Filthy lucre: The ruble, the new green
Fabio Capello is reportedly in Moscow after his skiing holiday in Switzerland. The big drop is he’s meeting with Anzhi Makhachkala officials who are looking for a replacement for their coach Yuri Krasnozhan.
The Russian coach is an acolyte of Alan Soziyev, the former director general of the club, who departed the club after his contract was terminated by mutual agreement. Krasnozhan whose fate is tied to Soziyev is also expected to depart. A meeting this Monday will decided his fate. Anzhi is managed by oligarch, Suleiman Kerimov, whose boundless money and ambition has him dreaming off bigger prizes.
Here is a FT profile on Kerimov who has propped up Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and Deutsche Bank in these troubled times after fronting the money through banking surrogates to lose the money trail. Kerimov is plowing about €300m into rebuilding Anzhi. He hopes to build Dagestan into a football power by setting up football academies across the region and spend another €600m or more on building another stadium for 45,000 people.
Samuel Eto’o is already there with the added distinction as the world’s best compensated player with €20m after tax per season for the next three years joining Roberto Carlos, Jucilei, and Yuri Zhirkov. Arsenal winger and Russia’s captain Andrey Arshavin is also rumoured to be on the wishlist.
Capello might be tempted into managing a club away from the public eye after living almost five years of pressure cooker football in England, a country besotted with finding their next Alf Ramsey. The bonus points coaching for Anzhi. Moscow, next door with its world class opera and ballet for the culturally clued Capello. A fat paycheck to boot in a country looking to embarrass the self righteous English is surely tempting as well.
The Russian league will be the richest league in five years and will prove to be tempting to players less invested in history and more interested in lining their pockets. They will also find a way to thumb their noses at UEFA financial fair play rules. It’s all part of FIFA’s plan to send football eastwards where lies all the new money and the fans.