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Russian Premier League


Russian football's financial problems

Russian football is facing serious financial problems.  26 of the 36 teams in the top two divisions are owned by local government; a further five are owned by state-run corporations.

Two consecutive years of recession following the 2014 oil price crash and western sanctions over the Ukraine have seen regional budgets take serious hits.  Many regions have struggled to keep up with benefits payments and public sector wages as revenues plummeted when oil prices crashed.   State-supported sports teams were among the first victims.

Russian football hit by crisis

Russian football is being hit hard by the crisis in Ukraine and the depreciation of the rouble.   The fall in the world oil price and associated gas prices is also a concern as the economy is highly reliant on these revenues.

Russian benefactor teams have a mixed record

Billionaire tycoon and Dagestan native Suleiman Kerimov has been pumping money into Anzhi Makhachkala.  He spent €70m to acquire the club, €21m to purchase and renovate the current 29,000-seat stadium and €1bn has been set aside to maintain and develop the club over the next five years.

Billionaire oligarch opens up new football cash front

Up to now billionaire Russian oligarchs have invested in top clubs like Chelsea.  But now Suleiman Kerimov is pumping money into a relatively unknown club that finished 14th in Russia's 16-team premier league last season.

It's a different game in Russia

The way in which football is organised and played in a particular country is influenced by a number of factors including: history; how strong the economy is and how it is organised; levels of tolerance of corruption; the competitive strength of other sports; and cultural considerations.

FK Lokomotiv Moscow | Futbolnyi Klub Lokomotiv ZAO

Traditional Lokomotiv Moscow football shirt

Futbolnyi Klub Lokomotiv is based in the city of Moscow, Russia. It was originally founded in 1923 as 'Club of the October Revolution' and during the Soviet era was owned by the Soviet Ministry of Transportation as part of the Russian Railways. Honours include 2 league championships (in 2002 and 2004) and 7 Russian Cups (two in the Soviet era). Home matches are played at the Lokomotiv Stadium (Capacity: 28,800) which was built in 2002. The club is registered as a closed joint-stock company (ZAO).


FK Zenit St. Petersburg | Futbolnyi Klub Zenit ZAO

Traditional FK Zenit football shirt

Futbolnyi Klub Zenit was founded in 1925 and is based in the city of St. Petersburg, Russia. Honours include 2 league championships (once in the Soviet era), 2 Russian Cups (1 in the Soviet era) and 1 UEFA cup (in 2007/08). Home matches are played at the Petrovsky Stadium (Capacity: 21,570) but will be moving to a newly constructed Gazprom Arena which is expected to hold over 50,000 spectators. The club is registered as a closed joint-stock company (ZAO) and is majority owned by Gazprom.


Which Are The Biggest Football Clubs In Eastern Europe?

Using league attendance figures gathered from the excellent European Football Statistics website we have put together this list of former-communist bloc football clubs that boasted an average of over 10,000 spectators from league matches.

Data refers to domestic league matches only - 2007/08.