Russian Football Premier League

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Russian Football Premier League (RFPL)
SOGAZ-RFPL.png
Country  Russia
Confederation UEFA
Founded 2001; 13 years ago (2001)
Number of teams 16
Levels on pyramid 1
Relegation to National Football League
Domestic cup(s) Russian Cup
International cup(s) Champions League
Europa League
Current champions CSKA Moscow
(2012–13 season)
Most championships Spartak Moscow (9 titles)*
TV partners NTV (1st pick), Our Football
Website www.RFPL.org
2013–14 Russian Premier League
* Incl. Rus. Top League and Rus. Top Division titles

The Russian Football Premier League (Russian: Чемпионат России по футболу), currently called SOGAZ Russian Football Championship (Russian: СОГАЗ — Чемпионат России по футболу), is the top division in Russian football. The competition is administered by the Russian football Premier-League (Russian: Российская футбольная Премьер-Лига). There are 16 teams in the competition. The league has two Champions League qualifying spots given to the top two teams at the end of the season and three Europa League spots are allocated to the third, fourth and fifth teams. The last two teams are relegated to the National League Championship at the end of the season. The Russian Premier League was established in 2001 and succeeded the Top Division. The Top Division was run by the Professional Football League of Russia. Creation of the Premier League is considered to give the clubs a greater degree of independence.

CSKA Moscow is the current Russian Premier League champion.

History[edit]

After the break-up of the Soviet Union, starting in 1992, each former Soviet republic organized an independent national championship. In Russia, the six Russian teams who had played in the Soviet Top League in 1991 (CSKA Moscow, Spartak Moscow, Torpedo Moscow, Dynamo Moscow, Spartak Vladikavkaz, and Lokomotiv Moscow) were supplemented with 14 teams from lower divisions to form a 20-team Russian Top Division. The Top Division was further divided into two groups to reduce the total number of matches. The number of teams in the Top Division was gradually reduced to 18 in 1993 and 16 in 1994. Since then, the Russian Top Division (and subsequently the Premier League) has consisted of 16 teams, except for a short-lived experiment with having two more teams in 1996 and 1997.

Spartak Moscow was the dominant force in the Top Division, winning nine of the first ten titles. Spartak-Alania Vladikavkaz was the only team which managed to break Spartak's dominance, winning the Top Division title in 1995.

Lokomotiv Moscow have won the title twice, and CSKA Moscow four times.

In 2007, Zenit St. Petersburg climbed to the top, winning the title for the first time in their history in Russian professional football; they had also won a Soviet title in 1984. 2008 brought the pinnacle of the rise of Rubin Kazan, a club entirely new to the Russian top flight, as it had never even competed in the Soviet Top League.

Competition[edit]

Russian Premier League match between Zenit and Dynamo (the last Zenit match at the Kirov Stadium, stadium had been already partially demolished.)

Teams in the Russian Premier League play each other twice, once at home and once away, for a total of 30 matches. Three points are awarded for a win, one for a draw, and none for a loss. If teams are level on points, the tie-breakers are the number of wins, then the goal difference, followed by several other factors. If the teams are tied for the first position, the tie-breakers are the number of wins, then head-to-head results. If the teams tied for the first place cannot be separated by these tie-breakers, a championship play-off is ordered.

Russian Premier League match between Lokomotiv and Spartak at the Lokomotiv Stadium

As of 2010, the champions and the runners-up qualify for the UEFA Champions League group stage. The third-placed team qualifies for the Champions League second qualifying round. The fourth- and fifth-place teams qualify for the UEFA Europa League. The bottom two teams are relegated to the First Division (renamed the National Football League starting in 2011).

Unlike most other European football leagues, the league traditionally ran in summer, from March to November, to avoid playing games in the cold and snowy weather in winter. This was altered ahead of the 2012–13 season, with the league planning to run the season from autumn to spring. The transitional season of the competition began in early 2011 and continued until summer of 2012. After the 16 Premier League teams played each other twice over the course of the 2011 calendar year, they were split into two groups of eight, and the teams played other teams in their groups two more times for a total of 44 games (30 in 2011 and 14 in 2012). Those two groups were contested in spring 2012, with the top eight clubs playing for the title and European places. The other sides vied to avoid relegation: the bottom two went down while the next two played off against the sides third and fourth in the National Football League, with the two losers being relegated (or denied promotion).[1] Under the current autumn-spring calendar, the league takes a three-month winter break from mid-December until mid-March.

Youth championship[edit]

The Youth championship (Russian: Молодежное первенство), also known as Youth teams championship (Russian: Первенство молодёжных команд), Reserve team tournament (Russian: Турнир среди дублирующих составов) or Reserves tournament (Russian: Турнир дублёров), full name Youth football championship of Russia among teams of clubs of the Premier League (Russian: Молодёжное Первенство России по футболу среди команд клубов Премьер-Лиги), is a league that runs in parallel to the Russian Premier League and includes the youth or reserve teams of the Russian Premier League teams. The number of players a team can have on the pitch at a time that are over 21 years of age or without a Russian citizenship is limited. 16 teams participate in the league. Matches are commonly played a day before the match of the senior teams of the respective teams. All of the Russian Premier League teams are obliged to have a youth team that would participate in the Youth championship. The teams that are promoted from the National Football League and do not have a youth team must create one. The teams in the league are not relegated based on their final league position, but on the league position of their respective clubs' senior teams.

