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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.

Dynamo Moscow, one of Russia's most successful clubs, were relegated last year after the club's owner, state-run VTB Bank, pulled out leaving debts of Rbs13bn.

At FC Rostov, Manchester United's Europa League opponents. players have not been paid for the past month.  Subsidies are capped at about 15 per cent of the team's budget.  The government intends to sell the club and hopes to resume negotiations with Ivan Savvidi, an MP and tobacco tycoon who dropped his sponsorship after a dispute with the team's former management.