FC Kuban Krasnodar

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Full name Футбольный клуб Кубань Краснодар
(Football Club Kuban Krasnodar)
Nickname(s) Kazaki (The Cossacks)
Zhelto-zeleniye (The Yellow-Greens)
Zhabi (The Toads)
Founded 1928; 86 years ago (1928)
Ground Kuban Stadium, Krasnodar
Ground Capacity 31,654
Chairman Aleksander Tkachyov
Manager Viktor Goncharenko
League Russian Premier League
2013–14 8th

FC Kuban (Russian: Футбольный клуб "Кубань" Краснодар) is a Russian football club based in Krasnodar. The team began playing in the Russian Premier League in 2011, after it was promoted for winning the Russian First Division. FC Kuban is one of the oldest football clubs in Russia. Founded as Dynamo of the Krasnodar NKVD, FC Kuban has changed its affiliations because of changing politics in the USSR.

Club members and fans are called "Kubantsies" (because of its location) or "yellow-greens" (the club colours). The team is also known as the "Cossacks" by fan. Other nicknames associated with the club colors are "The Canaries" (analogous to the similar colours of the French FC Nantes, the English Norwich City F.C.) and "The Toads" (primarily by opponents and the Kuban Ultras).

Chronology of club names[edit]

  • Dynamo (1928–53)
  • Neftyanik (1954–57)
  • Kuban (1958–60)
  • Spartak (1960–62)
  • Kuban (1963–)



Football first appeared in Kuban during the early 20th century, when a number of sports clubs were created in Ekaterinodar. The first matches were intra-club, and football competed with other sports; however, interest gradually grew and friendly matches were played between clubs in different cities. The first intercity football match was played in Ekaterinodar on 6 August (or 9 August) 1912 when the Achilles club (or an Ekaterinodar city team with Achilles players) defeated Novorossiysk Olympia 5–0. Since 1913, when the first city championship was played, matches between city teams (Achilles, Sport and Victoria) have become common.


According to the club, its history began in 1928 with the organization in Krasnodar of Dynamo NKVD. According to some reports the team was founded a year earlier, but documentary evidence of that club does not exist. The team came into existence in 1928, according to documents in the archives.

Dynamo: 1928–1953[edit]

Before there was a national championship, Dynamo played friendly matches with the best teams in Russia, Ukraine and the Caucasus. In addition to these matches, tournaments were played in the city (including the Lottery Friendship Cup, played by sports clubs and teams from the Krasnodar military garrison).

In 1931 Dynamo moved into its own stadium, in the center of Krasnodar, which is now the city's oldest existing sports facility. That year, the club received the Sportspeople of the Northern Caucasus award.

In 1935, Dynamo (the only Krasnodar team) played in the intercity USSR Championship. In the group stage in Pyatigorsk, the team played three games in five days. On 26 June, they played to a 2–2 draw with Yerevan, and on 28 June Dynamo won 1–0 over Makhachkala. On 30 June the club lost to Pyatigorsk 1–2, finishing third in the group.

In 1948 the club played in the RSFSR championship, beginning with preliminary games in the North Caucasus (against teams from Stavropol, Rostov-on-Don, Grozny, Stalingrad, Nalchik, Makhachkala and the Krasnodar Lightning. Dynamo was undefeated in the zone tournament. The playoffs began on 3 October at the Dynamo stadium, where the hosts reached the finals undefeated. On 17 October 1948 Dynamo beat Molotov 4–0 in the final and became, for the first time in their history, RSFSR champions (winning a number of prizes).

Neftyanik: 1954–1957[edit]

In 1953 Dynamo changed its name to Neftyanik, representing Krasnodar in the Class B Soviet League the following year. The team played well in the first round of the 1953 championship but faltered in the second, eventually finishing 10th.

In the 1955 season, Neftyanik finished in fifth place and was promoted to Class A of the Soviet Top League. The following year, the club finished fourth. In the 1957 season Neftyanik again finished fourth.

