Leonid Fedun’s “Football Revolution”: How the Spartak owner proposes reforming Russian football

Leonid Fedun is a highly influential figure in Russian football, and when he speaks, we all listen. He is the current majority shareholder of Spartak Moscow, LUKoil and former military officer. He has recently spoken out on reforming football in Russia, proposing what he claims is a "Football Revolution". Every year at the winter break, questions over reforming the league structure and schedule crop up, partly due to the lack of match action, but also the sheer importance and need for this … [Read more...]

RFPL Round 18: Results & Team of the Week

  This week's results were finally somewhat easier to predict, with a few expected scorelines such as Amkar's low-scoring home victory and CSKA, Lokomotiv and Rostov all winning. Ural's fine unbeaten home record came to an end on Saturday, and who else but former Uraltsy hitman Fedor Smolov? The RFN Top 50 2016 winner was presented with his award by our regular Englishman in Siberia, Andrew Flint and the Krasnodar striker looked almost as happy to receive it as he did to … [Read more...]

Football Manager 2018 – Which Russian Club Should You Play With?

The latest edition of everyone's favourite football management game, Football Manager 2018, is now out. At RFN, we have a number of big fans of the series and will continue our tradition of producing our own custom update for the Russian leagues, hopefully out later this month. But when this update is out, who should you manage? Here at RFN we could justify managing every club in Russia in one way or another, but to keep this short, we will name just five potential challenges. Update: Our … [Read more...]

Irish solution for a Russian problem – Russian League Realignment

I'll be slaughtered by friends at home over this, though I happen to think the 10 team Irish Premier Division is a decent idea. Stay with me. I think it's a good idea as we don't have enough talent or money to go around. We don't have enough fans to go around. I don't want to see a closed off League, though what happens with the First Division is equally as important to me. Yet in order to get football moving in Ireland, bringing in crowds, sponsors and players, a 10 team division is the best … [Read more...]

Rubin Kazan – What’s Changed?

The last 12 months have been something of a rollercoaster for Rubin Kazan. Going into the 2014/15 season they weren’t fancied to do much, but under Rinat Bilyaletdinov, a heavily Russian and very young squad outshone all expectations and managed a very respectable 5th placed finish, qualifying for the Europa League after a one year hiatus courtesy of Dinamo Moscow’s Financial Fair Play infringements. Spirits were high in Kazan, and after only losing Cesar Navas from their first team squad to … [Read more...]

The Simplicity Of Dmitry Alenichev’s Arsenal Tula

Dmitri, Dmitri, Dmitri Alenichev… this was how FC Porto’s supporters saluted the Russian midfielder every time he stepped foot on the pitch. I remember how happy I was when the Portuguese team signed Alenichev back in 2000, after he experienced some tough times both at AS Roma and Perugia, a team that allegedly owed him a considerable amount of money, which he chose not to receive in order to join FC Porto almost 15 years ago. Alenichev’s stint at the two-time European champions was … [Read more...]

Da ili Net for Neto?

Yes or No for Neto? Since Luís Neto's arrival to the City of Bridges on 1st February 2013, he has been under intense scrutiny. So, does he have a long term future at Zenit or not? Luís Carlos Novo Neto was born in Póvoa de Varzim, Portugal on 26th May 1988 and started out at his hometown club Varzim S.C. After five years there he signed for CD Nacional on a free transfer where he stayed for just a single season before being snapped up by Siena in Italy for £3.21m, despite interest from … [Read more...]

Top 10 Foreign Players in the RPL

The Russian league has a vast amount of foreign talent, but these are my Top 10 international stars. (10) Joaozinho. The little Brazilian is a massive part of the reason FC Krasnodar have been able to stave off relegation and cement their place as a mid table side. Along with fellow Brazilian Wanderson and now Ari, they form a potent partnership for Krasnodar. And while Joaozinho's scoring record on paper doesn't make look like one of the best players on the team, his on the field … [Read more...]

How I Started Enjoying the RPL

This post will be rather short, personal and uninformative. If you want, you can close this tab and move to other, more formal articles. You know, since the last time I wrote, I can't watch too much Russian football anymore. I'm trying to catch Spartak matches (and proud of seeing the Zenit rumble live from thousands of kilometres away illegally on the laptop), still follow Volga and time by time look at the table. I'm interested, but I've moved away from it. But what I see inspires … [Read more...]

Round Table: Week 9

Manuel (@homosovieticus) - PhD Student with focus on Soviet history and football, as well as blogger at Futbolgrad.com (@futbolgradlive) Ashraff (@serapdesengal) - Loko supporter and student in Moscow Josh (@scfcjosh94) - Football writer and Dynamo fan from England Xavier (@AxeMurderer60) - French Russian football fan and CSKA supporter Andy (@AndyShenk) - Moscow-based writer and Russian language translator, Andy supports … [Read more...]