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It's a different game in Russia

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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.


It's a long time now since the collapse of the Soviet Union, but Russia does not function in the same way as a western economy does.   That is reflected in the way in which football is organised in Russia.   There is less stability than in most countries.   The revenue streams which are so important in the west such as television revnue, merchandise sales and season tickets are of relatively less importance.   Instead, teams rely heavily on sponsors in the form of big corporations and regional governments.


When football teams get into serious financial trouble, local oligarchs may find themselve summoned to Moscow for a meeting with prime minister Vladimir Putin.    It is then 'strongly suggested' to them that they bail out the troubled club and they usually find that they have always had a passion for football.