«The teams’ quality is more important than their quantity»
The «Sport Industry Management» RMA business school program hosted a lecture by the general director of United Football League (OFL) Valery Gazzaev, during which he had introduced his Russian football development program as well as announced his intention to run for the office of the head of Russian Football Union (RFS).
The key point of the program is the creation of the structure that will govern the Russian soccer leagues as well as other national championships. «First of all, we ought to expand the list of RFPL participants to 18 clubs, and the first league to 36. This will substantially increase the quantity of candidates for the national team, and will intensify the competition, — said mr. Gazzaev. — On the other hand, we are proposing to reduce the overall number of professional football clubs. Presently, three of our leagues contain as many as 105 of them. There isn’t a single European country that has such a high number, yet, they consistently manage to outperform us in comparison. Germany, in particular, has 56 professional clubs, France - 40, Spain - 44, Holland - 35. We propose to keep the professional status only for RFPL and FNL. By doing so, we’ll be able to reduce this number down to 54».
«You will probably agree that it is better to organize a high quality performance for 54 professional teams, than struggle to maintain the survivability of over 100. The question of quality of teams supersedes that of their quantity», -- pointed out mr. Gazzaev. According to him, FNL (First League) would be divided into three divisions according to geographic principle – «West», «Center», «East» – each consisting of 12 clubs. If this proposition will get implemented, the tournament will be be able to accommodate the representatives of 32 regions instead of 16, such as the case right now. Therefore, the developers of this program hope, that this measure will spur the much more active than now development of the professional and junior league football, particularly in the Far East, Siberia and in Urals.
«To create the kind of management of professional Leagues that we see in Germany, Spain and France, we propose to create the unified Russian Football League (RFL), -- said mr. Gazzaev. -- I think, as a result of unification we’ll be able to achieve a higher quality of control. Moreover, there will be a substantial reduction in costs: instead of three currently existing structures such as RFPL, FNL, and PFL, each of which has it’s own president and multiple respective departments, we’ll get a single, more compact and effective one».