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Rich clubs from Russia with love

davor_suker2010-05-10 16:04:34 +0000 #1
Rich clubs from Russia with Love

By Christopher Davies in Lisbon

(Filed: 20/05/2005)

You have none for years, then two Russian oligarchs willing to plough millions into football come along at once. Roman Ambramovich was the first, buying Chelsea two years ago. His firm Siebneft also has a £10-million-a-year sponsorship deal with CSKA Moscow, the club who won the UEFA Cup on Wednesday: www.telegraph.co.uk/...5/05/19/sfgspo19.xml , beating Sporting Lisbon 3-1 in the Portuguese capital.

Then there is Alexei Fedorychev, who has already spent £35 million - a huge sum by Russian standards - since buying a majority stake in Dynamo Moscow last year.

This month Dynamo signed FC Porto midfielders Costinha and Maniche for a combined total of £13 million. The pair, who agreed five-year deals, played key roles in Porto's Champions League success last year and represented Portugal at Euro 2004.

In the close season Dynamo signed seven players from various Portuguese clubs, including Brazilian striker Derlei from Porto for £5 million. Fedorychev said that he had also agreed a contract with Porto's Greece defender Yourkas Seitaridis, who will cost £6.5 million, and planned to add two more players in the forthcoming transfer window.

Inevitably, Fedorychev has been compared with Abramovich for his lavish spending, which shows no sign of slowing down in the post-Soviet era of Russian football. He said he planned to pump a further £60 million into the once-mighty club over the next two years to make them a force at home and in Europe.

Russia are no longer the poor financial neighbours of the West. Spartak Moscow paid Argentina's River Plate £6 million for the 20-year-old Fernando Cavenaghi. The wonderfully named Vagner Love, who scored CSKA's third goal against Sporting, cost £5 million from Palmerais.

Then there is the little-known Paul Ashworth, who became the first Englishman to work in Russian football since before the Bolshevik Revolution in the early 20th century when he took over as sporting director at Rostov this year. Ashworth, formerly of Cambridge United and Norwich City, said Russia was another ball game. "Everything is exciting, everything is new. Two nights ago, my president flew from Moscow; he got on the last flight and we had a meeting at midnight and it went on until 4am."

CSKA's success in Lisbon owed much to their Brazilian pairing of Love and Daniel Carvalho, who set up all three of his side's goals. "They have proved themselves in Brazil and they have brought different qualities into the team framework," said CSKA coach Valeriy Gazzaev.

But the coach refused to counter speculation that Love would be sold in the near future, another sign of how Russians have adapted to football as a business. "We cannot rule out anything in this life," said Gazzaev. "Love has a contract and is still a CSKA player. Maybe at the end of the season things will be different, who knows?"

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I know this is about the Russian league, but many have been saying they dont like the fact that Olic and others have gone east instead of west when leaving Hrvatska. Russian football is very wealthy, itd take a lot to get Olic out of there. Get used to our players going that way.



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