Money for the wind? The owner of Spartak is the main breadwinner of football agents in Russia

Over the past five years, the “red and whites” have paid more than 2.6 billion rubles to intermediaries. And all in vain.

The Russian Football Union has published information on the amount of remuneration paid to intermediaries in 2021. Among the RPL clubs, Spartak is in the lead, which, according to the official summary, spent 2,620,024.98 euros and 385,353,683.65 rubles on agents.

Such information is interesting at least because it allows you to assess the validity of club spending. Of course, this indicator is not key, but rather indirect, but still curious. And especially expressive for a long time.

Still, you don’t have to do it year after year. Sometimes the team needs to update the ranks, and therefore the cost of agents increases, and once the staff is already assembled and does not require serious intrusions, and therefore payments to intermediaries tend to zero. However, in a few years the picture will be more objective.

Therefore, let’s not limit ourselves to the last year, but analyze the previous four. We will make a comparison among the eight most affluent RPL clubs. We will reduce all five years to one plate. And then let’s compare these costs with the tournament income – occupied seats. This will allow us to understand who in the league spends money – wisely or not.

Some clarification is needed.

Information in the RFU clubs provide in three currencies – rubles, euros and US dollars. In this table, the amounts are shown in millions of rubles – foreign currencies are converted at the exchange rate on the last day of the year.

In 2017, the practice of submitting information on payments to intermediaries has not yet been established, which is explained by the deletions in the relevant column. Among them, in particular, Zenit surprises: it is difficult to imagine that the club did not encourage agents in the year of a large-scale procurement campaign, including in the Argentine market. At the same time, this gap is hardly able to change the ranking in the total score for 5 years. Zenit could have bypassed Spartak only if they had spent more than 870 million in 2017, which seems unlikely, at least because no one has done so in five years.

It should be borne in mind that the remuneration of intermediaries is paid not only by clubs – in some cases it is the player’s responsibility. Only club payments are taken into account here. And only official. In addition, there may be inconsistencies in the calendar periods when a player’s transfer is made in one year and the agent’s payment is made in another. And intermediaries get their bonus not only when transferring, but also when re-signing the player. But even with all these reservations, the plate still turns out eloquent.

So what do we see.

The main thing: “Spartak” still spends on intermediaries more than anyone. Of the five years, he was the most generous in four – and, of course, in total. The only exception was 2020 – the same year when Shamil Gazizov was the CEO in the second half. Who seems to be even a little proud that he managed to cover the agent’s feeder. But he had to leave the red and white walls as the club took over again.

Photo: © FC Spartak

Krasnodar demonstrates the greatest efficiency in this eight – this follows from the comparison of agency expenses and tournament income. Let’s take five seasons – from 2017-18 to 2021-22 – and bring the average place of each club in the national championship (this season we take note of the situation today). Krasnodar will take 5th place. And in terms of spending on intermediaries, as can be seen from the table, he is 8th. So the result is plus 3.

Two more clubs have a positive balance: Lokomotiv has a plus of 1.2 (2.8 in terms of sports income – 4 in terms of financial expenses), and Zenit has a plus of 0.2 (1.8-2). The circle of prudent owners is limited to the named three.

Everyone else is in the red. And the undisputed leader in this dispute of moths and squalor is again “Spartacus”. If he is the first in terms of expenses for intermediaries, then he is not even the fifth in terms of tournament income (average place – 5.2), so the final index is minus 4.2.

The amount that Spartak spent on intermediaries in five years – 2.6 billion rubles – inspires special respect! For a better understanding: this is the budget of three seasons of such a football club as “Ufa” (750-800 million was announced for the current season).

When you have all these figures in front of your eyes, you better understand the tone of the deepest respect that the representatives of the agency community invariably maintain in public in relation to Leonid Fedun. And which contrasts sharply with the mood prevailing in the masses. Spartacus boss can come from anyone – from fans, veterans, the press. But not from agents. They honor their main breadwinner – I want to believe, sincerely.

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