Kuban: 1958–1960[edit]

In 1958 the team again changed its name, this time to Kuban. It was in the top echelon for most of the 1958-59 season despite the loss of eight players (the team's core) to the army, where most represented FC SKVO. In the 1959-60 season, Kuban finished in fifth place.

Spartak: 1960–1962[edit]

When the team moved to Spartak during the second half of the 1960 season, they finished third. The following year they finished eighth, which was blamed by fans on poor coaching.

After the first round of the 1962 championship, Spartak was in sixth place. Between rounds, a new manager (Vladimir Gorokhov, a Master of Sport in the USSR) was brought in. In the second round Spartak, unhampered by injuries, won their zonal tournament.

The final round involved the five best clubs in Krasnodar Krai. Spartak played four matches, winning three. They defeated Voronezh Trud (1–0), Army Novosibirsk (2–0) and Yaroslavl Shinnik (2–0), drawing (2–2) with Sverdlovsk Uralmash in the third match. As RSFSR zone champion, Spartak won the right to play in the Soviet Top League; however, because of a league reorganization they were not permitted to play.

Kuban: 1963–1979[edit]

In 1963, after the club changed its name back to Kuban, they played unevenly and finished 10th in the Group 2 of Class A. After two poor seasons in 1964 and 1965 (where they finished 15th and 25th, respectively) three good seasons followed in 1966, 1967 and 1969. However, despite finishing third each season the team did not win promotion. In 1970 Kuban were relegated to the Soviet Second League, and its ownership changed the following year.

In 1973 Kuban finished third in the final tournament, earning a return to the First League and winning their third RSFSR zone championship. The club struggled in the First League for two seasons until they were relegated again to the Second League in 1976. Kuban returned to the First League in 1977. After a good start in 1978 (immediately after their promotion), Kuban eventually finished in sixth place.

The 1979 season was one of the most successful ones in recent club history. Kuban finished second, earning the right to play in the following year's Top League. Unlike 1962, there was no reorganization of the Soviet League and Kuban was promoted.


In 1980 Kuban played for the first time in the Soviet Top League. Before the season, Kuban Stadium was renovated with an increase in capacity. Their first home game was a scoreless tie on 7 April with Lokomotiv Moscow, and on 12 April Kuban scored their first Top League goals against Dynamo Tbilisi (2–2). At the end of the season Kuban won the "Together with the team" prize for home-field attendance. In 1981 the team finished in 13th place, the club's greatest achievement to date.

Although the 1982 season began well, with the club in sixth place, at the end of the season they were relegated from the Soviet Top League. In 1983 Kuban played unevenly, defeating the leading clubs but losing points to lesser teams. They finished the season in eighth place.

Kuban finished fourth in 1984; in September, they were in the hunt for a top-two finish (and promotion to the Soviet Top League before losing their final game. The next two seasons were poor, with the team (in 18th place) narrowly avoiding relegation from the First League in 1985 and relegated in 1986 with a 20th-place finish.

In 1987, Kuban was promoted back to the First League. In November the team won its fourth RSFSR championship, a record for a non-capital-city club. During the next four seasons (1988, 1989, 1990 and 1991), Kuban finished 19th three consecutive times and second-last (21st place) in its final USSR First League season.


In 1992, because of the disintegration of the USSR and the collapse of the Soviet leagues, Kuban played in the new Top Division league; however, they were overmatched and were relegated to the First Division. The 1993 season saw a new head coach: international Master of Sports Leonid Nazarenko. Until mid-May, Kuban was among the group leaders before finishing the season in 15th place.

Although the team was expected to return to the Top Division in 1994 (standing in second place early in the season), Kuban finished in sixth place. In 1995 Kuban won promotion to the Top Division with a strong finish, including a 3–0 victory over Anzhi in the last home match to claim second place in the First Division western zone.

After its return to Top Division in 1996 Kuban played unevenly. Although in mid-season the team was near the leaders, they lost many points at home and finished 10th overall. The following year was less successful; Kuban finished 16th, allowing it to remain in the Top Division.

