Major crisis facing Russian football clubs after Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine

Bloodthirsty Russian president Vladimir Putin's decision to invade Ukraine in February could have far reaching impacts for the future of football in his home country

Posted Sunday, July 03, 2022 by

Major crisis facing Russian football clubs after Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine
Vladimir Putin's decision to invade Ukraine has had a dramatic effect on Russian football

Russian football is facing a huge economic crisis as a result of war dog Vladimir Putin's barbaric decision to invade Ukraine.

The bloodthirsty despot launched an attack on Russia's neighbours in February, with fighting continuing across the region ever since. While far from the most pressing issue given the tragic number of lives lost in the conflict, football clubs on both sides of the border have felt the impact of Putin's decision.

A Twitter account called the 'Sweeper Pod' broke down what Putin's invasion for Ukraine currently means for football in Russia and the affect it could have in the future.

On May 2, UEFA banned Russian clubs from its competitions ahead of the 2022-23 season, a decision which affects the Champions League, Europa League, Conference League, Women’s Champions League and Youth League tournaments.

Zenit St Petersburg, Dynamo Moscow, CSKA Moscow and Sochi have filed an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) over the ruling, which will be heard by CAS on 11 July.

But assuming the ban upheld, those clubs that had qualified for European tournaments will not be able to participate, and as a result, will not receive the lucrative financial windfall that comes with it.

Russian clubs earned £48.2million from European competitions last season before the war in Ukraine began, with Zenit pocketing the lion's share of that at £33.7million.

That is a serious economic loss. On top of that, some clubs, such as Spartak Moscow, have seen sponsorship withdrawn. Nike dropped Spartak after the ban, causing the club to dismantle its second team, as per Reuters.

A number of the country's major clubs are also owned by companies that were sanctioned due to the invasion. CSKA and Dynamo are two such outfits that could face ownership issues.

The precarious situation in Russia has also led to a significant footballing brain drain from the country, with top foreign coaches and players leaving amid the war.

Currently there are 124 foreign players and three foreign managers currently plying their trade in the Russian top-flight, significantly down on numbers from previous seasons.

That number is only likely to fall further following an announcement from FIFA that players have the right to suspend contracts with Russian clubs until 30 June 2023.

Furthermore, the banning of Russian clubs from UEFA competition will also have an affect on the nation's coefficient ranking, which determines a country's number of European places.

Russia look set to fall outside of the top ten in the coefficient, meaning not just a loss of prestige, but also the loss of automatic qualification to the Champions League for the Russian Premier League winners.

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