It has to be noted however that some Premier League clubs have three teams. Apart from the senior team and the team that plays in the Youth championship a team might have another senior team that plays in a lower division of Russian football and serves as the farm team for the main team. Some examples include Lokomotiv-2, and Rubin-2, playing in the Russian Second Division. Also of note is that for example Lokomotiv-2 has a youth team of its own, participating in the Amateur Football League, giving Lokomotiv a total of 4 teams in the Russian football league.

Youth Champions since 2001[edit]

Current clubs[edit]

The following teams are confirmed to compete in the 2013–14 season:

Champions and top scorers[edit]

Season Champion Runner-up Third place Top scorer
1992* Spartak Moscow Alania Vladikavkaz Dynamo Moscow Azerbaijan Vali Gasimov (Dinamo Moscow, 16 goals - 1-8 place)
Russia Yuri Matveyev (Uralmash, 20 goals - 9-20 place)
1993* Spartak Moscow (2) Rotor Volgograd Dynamo Moscow Russia Victor Panchenko (KamAZ Naberezhnye Chelny, 21 goals)
1994* Spartak Moscow (3) Dynamo Moscow Lokomotiv Moscow Russia Igor Simutenkov (Dinamo Moscow, 21 goals)
1995* Alania Vladikavkaz Lokomotiv Moscow Spartak Moscow Russia Oleg Veretennikov (Rotor Volgograd, 25 goals)
1996* Spartak Moscow (4) Alania Vladikavkaz Rotor Volgograd Russia Aleksandr Maslov (Rostselmash, 23 goals)
1997* Spartak Moscow (5) Rotor Volgograd Dynamo Moscow Russia Oleg Veretennikov (Rotor Volgograd, 22 goals)
1998** Spartak Moscow (6) CSKA Moscow Lokomotiv Moscow Russia Oleg Veretennikov (Rotor Volgograd, 22 goals)
1999** Spartak Moscow (7) Lokomotiv Moscow CSKA Moscow Georgia (country) Georgi Demetradze (Alania Vladikavkaz, 21 goals)
2000** Spartak Moscow (8) Lokomotiv Moscow Torpedo Moscow Russia Dmitri Loskov (Lokomotiv Moscow, 18 goals)
2001** Spartak Moscow (9) Lokomotiv Moscow Zenit Saint Petersburg Russia Dmitri Vyazmikin (Torpedo Moscow, 18 goals)
2002 Lokomotiv Moscow CSKA Moscow Spartak Moscow Russia Rolan Gusev (CSKA Moscow, 15 goals)
Russia Dmitri Kirichenko (CSKA Moscow, 15 goals)
2003 CSKA Moscow Zenit Saint Petersburg Rubin Kazan Russia Dmitri Loskov (Lokomotiv Moscow, 14 goals)
2004 Lokomotiv Moscow (2) CSKA Moscow Krylia Sovetov Samara Russia Aleksandr Kerzhakov (Zenit St. Petersburg, 18 goals)
2005 CSKA Moscow (2) Spartak Moscow Lokomotiv Moscow Russia Dmitri Kirichenko (FC Moscow, 14 goals)
2006 CSKA Moscow (3) Spartak Moscow Lokomotiv Moscow Russia Roman Pavlyuchenko (Spartak Moscow, 18 goals)
2007 Zenit Saint Petersburg Spartak Moscow CSKA Moscow Russia Roman Pavlyuchenko (Spartak Moscow, 14 goals)
Russia Roman Adamov (FC Moscow, 14 goals)
2008 Rubin Kazan CSKA Moscow Dynamo Moscow Brazil Vágner Love (CSKA Moscow, 20 goals)
2009 Rubin Kazan (2) Spartak Moscow Zenit Saint Petersburg Brazil Welliton (Spartak Moscow, 21 goals)
2010 Zenit Saint Petersburg (2) CSKA Moscow Rubin Kazan Brazil Welliton (Spartak Moscow, 19 goals)
2011–12 Zenit Saint Petersburg (3) Spartak Moscow CSKA Moscow Ivory Coast Seydou Doumbia (CSKA Moscow, 28 goals)
2012–13 CSKA Moscow (4) Zenit Saint Petersburg Anzhi Makhachkala Armenia Yura Movsisyan (FC Krasnodar/Spartak Moscow, 13 goals)
Brazil Wánderson do Carmo (FC Krasnodar, 13 goals)
* The league was named Top League
** The league was named Top Division
Zenit players celebrating their 2007 triumph
Club Winners Runners-Up Third place Years won
Spartak Moscow
9
5
2
1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001
CSKA Moscow
4
5
3
2003, 2005, 2006, 2012–13
Zenit St. Petersburg
3
2
2
2007, 2010, 2011–12
Lokomotiv Moscow
2
4
4
2002, 2004
Rubin Kazan
2
0
2
2008, 2009
Alania Vladikavkaz
1
2
0
1995
Rotor Volgograd
0
2
1
Dynamo Moscow
0
1
4
Torpedo Moscow
0
0
1
Krylia Sovetov Samara
0
0
1
Anzhi Makhachkala
0
0
1