In 1998, Kuban was in financial difficulty and on the verge of collapse. After its relegation to the Russian Professional Football League, the only player remaining was the team's third goalkeeper. Ivan Panenko, general director of OAO Rosneft-Krasnodarneftegaz, became the new president of the club and over the next two years laid the foundation for the future team.

Kuban's revival began in 1999, with the appointment of head coach Soferbi Yeshugov and the recruiting of local players. The club had a successful season, winning the Southern Zone championship.

21st century[edit]

In 2000, Kuban amassed a 14-match winning streak and moved into first place. Despite a coaching change (to Irhin Alexandr), Kuban took first place in the southern zone and won on aggregate in two matches against the transitional FC Lighting - in Saransk Kuban won (1–0), and in the return leg, the match ended as a draw (0–0). At the end of the year in order to prepare the team for the season in the First Division, the club entrusted who was appointed head coach of Kuban.

In early 2001, there was another change in leadership of Kuban - the club management moved to the administration of Krasnodar krai, and the new president became Alexander Tkachev, a provincial Governor, whose first task was to recruit for the post of head coach to win promotion to the Russian Premier League and ultimately invited the famous coach Oleg Dolmatov to the role. Under his leadership the team had a very confident start, before the end of the season when they struggled to sustain a promotion place to the Premier League, and ultimately they failed, finishing in only 3rd place. That was seen however as an excellent result for a "returnee" from the 2nd division.

The 2002 season failed because of inner turmoil within the club. There had been ongoing conflict between the coach and several players during the close season and from the season outset matches were played as if in hope of the coaches resignation. After a change in coach eventually came the team "tuned up" and were able to rise to the challenge of the group leaders, but they had no real justified claim on promotion to the Russian Premier League on the basis of their overall season record, and finished in only 4th place.

Despite the initial absence of a head coach in 2003, but with the target still very much to become a Russian Premier League team, nevertheless, the teams' effort shown at the start of the season meant hopes soon became very confident. After the first round Kuban was in 1st position, and therefore, the leadership of the club had the task of accessing the Russian Premier League on the basis of what had already been achieved this season. However, the beginning of the second circle proved unsuccessful, the team suffered a series of defeats that subsequently led to changes in the leadership of the club. After which however, Kuban embarked upon a winning series of 11 consecutive matches (which at that time was a record for 1 Division) and was able to eventually take 2nd place, and a glorious return to what they saw as their rightful place in the Russian Premier League.

The Championship campaign in 2004 proved unsuccessful. Because of the low-skilled head coach, they had failed to start the season well, and subsequent changes in the coaching of the team were not able to fundamentally affect the situation positively. As a result, Kuban, finished 15 place, and left the Russian Premier League again. The only bright point of the season being a home victory over Lokomotiv Moscow (2–1), who eventually finished this year as the Russian Premier League champion.

In 2005, the team was managed for the first time in the club's history by a foreign coach Jozef Chovanec. The season started well, and the first circle was completed with Kuban in 1st place. However, after several losses in the early second round the situation worsened, and by the end of the season Kuban took only 5th place. This position was not helped by their refusal to travel to Nalchik (which at that time was occupied by fighting federal forces due to continual attacks on the city from militant terrorists), and as a result it was decided by the authorities that Kuban forfeited that match to their rival team (0–3). The only positive development of this season was that the team finished with the best defensive record in the league (conceding only 25 goals in 42 matches), which is still the club record.

Season 2006 was conducted under the leadership of Pavel Yakovenko. During this season the team consistently showed a meaningful and effective purpose, leading throughout the championship and taking up 1st place in the table until the very last round. However, a last round defeat, claimed tolerable by the supporters due to "errors" of the referee, against rivals Khimki (0–2), meant Kuban took 2nd place, but which nevertheless meant promotion to the Russian Premier League.

