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