City where football clubs constantly die
Nizhny Novgorod is one of the most important millionaires in the country. Argentina, England, Croatia and other top teams will soon arrive there, and then one of the quarterfinals of the 2018 World Cup will take place. At the same time, clubs are regularly buried here: an outrageous project with the first legionnaires in Russia, and a team full of aging stars, and a lamp team named after the region. Alexander Plekhanov went to Nizhny Novgorod and figured out why such a fragile region has such a fragile football.
“Do you know what“ Russian roulette ”is? This is when you are given the task of taking the sixth place, and otherwise you threaten to disperse the whole team, ”said Valery Ovchinnikov about the goals of the Nizhny Novgorod Lokomotiv. He was engaged in the team from 1989 to 2002 – at first he only coached, and then became the club president. Borman, as they called Ovchinnikov, invigorated football in Nizhny Novgorod and gave him life. When asked to analyze the opponent’s game, he offered to pass on his analyzes, and compared the lawn of a club stadium with a platform for ballistic missiles. But even such a shocking man could not stand the pressure in the local realities. Lokomotiv collapsed in 2002, and Ovchinnikov in Nizhny Novgorod no longer worked. It is hard to survive here, although the clubs are still trying.
Tomash went Siberia
Nizhny Novgorod Lokomotiv is not in vain considered to be a landmark team in the history of the Russian championships. It was here in 1995 came the first Brazilian league – Louis Andre da Silva and Junior. Something serious they did not achieve, but the Bottom glorified. The 1997 season for Lokomotiv turned out to be surprising and paradoxical. Then the club flew out of the top division, but reached the Intertoto Cup semi-final. In the third-best European Cup tournament, Lokomotiv won its group, and then flew out of the Swedish Halmstad. Paradoxes were temporary – after a year, Lokomotiv returned to the tower, and later it was all over.
Yevgeny Shuklin, a resident of Nizhny Novgorod, remembers those times: Lokomotiv lived mostly on the money of the road. There was Omari Sharadze, and everything developed well. While the veins are not torn in European competition and there already went down. The first league, two seasons played in the tower, the first, third, two seasons in the second – and the team bent. No one began to finance: the region did not support at any level, and I don’t know Russian Railways, perhaps, merged non-core assets. ”
Omari Sharadze retired from the post of chief of the Gorky Railway in 1999. He is now 76 years old, and Lokomotiv survives in the championship of the Nizhny Novgorod region. The club today receives help again and has a budget, but the team does not return to the professional game.
Lokomotiv ceased to be visible in the early 2000s, and then the Volga took its place. “Volga had a different story and a sine wave of development, but, in principle, everything is the same,” explains Eugene. – There they lived on regional and sponsorship money. Sponsorship was what – tax benefits. Relatively speaking, an enterprise gives money, and “Volga” receives tax benefits for this amount or so. Everything”.
Problems with the “Volga” appeared since 2011. Football players appealed to the RFU, but some still have not paid the money. For example, Tosno player Andrei Buivolov, who had previously played his entire career in the Volga, in one of his interviews stated that he could buy a good apartment in Nizhny Novgorod for unpaid money.
Volga was supervised by Olympic pentathlon champion Dmitry Svatkovsky, who has been working as deputy governor of the Nizhny Novgorod region all this time. In 2015, he said that in 2020-2022 Volga should play in European competition. True, then the Volga disappeared, and the Olympian took its place.
“Who pays, he dances”
It is Svatkovsky and people close to him that many consider to be the originators of Volga debts. The leadership of the region much more seriously supported basketball and hockey. This was advertised and credited to the government, and everyone forgot about the “Volga”. When they remembered, it was already too late. By the way, now on Twitter Svatkovsky many references to the achievements of the teams of Nizhny Novgorod. “Olympian” there also appears regularly.
In 2012, Volga met in play-offs for the right to remain in the Premier League with the Nizhny Novgorod team. That hit in the joints was for Nizhny Novgorod the highest achievement since its foundation in 2007. The team was considered by many to be a more attractive and more ambitious project than the Volga itself. Of the notable players, Viktor Vasin, who is now the main defender of CSKA, came here for rent from Spartak Nalchik. I noticed, but did not show Cyril Panchenko. Volga and Nizhny Novgorod could even play together in the Premier League, but this did not happen for various reasons. But after those play-offs, it was announced that the Volga and Nizhny Novgorod would merge into one team – the Volga, which won them.
Yevgeny Shuklin supported Nizhny Novgorod and remembers those games well. “Was there a feeling that everything is predetermined? It was.