UEFA Ranking[edit]

All-time table[edit]

As of 28 May 2013
Rank Club1 Seasons Spells Most
recent
season
Played2 Won Drawn Lost Goals Points3 Gold Silver Bronze
1 Spartak Moscow 21 1 653 364 164 125 1242-673 1256 9 5 2
2 Lokomotiv Moscow 21 1 653 323 180 150 967-610 1149 2 4 4
3 CSKA Moscow 21 1 653 329 160 164 1034-638 1147 4 5 3
4 Dynamo Moscow 21 1 652 273 187 192 921-745 1006 - 1 4
5 Zenit Saint Petersburg 18 2 562 260 164 138 853-580 944 3 2 2
6 Krylya Sovetov Samara 21 1 656 212 178 266 713-852 814 - - 1
7 Torpedo Moscow 15 1 2006 462 182 131 149 597-553 677 - - 1
8 FC Rostov 19 3 592 158 174 260 614-830 648 - - -
9 Alania Vladikavkaz 16 3 2012/13 489 179 109 201 630-663 646 1 2 -
10 Rotor Volgograd 13 1 2004 402 151 109 142 562-506 562 - 2 1
11 Rubin Kazan 10 1 314 143 88 83 432-298 517 2 - 2
12 Saturn Moscow Oblast 12 1 2010 360 120 121 119 396-378 481 - - -
13 FC Moscow 9 1 2009 270 92 83 95 295-311 359 - - -
14 Shinnik Yaroslavl 10 4 2008 304 85 86 133 294-403 341 - - -
15 Amkar Perm 9 1 284 82 91 111 261-338 337 - - -
16 Chernomorets Novorossiysk 8 2 2003 248 74 65 109 274-357 287 - - -
17 Lokomotiv Nizhny Novgorod 8 2 2000 248 68 63 117 233-356 267 - - -
18 Anzhi Makhachkala 6 2 194 70 55 69 222-223 262 - - 1
19 Tom Tomsk 7 1 2011/12 224 64 65 95 219-292 257 - - -
20 Zhemchuzhina Sochi 7 1 1999 222 61 57 104 263-390 240 - - -
21 Kuban Krasnodar 6 4 194 52 65 77 198-257 221 - - -
22 Spartak Nalchik 6 1 2011/12 194 54 57 83 207-239 219 - - -
23 Terek Grozny 6 2 194 59 44 91 192-276 215 4 - - -
24 Ural Sverdlovsk Oblast 5 1 1996 158 57 33 68 215-241 204 - - -
25 Energia-Tekstilshchik Kamyshin 5 1 1996 158 53 43 62 172-177 202 - - -
26 KAMAZ Naberezhnye Chelny 5 1 1997 162 51 32 79 198-253 179 5 - - -
27 Uralan Elista 5 2 2003 150 36 39 75 138-225 147 - - -
28 Luch-Energia Vladivostok 4 2 2008 124 34 32 58 116-187 134 - - -
29 Baltika Kaliningrad 3 1 1998 98 30 37 31 114-111 127 - - -
30 Fakel Voronezh 4 3 2001 124 31 29 64 101-175 122 - - -
31 Dynamo Stavropol 3 1 1994 94 27 23 44 94-125 104 - - -
32 FC Krasnodar 2 1 74 28 19 27 103-100 103 - - -
33 FC Tyumen 5 3 1998 154 25 26 103 116-326 101 - - -
34 Okean Nakhodka 2 1 1993 64 22 14 28 65-83 80 - - -
35 FC Khimki 3 1 2009 90 17 23 50 86-151 74 - - -
36 Volga Nizhny Novgorod 2 1 74 19 13 42 65-106 70 - - -
37 Asmaral Moscow 2 1 1993 60 19 11 30 74-102 68 - - -
38 Sokol Saratov 2 1 2002 60 17 13 30 55-87 64 - - -
39 Lada Togliatti 2 2 1996 64 10 16 38 42-105 46 - - -
40 Mordovia Saransk 1 1 2012/13 30 5 5 20 30-57 20 - - -
41 Sibir Novosibirsk 1 1 2010 30 4 8 18 34-58 20 - - -

League or status at 2013–14:

RFPL (1st tier)
FNL (2nd tier)
PFL (3rd tier)
LFL (4th tier)
Regional competitions
Clubs that no longer exist


  1. For clubs that have been renamed, their name at the time of their most recent season in the Russian League is given. The current members are listed in bold.
  2. Includes championship play-offs, does not include relegation play-offs.
  3. For the purposes of this table, each win is worth 3 points. The three-point system was adopted in 1995.
  4. Terek were deducted 6 points in 2005.
  5. KAMAZ-Chally were deducted 6 points in 1997.

Champions (Players)[edit]