Rubostov – champion! What if we unite Berdyev’s two teams?
In Kidnapping, Caucasian Style film it was said: 'I have a desire to buy a house but I don't have a possibility. I have a possibility to buy a goat but I don't have a desire. So let's toast that our desires always meet our possibilities'. Rostov and Rubin, who are two bright representatives of the Russian football backwater, have recently met on the football pitch and outside in Kazan so that we still hear tales of the battle. Not only the personality of the specialist who made the club reach the Champions League unites the teams. But also the fact that they managed to make the bravest desires and dreams of their fans real despite their possibilities. The remoteness of the capitals, domestic problems, gaps in the management and financial systems – it all impedes both clubs from being stable in contention for top positions. Curiously, is it possible to create a virtual superclub if we unite the strong points of Rostov and Rubin on paper?
Having earned almost nothing for its players' sale, Rubin has spent €40 million on new players this summer. The money for the purchase was expended by sponsors. It is not the sum spent on transfers only. There are a salary fund and other costs. The club allowed itself to buy Marko Livaja for €6 million even when the economy regime was on. In general, the football club is a toy treated with affection by the government. Rostov has no scruples about spending huge money on new players. But, first of all, it gives way to the Kazan club's scale. And, secondly, it frequently applies the loan mechanism.
- Support of local government
President of the republic Rustam Minnikhanov is the chairman of the Board of Trustees who is a carrier of political will and guarantee of the well-being of the club at any time. As a rule, a quick management right is delegated to the representative of the power elite, from its highest levels. Commercial and state structures that are responsible for financial support not always answer to the president. The scheme is rather complicated. Sometimes it leads to local conflicts. But it is effective in a long term and defines that the supremacy of consciousness that contradicts laws of 'dialectic materialism' over existence. This scheme made the model of the professional football club exist without depending on the current economic reality.
Although Rostov is formally on the local government's coat-tail, it constantly faces problems in reality. Debts, refusal of cooperation with the major sponsor, temporary clash of opinions of the coach and the administration about the development of the club that brought to Berdyev's dismissal. It all says about the business and government don't have a common vector while trying to support the team.
- Living conditions
During Alex Song's talks with the club about his transfer to Rubin, the player was seen together with the director general of the club in one of the restaurants on the Kremlin Embankment. We think that if the embankment did not surprise the Cameroonian player who has seen a lot, it, at least, helped to make a pleasant impression of Kazan. The times when football players who played in Europe came to Kazan and delved into a dark and dull atmosphere of the Russian backwater left in the past. Today one can feel the comfort of the modern city at the outset: from the new airport to decorated supermarkets, decent restaurants and fitness clubs. The club's base has been reconstructed this summer. It became more comfortable and well equipped. Married players rent spacious flats in elite new-built houses in the most prestigious districts of the city. It seems that all people admitted that after Moscow and Petersburg, including Rostov-on-Don, Kazan is the most favourable Russian city for temporary residence.
In Kazan, Kurban Berdyev pronounced this word more than any other football term. When he was the head coach, the club incredibly improved its base. A building with a hotel, new pitches, boarding school for talented players from other cities, indoor football pitch… It is a completely different thing compared with the building of the former kindergarten with one WC on the floor, beds with bowed spring mattresses. This summer the base has been reconstructed, and even its veterans were amazed at what they saw. A new pitch with stands is built by the 2018 WC near it. Not any Russian club can have such possibilities to provide training, recovery and rest.
45,000-seat Kazan Arena is the first Russian stadium built for the 2018 WC. Even if new stadiums appeared in Moscow, Sochi and Krasnodar, it did not lose its importance mainly due to its capacity that allows to hold ¼ final matches of national squads in the World Cup. Rostov-on-Don will also have had a stadium by 2018. Nowadays the southern club can't compete with Kazan in terms of comfort of spectators. Their old Olymp-2, which accommodates less than 16,000 people, can't be compared with even the Kazan Central Stadium. Many players and many coaches told that it is far cooler to play at Kazan Arena than at Central. The modern stadium with a capacity of 45,000 seats is a weighty bargaining chip while negotiating with potential new players.
In this issue, Rostov has the advantage. Kurban Berdyev's class is not better than Javier Gracia's level, no. It is pointless to compare these specialists. It is a stupid thing to speak about the necessity to return Berdyev to Kazan. It is like to move Kazan Arena to Rostov-on-Don. Gracia is very likely to create an interesting team in Kazan and win prestigious trophies with it. The thing is that at the moment Rostov has a coach at its disposition whose presence is a guarantee of result. Rostov is in the Champions League! What else should we add? Meanwhile, Rubin is going through a stage when the experiment is at its height but its results are unknown. This is why Rostov has an option 'coach winner', which Rubin can have like it got the stadium. The only drawback in this situation is that Gracia is not a long-term coach. The Spaniard will want to change the situation sooner or later. What if Rubin achieves success tomorrow, so to speak?
Today's squad of Rostov is one of the effective teams in Russian football. There is no sense in speaking more about the club's success in the transfer market, which was achieved thanks to its coach. Not only his former players but also players from other clubs who could play at rich clubs of the capitals join Berdyev: Yerokhin, Kudryashov, Navas, Azmun. Rubin has not proved yet that it hit the target due to its expensive purchases, not to mention the mistakes of the previous administration (at least, it is what the new officials said). Samu doesn't live up to the expectations, Alex Song is warming the bench. Rostov fans perhaps also have questions on this issue. For example, on the necessity to purchase Maksim Grigoriev. Look at the difference in the scales! Mistakes of the coaching staff and scouts of Rubin will have a much more expensive tag for its sponsors.
What football Kazan lacks is the climate of Rostov. In November, December and March the average temperature is from +3 to -1. It is incomparable with the Kazan frozen autumn. In Rostov-on-Don, one can play football and watch it in quite comfortable conditions. Rubin fans have to keep warmth while going to the stadium during the greatest part of the season. To watch football when there is such a weather, say people in the stands. Foreign players who like hot weather don't like to touch the ball that physically resembles a brick.
It is said that the south likes football in a special way. Rostov not always plays matches of the Russian Championship to full house at Olymp-2. 6-8,000 people come to support their favourite team like Ural, Orenburg, etc. For instance, 14,000 spectators gathered to look at Krylia Sovetov. It is almost a full stadium, not to mention the giants from the capitals and Champions League. The stadium will certainly be stuffed to the gills. In general, Rubin needs the climate, southern love for football, custom to visit any match of the team at home. Even a semi-full stadium of Kazan with 45,000 seats will guarantee and unforgettable atmosphere and powerful support of the team.