The Championship in 2007 began badly for the first 5 rounds and the team was unable to win any games, with the result being the dismissal of Pavel Yakovenko as head coach and his replacement appointed as Leonid Nazarenko. In circle 2, after a series of setbacks, Leonid Nazarenko resigned from the post of head coach "for family reasons" (official version), but nevertheless remained within the infrastructure of the club and coached at the team headquarters. The new head coach now became Soferbi Yeshugov, but he was also soon dismissed, and the team was headed by Leonid Nazarenko again. All these changes did not yield positive results, Kuban finished second from bottom (15th place) and thus relegation back to 1 Division.

The only positive point in the season was the reserves of Kuban managed to take 3rd place in the reserves tournament.

On 8 December 2007, near the Kuban Stadium, for the first time in the club history there was a supporters rally for the team, as a result of leaked rumours from various sources about the possibility of the loss of the teams' professional status for financial reasons.

In 2008, Kuban celebrated their 80th year anniversary. In the winter there was a reshuffling of the senior team, consisting almost entirely renewed, but the team was preparing for the season-known specialist Aleksandr Tarkhanov, however, after the first 2 rounds, in which Kuban absolutely unnecessary suffered a defeat, he decided to resign "for health reasons" (official version), and his place as head coach the club won no less well-known coach Sergey Pavlov. Despite some pity lost in the beginning of the season, however, the first circle Kuban won 3rd place behind from second only 1 point. Kuban promoted to Russian Premier League as 2nd behind of FC Rostov in 2008 but relegated again to First Division as 15th after 3–0 losing home match against Rubin Kazan, who won championship twice. Kuban returned the top league again their first spell in First Division after defeating 1–0 Zhemchuzhina at Sochi on 17 October 2010. They celebrated championship of the second level after goalless draw with Nizhny Novgorod on 24 October 2010.

Kuban began the 2011–12 Premier League season with 2–0 home defeat to Rubin Kazan. But they improved their form and eventually qualified to the Championship Play-off's after finishing normal season as 6th. This also meant they were guaranteed to play in the Premier League again next season. During the play-off's their form dropped and they finished the league in 8th place. After the season Dan Petrescu moved to Dynamo Moscow.

Kuban began the 2012–13 Premier League season with 2–1 away defeat to Anzhi Makhachkala. Despite the sacking of Yuri Krasnozhan and replacing him with Belarussian Leonid Kuchuk, Kuban remained in the top half of the league and broke a home attendance record with 313,997 spectators in 15 matches. Finally Kuban defeated Anzhi 1-0 on 26 May 2013, with a sole goal from Bulgarian forward Ivelin Popov, and finished the league in 5th, the best position of Kuban ever in the Russian League. With this position Kuban also qualified for the first ever time to the UEFA Europe League. At the end of the 2012–13 season the team had the highest home-game attendance in the league.[1]

Nikola Nikezić incident[edit]

Nikola Nikezić, a forward from Montenegro, was part of FC Kuban in 2010 and had a valid contract with the club until November 2011. However, in early 2011, FC Kuban decided they want to buy different players in his position and tried to force him to dissolve the contract by mutual consent. When he refused, he was beaten up by unknown persons, allegedly with ties to the Russian Mafia, at the club office and he was forced to sign the contract dissolution papers.[2] After being beaten for an unknown amount of minutes (no-one can be sure how long but he stated that it was around 20 minutes), by two armed men, he did finally sign the paperwork.[2] He thereafter filed a complaint with FIFA president Sepp Blatter a couple of days after the incident, with attached photos of bruises sustained during the beating.[3][4] Eventually the FIFPro (International Federation of Professional Footballers), with the assistance of Russian Football Union, forced the club to pay Nikezić a compensation of 180,000 euros.[5]


Domestic competitions[edit]

  • RSFSR Championship: 4
    • Winners: 1948, 1962, 1973, 1987

League results[edit]

Soviet Union[edit]


Russian Premier League Russian First Division Russian Premier League Russian First Division Russian Premier League Russian First Division Russian Premier League Russian First Division Russian Second Division Russian First Division Russian Second Division Russian First Division Russian Premier League

