Fake News is not Good News – Russia and FIFPro

A few days after FIFPro, the international union for professional football players, unveiled the "Biggest ever football survey", I met with the President and CEO of Russia's legal Footballers Union (ARFPU), Alexander Zotov. It was on the sidelines of a Sponsorship in Sports Forum and despite the bling and jazz of stars and big hitters in the Hilton, the most interesting story came from Roman Shirokov and Zotov. We will recall the issues surrounding the 2 footballers unions in Russia. One … [Read more...]

Damien Le Tallec and the Madhouse in Saransk

Every season, hundreds of Russian football players go months without receiving their salaries. Part of the reason for this are the weak Players Unions, another the light punishments for not fulfilling contractual obligations. Last season alone, the players of Mordovia, Kuban and FC Rostov went months without being paid, something that clearly took its toll on the players as both Mordovia and Kuban were relegated. But how exactly does it affect a squad when they are not paid, and what … [Read more...]

Three Rounds Left – The fight to escape the RFPL drop

With three matches left to play, tension at the wrong end of the Russian Premier League has reached breaking point. If no team’s fate is sealed this mid-week, this coming weekend promises to be the most nerve wrenching affair with the bottom six all due to play one another. Five seasons back when the league underwent their restructuring to fall into line with the European season schedule (Autumn-Spring), the relegation playoffs were introduced to add an extra dimension to the domestic end of … [Read more...]

Mordovia’s Evolving Nightmare

Dalibor Stevanovič went from villain to hero last weekend, as his winning penalty to defeat the then-league leaders Rostov capped a remarkable few days for Mordovia Saransk. Prior to the match he was reported to have left the club's training sessions along with Serbian Marko Lomić in protest over unpaid wages, but after a dramatic intervention from the President of Saransk Region temporarily resolved the issue he was reinstated to the starting lineup. The issues are nothing new to Russian … [Read more...]

Mordovia – CSKA Highlights

Only nine rounds have been played in the Russian Premier League but it is almost safe to say that Mordovia - CSKA Moscow was this season's most exciting match. The match had it all; drama, red cards, and great goals, and more importantly plenty of them! The party started after only 30 seconds as Mordovia took advantage of a mistake by CSKA goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev. From here it only got worse for the guests as Mario Fernandes was shown a red card not long after, and when the clock hit 15 minutes … [Read more...]

6 Players Who Could Turn Out as the Best Value Signings of 2015

This summer's transfer activity in Russia could be labelled slow and liturgical, however the majority of clubs have added quality and depth throughout their squads to compete on various forefronts ahead of the new season. Unfortunately, due to financial constraints placed on most clubs, spending in the league has been reduced in comparison to previous seasons so we have decided to have a look at the some of the best value signings this summer by Premier League clubs. Artem Dzyuba - Zenit St. … [Read more...]

Season Preview: Mordovia Saransk

Intro: Last season was certainly a strange one for Mordovia. They gained promotion after winning the First Division in 2013/14 then appointed a new manager after Ukrainian Yuriy Maksymov left by mutual consent. Under the new Russian manager Yuri Semin they managed to avoid the relegation play-offs and finish mid-table, despite being having one of the goal differences in the division. The newly promoted side never put a consistent run together and won and loss games very sporadically. It was … [Read more...]

2013/14 Football National League

UPCOMING FIXTURES Week 18 October 13: Mordovia 1-0 Torpedo Moscow Dynamo St. Pete 0-0 Rotor Sibir 1-0 Salyut Belgorod Enisey 1-0 Luch-Energiya SKA-Energiya 2-1 Baltika Shinnik 1-0 Alania Khimik Dzherzhinsk 0-0 Neftekhimik Ufa 2-1 Angusht Spartak Nalchik 0-0 Arsenal Tula Week 19 October 18: Angusht - Spartak Nalchik Neftekhimik - Ufa Alania - Khimik Dzherzhinsk Baltika - Gazovik Orenburg Luch-Energiya - SKA-Energiya Salyut Belgorod - Enisey Rotor - Sibir Torpedo Moscow … [Read more...]

Foreigners: Mordovia Saransk

Saransk is an unfortunate town. The smallest city  represented in Premier League, and despite the fact that Mordovia is a republic, the city is not important. The importance of sport there was best seen in the first home matches held in Saransk. So it was predictable that no serious foreign players could move there, no matter, with Scherbachenko or with Munteanu. Despite this, there's a number of foreigners (here they are called "legioneers"). Remark: I wouldn't count midfielder Pavel … [Read more...]

Roysthon Drenthe – Saviour?

Alania Vladikavkaz, by their own admission, are not having a good season. Promoted back from the First Division after a season spent playing catch-up to Mordovia in the second tier, they currently sit joint bottom of the Russian Premier League, having managed just three wins and 22 goals in their 24 games so far. As if that wasn't bad enough, they also managed to get themselves knocked out of the national cup competition by lowly FC Tyumen, a Second Division side from east of the Urals whose … [Read more...]