Why Anzhi Makhachkala's Budget May Harm Russian Football

Roberto Alvarez-GallosoChief Writer IAugust 11, 2012

Anzhi Makhachkala
Anzhi MakhachkalaDmitry Korotayev/Getty Images

Pontus Wernbloom, who is a midfielder for CSKA Moscow, said that Anzhi Makhachkala's budget may damage Russian Football. He made the statement in the CSKA Moscow website with a h/t to RIA Novosti.

Wernbloom stated that the budget of Anzhi Makhachkala does not guarantee success in football. He went on to say that Anzhi created a disparity of wealth between the club that have it and those that don't.

It cannot be denied that Anzhi Makhachkala is able to sign players such as Roberto Carlos and Samuel Eto'o. Samuel Eto'o receives (according to an article in the Daily Mail) $501,000 a week at Anzhi.

The club based in Dagestan were able to sign Guus Hiddink as its manager. Hiddink did not waste time in attempting—without success—to sign Robin Van Persie from Arsenal for $70m last spring.

Anzhi Makhachkala is one of the success stories of Russian Football. The danger is that its success may harm it for two cardinal reasons.


Disparity of Wealth in Clubs

Wenbloom is right in addressing the disparity of wealth in Russian Football. It is one of the reasons Anzhi may harm it.

While clubs like Anzhi Makhachkala, CSKA Moscow and Zenit St. Petersburg may have the money to sign top players, other clubs lack that luxury. According to Domm Norris of Back Page Football, clubs such as Tom Tomsk and Spartak Nalchik do not have the means to sign star players.

The reason is that Tom Tomsk and Spartak Nalchik were recently relegated from the Russian Premier League (RPL). This may or may not be one of the contributing factors in the wealth disparity but it does not help. 

One could only imagine how the owners and managers of relegated clubs in the RPL must feel when they see Anzhi spending money on players. It is not a good feeling for the relegated clubs.


UEFA Financial Fair Play

Anzhi Makhachkala is a member of UEFA and will participate in the 2012-2013 Europa League matches. UEFA recently implemented the Financial Fair Play rules to assure fairness and financial solvency for clubs.

Eventually, UEFA may see the disparity of wealth in Russian Football and issue rulings about it in the future. It would be interesting what the ruling for UEFA could be for Russian Football.


The Resolution

Wernbloom addressed the problem of Anzhi's budget affecting Russian Football. What could be the solution for this growing problem before the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia?

Anzhi and other Russian Football clubs can learn from AC Milan President Silvio Berlusconi and FC Barcelona. Berlusconi recently sold Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva to Paris Saint-Germaine.

The purpose was to balance the budget at AC Milan and eventually set up an academy for future players for the club, according to Goal.  This solution is realistic but long off since it does not address the immediate concern of wealth disparity of Russian Football.

According to The Guardian, John W. Henry, who is the Liverpool FC Chairman may, propose that the English Premier League (EPL) implement its version of Financial Fair Play. The idea is for clubs in the EPL to keep its finances in line.

The same could apply to Russian Football with one exception. The Russian Premier League will have to sit down, study the Berlusconi and EPL concepts, discuss it and find a resolution based on their reality.

Whether that can be done remains to be seen.