Season Div. Pos. Pl. W D L GS GA P Cup Europe Top scorer
Head coach
1992 1st 18 30 4 9 17 24 53 17 - AzerbaijanRussia Lemish – 5 Russia Marushkin
Russia I. V.Kaleshin
1993 2nd, "West" 15 42 15 8 19 62 84 38 R64 Russia Gomleshko – 19 Russia Nazarenko
1994 3rd, "West" 6 40 23 6 11 83 44 52 R256 Russia Gerasimenko – 16 Russia Nazarenko
1995 2 42 27 6 9 107 61 87 R128 Russia Gerasimenko – 30 Russia F. Novikov
Russia Brazhnikov
1996 2nd 10 42 15 14 13 65 60 59 R32 Russia Shushlyakov – 15 Russia Brazhnikov
1997 16 42 16 9 17 63 66 57 R512 Russia Shushlyakov – 15 Russia Brazhnikov
1998 20 42 10 13 19 42 68 43 R16 Russia Suanov – 6 Russia Sinau
1999 3rd, "South" 1 36 29 4 3 80 13 91 R128 Russia Gabiskiria – 18 Russia Yeshugov
2000 1 38 32 3 3 95 13 99 R128 Russia Tsatskin – 14 Russia Yeshugov
Russia Shcherbachenko
2001 2nd 3 34 16 12 6 56 29 60 R16 Russia Teryokhin – 15 Russia Dolmatov
2002 4 34 15 9 10 44 30 54 R16 Russia Yermak – 5
Russia Kiselyov – 5
Russia Dolmatov
Russia Komarov
2003 2 42 27 5 10 75 38 86 R32 Cameroon Biang – 13 Russia Lagoida
Russia Yuzhanin
2004 1st 15 30 6 10 14 26 42 28 R16 Russia Kantonistov – 8 Russia Yuzhanin
Russia Yeshugov
Russia Nazarenko
2005 2nd 5 42 23 12 7 55 25 81 R16 Russia Kantonistov – 11 Czech Republic Chovanec
2006 2 42 30 7 5 92 25 97 R32 ArmeniaRussia Zebelyan – 23 Ukraine Yakovenko
2007 1st 15 30 7 11 12 27 38 32 R32 Russia O.Ivanov – 4
Russia Kuzmichyov – 4
Latvia Laizāns – 4
Russia Yeshugov
2008 2nd 2 42 27 6 9 84 36 87 R16 Russia Zubko – 18 Ukraine Protasov
2009 1st 15 30 6 10 14 23 51 28 R32 Mali Traoré – 8 Russia Ovchinnikov
ArmeniaRussia Galstyan
2010 2nd 1 38 24 8 6 51 20 80 R32 Russia Davydov – 10 Romania Petrescu
2011–12 1st 8 44 15 16 13 50 45 61 R32 Ivory Coast Traoré – 18 Romania Petrescu
2012–13 1st 5 30 14 9 7 48 28 51 QF Bulgaria Popov – 9
Armenia Özbiliz – 9
Russia Krasnozhan
Belarus Kuchuk

European record[edit]

Season Competition Round Opponent Home Away Aggregate
2013–14 UEFA Europa League 3Q Scotland Motherwell 1–0 2–0 3–0
Play-off Netherlands Feyenoord 1–0 2–1 3–1
Group A Spain Valencia 0–2 1–1 3rd place
England Swansea City 1-1 1–1
Switzerland St.Gallen 4–0 0–2

Current squad[edit]

Updated 28 July 2014, according to the club's official website.

