Russian President Vladimir Putin does not lose any sleep over what the American people think of his government granting Edward Snowden temporary asylum. Nor would he lose any over the fact that ethnic tensions and terrorism have spoilt the potential growth of the oil and gas rich state of Dagestan.
And one seemingly fruitful hope for the state to redeem itself does not seem so much as such anymore. I am talking about Anzhi Makhachkala.
Last week, the high-aspiring club under the ownership of Russian billionaire Suleiman Kerimov communicated a financial restructure to bring the club’s annual budget down to around $50-70 million.
Why the drastic measure for the club that apparently had a 2013 budget of $180 million.
In a club statement issued on Wednesday, Anzhi accepted that its initial strategy of heavy investment to bring glory to the club and the region has not paid off. This coming after the club was only purchased in 2011. The implementation of the Financial Fair Play rules could have played a certain part in the downfall, however, two years to evaluate whether a strategy was profitable or not does not make sense. To that matter, neither does the club’s initial strategy of spending heavy and expecting immediate returns right away in a sport.
The newspapers are inundated with hearsay of the highest-paid player in the world, Samuel Eto’o, moving to Newcastle United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Napoli. And then there is Chris Samba, Yuri Zhirkov, Balasz Dzsudzsak and Lacina Traore as Anzhi continued to build a squad able to challenge for the top Russian honors. And finally, the highly publicized move of Anzhi also Brazilian attacker Willian from Shakhtar Donetsk for a fee of around £31 million, earlier in the year. What is to happen of them?
This is a dangerous transfer market to initiate a fire sale in. Perhaps on the scale of the market, where footballers are bought and sold for massive amounts, Anzhi’s financial burden would a welcome sign for anyone looking for a deal. The excitement would be similar to that of a first time visit to a flea market.
Yet what is happening in Russia should be of concern. Though the likes of PSG or Monaco or Manchester City have prominent financial clout hovering over them, they could face a similar ending if their financials are not in check.
It will be something the fans or certain glory hunters will not be able to understand. And you wonder how these things begin.