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The Russian Football Premier League[1] (Russian: Чемпионат России по футболу), or Russian Premier League,[2] is the top division professional association football league in Russia. The competition is administered by the Russian Football Premier League (ru).[3] There are 16 teams in the competition. The league currently has two Champions League places, however, from the 2017–18 season, the league will have three Champions League qualifying spots given to the top three teams at the end of the season and the two Europa League spots will be allocated to the fourth and fifth placed teams. The cup winner qualifies for the UEFA Europa League without play-offs. The last two teams are relegated to the Russian National Football League 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. The league is currently called Rosgosstrakh Russian Football Championship[4] for sponsorship reasons.

Russian Premier League
Founded 2001; 16 years ago (2001)
Country Russia
Confederation UEFA
Number of teams 16
Level on pyramid 1
Relegation to Football National League
Domestic cup(s) Russian Cup
International cup(s) Champions League
Europa League
Current champions Spartak Moscow (10th title)
(2016–17)
Most championships Spartak Moscow (10 titles)
Website www.RFPL.org
2017–18 Russian Premier League

Spartak Moscow is the current Russian Premier League champion.

Contents

HistoryEdit

After the dissolution 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 six 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.

CompetitionEdit

 
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).[5] Under the current autumn-spring calendar, the league takes a three-month winter break from mid-December until mid-March.

Youth championshipEdit

The Youth championship (Russian: Молодежное первенство), also known as Youth teams championship (Russian: Первенство молодёжных команд), Reserve team tournament (Russian: Турнир 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 Spartak-2 and Zenit-2, playing in the Russian Football National League.

Youth Champions since 2001Edit

Russian Teams in European ChampionshipsEdit

Russia are currently sixth in the UEFA coefficient rankings. Russia recently overtook Portugal and are 2 points behind France. The best teams in Europe as of November 2016:

No. Team Pts
16 Zenit St. Petersburg 80.386
41 Rubin Kazan 43.386
48 PFC CSKA Moscow 37.886
59 FC Anzhi Makhachkala 30.386
67 FC Krasnodar 27.386
69 Dynamo Moscow 26.886

Current clubsEdit

New StadiumsEdit

In 2016 new stadiums opened. CSKA Moscow got a new stadium named Arena CSKA, later VEB Arena. It holds a capacity of 30,000. FC Krasnodar got the most modern stadium in Europe named Krasnodar Stadium. It holds a capacity of 34,000.

