Rus­sians left red-faced by Ru­bin Kazan’s cash woes

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Sport - By Matt Law

Rus­sian foot­ball is fac­ing more con­tro­versy that could cause huge em­bar­rass­ment for the World Cup hosts.

The Daily Tele­graph can re­veal that one of Rus­sia’s big­gest clubs, Ru­bin Kazan, is gripped by a fi­nan­cial cri­sis that has seen them fail to pay their play­ers for the past four months.

And with the fi­nal game be­fore the win­ter break this week­end, al­most the en­tire squad are threat­en­ing to rip up their con­tracts and walk out of the club next month.

That in­cludes for­mer Arse­nal mid­fielder Alex Song, whose po­ten­tial avail­abil­ity on a free trans­fer has al­ready alerted a num­ber of Premier League clubs. It is es­ti­mated that Kazan owe their play­ers more than £10 mil­lion in un­paid wages and the squad were told again yes­ter­day that there was no money to pay them.

Ru­bin are owned by the Tataramer­i­can In­vest­ments and Fi­nance com­pany, TAIF, and pres­i­dent Radik Shaimiev is listed as be­ing the 88th-rich­est man in Rus­sia.

Chair­man of the board of guardians is Rus­tam Min­nikhanov, who is the pres­i­dent of the Tatarstan re­gion and an ally of Rus­sian pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin.

The sport­ing di­rec­tor of Ru­bin is Rustem Say­manov, who was ar­rested and spent time in prison in con­nec­tion with mur­der.

Kazan is one of the host cities for next sum­mer’s World Cup, where games will be played at Ru­bin’s Kazan Arena, that opened in 2013.

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