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Russia GK Eduard Baichora
2 Moldova DF Igor Armaș
4 Brazil DF Xandão
5 Spain DF Ángel Dealbert
7 Russia MF Vladislav Kulik (on loan from Rubin Kazan)
8 Russia MF Artur Tlisov
9 Russia MF Arsen Khubulov
10 Burkina Faso MF Charles Kaboré
11 Romania FW Gheorghe Bucur
13 Russia GK Yevgeny Pomazan (on loan from Anzhi)
14 Bosnia and Herzegovina DF Toni Šunjić
15 Belarus DF Maksim Zhavnerchik
17 Ghana MF Mohammed Rabiu
18 Russia MF Vladislav Ignatyev
No. Position Player
19 Brazil FW Danilo (on loan from Zorya)
20 Uruguay FW Gonzalo Bueno
21 Costa Rica FW Marco Ureña
22 Russia MF Anton Sosnin
23 Russia GK Aleksandr Belenov
25 Paraguay DF Lorenzo Melgarejo
26 Liberia MF Sekou Oliseh (on loan from CSKA Moscow)
33 Russia GK Bogdan Karyukin
38 Russia DF Andrey Yeshchenko (on loan from Anzhi)
43 Russia DF Roman Bugayev
71 Bulgaria MF Ivelin Popov
99 Senegal FW Ibrahima Baldé
Russia DF Vladimir Lobkaryov

Out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Kazakhstan MF Baurzhan Islamkhan (at Astana until 30 June 2014)
No. Position Player
Russia MF Sergey Karetnik (at Metalurh Donetsk until 30 June 2014)

Youth team[edit]

Kuban's reserve squad played professionally as FC Kuban-d Krasnodar in the Russian Third League in 1996 and 1997.

The following players are listed by club's website as reserve players and are registered with the RFPL. They are eligible to play for the first team.

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
46 Russia MF Yuri Zhuravlyov
64 Russia DF Timur Zakirov
65 Russia DF Ruslan Dzhamalutdinov
73 Russia MF Denis Yakuba
78 Russia MF Igor Ponomaryov
80 Russia FW Anton Sekret
83 Russia FW Maksim Mayrovich
84 Russia DF Aleksandr Kleshchenko
85 Russia FW Igor Zaporozhcev
86 Russia MF Kirill Volchkov
No. Position Player
87 Russia FW Islam Tsaniev
88 Russia MF Ilmir Nurisov
89 Russia MF Vladislav Tyufyakov
91 Russia MF Anton Moiseev
92 Russia FW Maksim Lauk
93 Russia DF Soslan Kagermazov
94 Russia MF Andrei Tsepa
95 Russia MF Viktor Chuvilov
97 Russia MF Yuri Zavezyon



  • The Russian history of Kuban is marked by constant coaching changes. In over 17 seasons from 1992 to the present (as of 1 October 2008) the first team has changed its coach 25 times, and the post in the Russian period in the history of the club, it has had 20 different trainers, while none had served as head coach for even two full seasons, and only 5 of them were able to last one full season.
  • Until 2005, when the team appointed a Czech coach, Jozef Chovanec, never previously in the history of the club had the head coach been foreign.
  • Alexander Irhin is the only head coach of Kuban, under whom the team did not play any official matches.
  • Vladimir Gabulov in 2007 became the national first team goalie, who played in starting the main Russia national football team, while playing for Kuban.
  • Then young goalkeeper Yevgeny Pomazan won a 2006 Youth European Championship medal with Russia, becoming the first player in Kuban to be a European champion.
  • At that time the captain was Bulgarian defender Ivaylo Petkov, who in game №3 in season 2008 in the Russian First Division was the scorer of the 1000th goal for Kuban, scoring a goal against their rival club FC Sportakademklub Moscow which finished (3–0).


  • Kuban fire Ovchinnikov [1] (English)
  1. ^ http://www.sports.ru/tribuna/blogs/infografika/467409.html
  2. ^ a b "Nikezić in Sretenović v Rusiji deležna mafijskih metod". RTVSLO.si. 29 March 2011. 
  3. ^ "Nikezic letter to Blatter, Page 1". Russian Soccer Players and Coaches Union. 15 March 2011. 
  4. ^ "Nikezic letter to Blatter, Page 2". Russian Soccer Players and Coaches Union. 15 March 2011. 
  5. ^ "Sretenović in Nikezić dočakala srečen konec ruske zgodbe". RTVSLO.si. 29 March 2011. 

External links[edit]