchenko and the Second Last Chance

Eight years ago, only Andrey Arshavin outshone Roman Pavlyuchenko at Euro 2008 where Sbornaya impressed the whole football world by reaching the semifinal. Pavlyuchenko scored three goals for Russia that summer and made UEFA’s Team of the Tournament alongside teammates Andrey Arshavin, Konstantin Zyryanov and Yuri Zhirkov. Eight years later both Sbornaya and Pavlyuchenko find themselves at the opposite end of the scale, as the Russian national team recently crashed out of the Euros, … [Read more...]

Evgeniy Seleznev and the Never-ending Kuban Circus

Just when it seemed Kuban Krasnodar's season couldn't get any more ridiculous, Evgeniy Seleznev has left the club he joined less than three months ago and has signed a two-year contract with his former club and Europa League semi-finalists Shakhtar Donetsk. He moved to Russia in the winter after having got to the final of Europe’s second-tier club competition last season with unfancied Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, but claimed to have not been paid in three months and to have lost patience with his … [Read more...]

Ukraine Criticized for Not Selecting Russian Based Players

It is a widely held opinion that sport and politics should not mix, however, it seems that exactly that has happened within the Ukrainian national team this week. Two Ukrainian players based in Russia, who it was expected would be part of the senior and U21 squad respectively, have been left out. Yevhen Seleznyov, who has 48 caps for his country, moved from last year’s Europa League runners up Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk in Ukraine to Kuban Krasnodar in Russia during the winter break. Having … [Read more...]

Army Men Back on Top After Defeating Kuban

A brace from striker Ahmed Musa gave CSKA a 2-0 win over Kuban Krasnodar and a return to the summit of the Russian Premier League. Musa netted from close range in the 20th minute and the Army Men finally put the game to rest when the Nigerian scored eight minutes from time, his 50th goal for CSKA. The hosts combined defensive solidity with sharp, attacking play to dominate a toothless Kuban side. Alan Dzagoev was the conductor of all things good and frustrating, while right-back Mario … [Read more...]

The End for Arshavin?

After six disappointing months with Kuban Krasnodar in southern Russia, Andrey Arshavin was today released from his contract. The termination was announced on the official website of the Yellow-Greens and was described as a mutual agreement between the two parties, which Arshavin later confirmed to Sport-Express. The Zenit legend managed 356 minutes for Kuban spread over eight matches, in which he received two yellow cards and no goals or assists. Arshavin joined Kuban on a free … [Read more...]

RFN Podcast: Euro 2016 preview, Kuban Krasnodar’s fall from grace, RFN Top 50 and transfer rumours

Host of the RFN Podcast Thomas Giles is joined by Andrew Flint and Toke Theilade to discuss the upcoming Euro 2016, Kuban Krasnodar's crisis, the RFN Top 50 and the latest transfer rumours. You can listen to the podcast on SoundCloud below. You can also download the podcast on Itunes. Don't forget to subscribe and please leave us a review. … [Read more...]

Is Vladislav Ignatjev Cherevchenko’s New Magician?

Since January, and thus the transfer period, started, Lokomotiv Moscow have been one of the most motionless Russian clubs transferwise; FC Krasnodar has signed Vyacheslav Podberyozkin from Ural, Dinamo have signed Stanislav Dragun and CSKA have reinforced their midfield with Kuban’s Sergey Tkachyov. Furthermore, Spartak and Zenit are expected to finalize the transfers of Lorenzo Melgarejo and Yuri Zhirkov soon. Now however, it seems like the waiting time for Lokomotiv’s fans is over, as they are … [Read more...]

Editorial: Santana Signing Shows Kuban’s Disrespect towards Own Players

Kuban Krasnodar’s signing of Brazilian defender Felipe Santana from Schalke 04 came as a bolt from the blue. The Toads from Krasnodar have been in dire financial problems for a long time now, and the amount of unpaid wages keeps on growing despite oligarch Oleg Mkrtchyan reportedly promising to invest in the club again once half the debt is gone. In September last year, Kuban’s debt reached €4 million, and since then it has only grown much larger. The players and staff of the club have gone … [Read more...]