In Russian football, today is probably the worst time in history to work with foreign markets. Legionnaires are not easy to motivate to move to the RPL, given the political situation and the European Cup ban. In addition, sanctions bind the hands, creating problems for both the clubs and the players themselves. This applies, by the way, not only to transfers “to the entrance”, but also “to the exit”. For example, according to the Swiss edition of Blick, it is problematic for Basel to extend the loan of striker Fedor Chalov on a paid basis, since the club simply cannot transfer money to CSKA’s account.

More than 15 transfers in the RPL in a week!  Important links you may have missed
More than 15 transfers in the RPL in a week! Important links you may have missed

And here is how the former army coach Grigory Babayan explained the failures of the same CSKA at the end of the season in an interview for

“Until March, there was hope that we would compete for second place, but then problems arose. They were connected with internal affairs, which also concerned finances, since the legionnaires could not withdraw their salaries from Russia. Plus, there was pressure on the same legionnaires to leave the country.”

It is quite possible that after June 30, FIFA will again allow legionnaires to suspend contracts with RPL clubs for six months or a year. Nevertheless, the participants of the Russian championship continue to sign foreign players and agree on transfers on a paid basis. We figure out how much the summer acquisitions of foreigners or redemption after leases have already cost the RPL clubs.

Who were bought by Russian clubs abroad?

Lucas Fasson, from Atlético Paranaense (Brazil) to Lokomotiv for €3 million

Marko Rakonjac, from Čukariček (Serbia) to Lokomotiv for €2 million

Total: two transfers for € 5 million.

Marko Rakognac

Marko Rakognac


There are still very few transfers of new legionnaires, only the summer window has not yet been officially opened in Russia. In advance, only Lokomotiv attended to purchases of foreigners in other leagues. The Moscow club acquired the rights to defender Lucas Fasson and striker Marko Racognac for a total of € 5 million. In addition, CSKA signed Milan Gajic, but as a free agent.

Played with Malcolm and was going to Liverpool, but he is going to CSKA.  Who will replace Mario Fernandez
Played with Malcolm and was going to Liverpool, but he is going to CSKA. Who will replace Mario Fernandez

Who were bought by Russian clubs after the loan?

Christopher Martins Pereira, from Young Boys (Switzerland) to Spartak for € 6.4 million

Jorge Carrascal, from River Plate (Argentina) to CSKA Moscow for €6 million

Olakunle Olusegun, from Botev (Bulgaria) to Krasnodar for €1.2 million

Jonathan Okoronkwo, from Botev (Bulgaria) to Krasnodar for €400,000

Ifeani Nduka, from Botev (Bulgaria) to Krasnodar for €200,000

Darko Todorovic, from Red Bull Salzburg (Austria) to Akhmat for €400,000

Total: six transfers worth €14.6m.

Christopher Martins Pereira

Christopher Martins Pereira

Photo: Dmitry Golubovich, Championship

Most of the transfers of foreign players are the purchase of foreign players after loan. If Basel fails to resolve the issue with CSKA on Chalov, then Spartak closed the deal with another Swiss club quickly. The Red and Whites paid the Young Boys the €6.4 million prescribed in the contract. On the other hand, CSKA will send almost the same amount to Argentina – for the redemption of the rights to Carrascal.

The main contribution was made by Krasnodar, having made three transfers at once. The club of Sergei Galitsky bought out the Nigerians, who played in the first part of the season for the second team of the bulls in the FNL. When the main legionnaires left Krasnodar, Olusegun and Okoronkvo showed themselves in the main team. 20-year-old Olakunle is the most expensive, while his 18-year-old compatriots cost Krasnodar less.

In total, RPL clubs spent almost € 20 million on legionnaires, to be precise – € 19.6 million.

The opinion of sports lawyer Yuri Zaitsev:

— How is the system of international bank payments arranged? They go through SWIFT – payment information system. Then the money moves as follows: there is a bank in Russia, its client needs to send money, for example, to Italy. If the payment is made in euros, then it goes through a European bank. There is always a bank in the middle that makes payments in euros. Let’s say that a payment is made from our Sberbank through Raiffeisen Vienna to an Italian bank.

Now Sberbank, VTB and some Russian banks have been disconnected from SWIFT, so interbank international transactions are not available for them. And those banks that did not fall under the sanctions make payments. But it is clear that now any such payment comes with a triple check. The transaction can be verified by both the correspondent bank and the beneficiary’s bank – the conditional Italian club that sells the player. They ask for a lot of documents. In principle, everything has become more complicated, but payments are being made, so clubs can pay for the purchase of players. As I understand it, the clubs that worked with the banks that fell under the sanctions opened accounts in other banks. International transfers are available for them.

Why was Spartak able to buy Pereira from one Swiss club, while CSKA can’t get money for Chalov from another? The problem is that CSKA has a special status. The club as a legal entity personally fell under the sanctions of the Americans and the European Union. Therefore, it is unfortunately forbidden for European and American legal entities to work with the CSKA football club.

Can foreign clubs now refuse to sell players to RPL clubs in installments, demanding payment of the entire transfer amount at once? I think this is theoretically possible, but it will be necessary to look at practice. Still, there are clubs with a good credit history that have always fulfilled their obligations. It must be understood that the number of such transactions due to objective reasons will be small, and, of course, the parties will find a way to agree. Maybe the sellers will ask for some bank guarantees from the buying club. And if the payment is not executed on time, the bank will execute it.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here