Gazprom Announced As New Official Sponsor of Crimea

TFN’s Dave Wild with some breaking news from the East…

Following lengthy discussions between Vladimir Putin and Sepp Blatter today, it has been annouced that Gazprom are to become the new official sponsors of Crimea, ushering in an ‘unprecedented era of content, nostalgic prosperity’ in ‘The Champions Peninsula’

Of course, Gazprom was the first to approach us with a proposal,” said Crimea’s first deputy prime minister Rustam Temirgaliev, his eyes fixated on the peaceful landscape projected onto his telescreen every morning at 08:15. Continue reading

All Hail Gazprom: The Birth of a Football Overlord


Freedom is futile. Greg Johnson implores that you submit yourself to Gazprom to limit the suffering of your friends and family. For Gazprom!


Gazprom are on Facebook. I know this because one of their posts somehow, inexplicably found its way onto my news feed last night, and I clicked on it. It caught my eye; two tickets to the Champions League final up for grabs. All I had to do was give them my details and I too could stand a chance of lucking my way to Wembley on May 25.

But wait. I hadn’t sought out or liked their presence on Facebook; they came to me. And now they have my details – my name, my email address, the place I call home. Ponder this: what if all our jokes and Twitter quips about the now ubiquitous Russian gas giant were to come true? What if their try-hard attempt to ingratiate themselves to the world through wall-to-wall Champions League sponsorship and falsely sincere adverts was all a ruse; a stepping stone in a long term plan to supplant the current world order with their own brand of fossil fuelled, Schalke-endorsing Orwellian tyranny?

(Don’t worry Schalke fans, you’re unwitting victims in this dystopian sci-fi fantasy too!)

Below are the ramblings of a man who has seen a future of sooted air, acid soaked clouds and an Earth overtaken by an omnipresent corporation with one hand over the gas taps and another on the power levers of football. Continue reading

Showdown Looming Over Proposed Gazprom League


Andy Shenk explores the controversies and implications of the proposed United Championship to Russian and Ukrainian football…

Gazprom chairman Aleksey Miller’s confirmation last month that a potential Russian-Ukrainian football league would feature a $1 billion prize fund, backed with a Gazprom guarantee, set the stage for a far-reaching confrontation within Russian football.

The seeds were planted months earlier, when Gazprom-owned Zenit general director Maksim Mitrofanov warned his club “might decide to not participate in the Russian championship.” His statement came after harsh sanctions were imposed on Zenit for the flare thrown at Dynamo goalie Anton Shunin during a meeting between the two clubs in mid-November.   Continue reading

2012-13 Russian Premier League Halfway Point Review: Race for the Title


False Nine editor, Andrew Belt, assesses the front-runners of the Russian Premier League in the first of three 2012-13 review pieces of the campaign so far as the teams ease into the winter break…

Two weekends ago, the Russian Premier League broke up for the safety of warmth during winter as harsh weather comes to the country. Continue reading

The Changing Face of European Football

False Nine writer Ethan Meade forecasts greater challenges from Eastern Europe and Paris in elite European competition…

Upon his election as President of UEFA, Michel Platini made it an express concern to diffuse European power away from solely in the hands of the traditional powerhouses. He had numerous plans to do this, ranging from changing the format of Champions League qualification, to the often mentioned, but seldom properly understood, Financial Fair Play rules. Continue reading