Reforming the Trans-Siberian Football League: The Eastern Solution

Vladivostok is a place considered the edge of the world, a city which causes one to conjure up evocative and redolent images of the far end of our world. Above all, as Vladimir Lenin once surmised; Vladivostok is far away, but it is ours. Lenin himself never did gaze across the Pacific Coast to the Sea of Japan himself, but his statue outside the cities' ostentatious station has guarded it for a century. It would take roughly a week to reach the Trans-Siberian Railway's western terminus in … [Read more...]

Reforming the Trans-Siberian Football League

The Football National League is the biggest football league in the world according to geographic area, covering over 4,500 miles as-the-crow-flies and even crosses eight time zones. Due to the size of the league and other problems synonymous with Russian football such as fiscal instability, political corruption and systemic mismanagement, many clubs - as previously explored - do not face a race to thrive, but a battle to survive. READ PART ONE: Problems with the Trans-Siberian Football … [Read more...]

RFN Podcast – Dodgy Pitches, Crisis At Tom Tomsk And The Latest Aleksandr Kokorin Scandal

Host Thomas Giles is joined by usual guests Toke Theilade and Andrew Flint to discuss the recent suspension of matches at FC Rostov and Rubin Kazan as a result of their poor pitches following the uproar surrounding the issue in Rostov's Europa League clash against Manchester United. They then talk about the financial chaos at Tom Tomsk and question whether allowing them to continue in the Russian Premier League undermines the competition. Finally, Aleksandr Kokorin is back in the negative … [Read more...]

Editorial: Tom Tomsk Hurts the Sporting Integrity of the RFPL

Here are some numbers for you: Eight. That’s the number of months Tom Tomsk’s players have gone without being paid. 18. That’s the number of players who left the club this winter because of the unpaid salaries. 11. This was the number of academy players that were registered for the first team in the winter to replace those that left. 10. That’s the number of goals Tom have conceded in the first two Russian Football Premier League games this year. Zero. That’s the number of goals they have scored … [Read more...]

Mid-Season Review: Tom Tomsk

In the last 18 years, FC Tom Tomsk have been somewhat of a yo-yo club. Since 1998 they have resided within both Russia's top two divisions, achieving three promotions and also suffering two relegations.  Unfortunately for Tomsk, from what we have seen so far this season, it is currently looking like a 3rd relegation in as many years. The Siberian club are currently last in the RFPL with just nine points after the first 17 games. To make things even worse, Tom have just scored eight … [Read more...]

Garry O’Connor and the Golden Prison

  Towards the end of February 2006, it was announced that Scottish side Hibernian had accepted a £1.6 million bid for the striker Garry O’Connor from Lokomotiv Moscow. O’Connor was a promising young striker, and by joining the Railroaders he became the first Brit to play in the Russian Premier League. His move was somewhat symbolic, as it showed that the Russian clubs could now attract players from Great Britain, the birthplace of football. By moving to Russia, O’Connor went from … [Read more...]

Ural’s Great Escape

Pablo Fonatello probably deserved his long breath in the corridors of the Geolog Stadium just over a week ago. With a Terry Butcher-esque bandage still clinging to his forehead with genuine blood, sweat and tears, he slumped in the chair outside the changing rooms holding his young daughter having just put in an undisputed man-of-the-match performance to ensure Ural Ekaterinburg kept their place in the Russian Premier League. One would have forgiven him for having his mind elsewhere during the … [Read more...]

Tom Hold Lokomotiv’s Progression

Lokomotiv XI: Abaev, Shishkin, Denisov, Corluka, Durica, Tarasov, Diarra, Boussoufa, Maicon (Tkachyev 62), Samedov, Dame N'Doye Tom XI: Cebanu, Jiranek, Bordachev, Milanov, Rykov, Kisenko, Panchenko, Bashkirov, Ignatovich, Holenda (Goleshov 24), Portnyagin Moment of the Match: Tom's disallowed goal. There was nothing wrong with the goal, no offside nor foul whatsoever. Has it been counted, Tom will be ahead and match will be more open to fast attacking display by Loko. Another poor … [Read more...]

Uninspiring Spartak Squeak Past Tom

Spartak survived a poor start to grab a 2-1 win against lowly Tom in Cherkizovo yesterday. Spartak's goals were scored by Yura Movsisyan and Pavel Yakovlev, after Vladimir Rykov put the visitors ahead on seventh minute. Spartak made three changes from the side that lost 2-4 to St. Gallen on Thursday. Glushakov shook off his injury to return, while Yakovlev, Movsisyan, and Joao Carlos were also brought into the line up today. Valery Karpin, who's under increased pressure from the fans, picked … [Read more...]