Champions and top scorersEdit

Season Champion Runner-up Third place Top scorer
1992* Spartak Moscow Spartak Vladikavkaz Dynamo Moscow   Vali Gasimov (Dinamo Moscow, 16 goals – 1–8 place)
  Yuri Matveyev (Uralmash Yekaterinburg, 20 goals – 9–20 place)
1993* Spartak Moscow (2) Rotor Volgograd Dynamo Moscow (2)   Victor Panchenko (KamAZ Naberezhnye Chelny, 21 goals)
1994* Spartak Moscow (3) Dynamo Moscow Lokomotiv Moscow   Igor Simutenkov (Dinamo Moscow, 21 goals)
1995* Spartak-Alania Vladikavkaz Lokomotiv Moscow Spartak Moscow   Oleg Veretennikov (Rotor Volgograd, 25 goals)
1996* Spartak Moscow (4) Alania Vladikavkaz (2) Rotor Volgograd   Aleksandr Maslov (Rostselmash, 23 goals)
1997* Spartak Moscow (5) Rotor Volgograd (2) Dynamo Moscow (3)   Oleg Veretennikov (Rotor Volgograd, 22 goals)
1998** Spartak Moscow (6) CSKA Moscow Lokomotiv Moscow (2)   Oleg Veretennikov (Rotor Volgograd, 22 goals)
1999** Spartak Moscow (7) Lokomotiv Moscow (2) CSKA Moscow   Georgi Demetradze (Alania Vladikavkaz, 21 goals)
2000** Spartak Moscow (8) Lokomotiv Moscow (3) Torpedo Moscow   Dmitri Loskov (Lokomotiv Moscow, 18 goals)
2001** Spartak Moscow (9) Lokomotiv Moscow (4) Zenit Saint Petersburg   Dmitri Vyazmikin (Torpedo Moscow, 18 goals)
2002 Lokomotiv Moscow CSKA Moscow (2) Spartak Moscow (2)   Rolan Gusev (CSKA Moscow, 15 goals)
  Dmitri Kirichenko (CSKA Moscow, 15 goals)
2003 CSKA Moscow Zenit Saint Petersburg Rubin Kazan   Dmitri Loskov (Lokomotiv Moscow, 14 goals)
2004 Lokomotiv Moscow (2) CSKA Moscow (2) Krylia Sovetov Samara   Aleksandr Kerzhakov (Zenit St. Petersburg, 18 goals)
2005 CSKA Moscow (2) Spartak Moscow Lokomotiv Moscow (3)   Dmitri Kirichenko (Moscow, 14 goals)
2006 CSKA Moscow (3) Spartak Moscow (2) Lokomotiv Moscow (4)   Roman Pavlyuchenko (Spartak Moscow, 18 goals)
2007 Zenit Saint Petersburg Spartak Moscow (3) CSKA Moscow (2)   Roman Pavlyuchenko (Spartak Moscow, 14 goals)
  Roman Adamov (Moscow, 14 goals)
2008 Rubin Kazan CSKA Moscow (4) Dynamo Moscow (4)   Vágner Love (CSKA Moscow, 20 goals)
2009 Rubin Kazan (2) Spartak Moscow (4) Zenit Saint Petersburg (2)   Welliton (Spartak Moscow, 21 goals)
2010 Zenit Saint Petersburg (2) CSKA Moscow (5) Rubin Kazan (2)   Welliton (Spartak Moscow, 19 goals)
2011–12 Zenit Saint Petersburg (3) Spartak Moscow (5) CSKA Moscow (3)   Seydou Doumbia (CSKA Moscow, 28 goals)
2012–13 CSKA Moscow (4) Zenit Saint Petersburg (2) Anzhi Makhachkala   Yura Movsisyan (Krasnodar/Spartak Moscow, 13 goals)
  Wánderson (Krasnodar, 13 goals)
2013–14 CSKA Moscow (5) Zenit Saint Petersburg (3) Lokomotiv Moscow (5)   Seydou Doumbia (CSKA Moscow, 18 goals)
2014–15 Zenit Saint Petersburg (4) CSKA Moscow (6) Krasnodar   Hulk (Zenit Saint Petersburg, 15 goals)
2015–16 CSKA Moscow (6) Rostov Zenit Saint Petersburg (3)   Fyodor Smolov (Krasnodar, 20 goals)
2016–17 Spartak Moscow (10) CSKA Moscow (7) Zenit Saint Petersburg (4)   Fyodor Smolov (Krasnodar, 18 goals)

Performance by clubEdit

Club Winners Runners-up Third place Years won
Spartak Moscow
10
5
2
1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2017
CSKA Moscow
6
7
3
2003, 2005, 2006, 2013, 2014, 2016
Zenit St. Petersburg
4
3
4
2007, 2010, 2012, 2015
Lokomotiv Moscow
2
4
5
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
Rostov
0
1
0
Torpedo Moscow
0
0
1
Krylia Sovetov Samara
0
0
1
Anzhi Makhachkala
0
0
1
Krasnodar
0
0
1

UEFA RankingEdit

All-time tableEdit

As of as of the end of the 2016–17 season
Rank Club1 Seasons Spells Most
recent
season
Played2 Won Drawn Lost Goals Points3 Gold Silver Bronze Notes
1 Spartak Moscow 25 1 773 428 185 160 1424-816 1469 10 5 2
2 CSKA Moscow 25 1 773 406 180 187 1148-731 1398 6 7 3
3 Lokomotiv Moscow 25 1 773 375 218 180 1131-718 1343 2 4 5
4 Zenit Saint Petersburg 22 2 682 334 192 156 1085-680 1194 4 3 4
5 Dynamo Moscow 24 1 2015-16 742 307 212 223 1053-865 1133 - 1 4
6 Krylya Sovetov Samara 24 2 2016-17 746 233 207 306 793-971 906 - - 1
7 Rostov 23 3 712 207 206 299 758-959 827 - 1 -
8 Torpedo Moscow 16 2 2014–15 492 188 142 162 625-598 706 - - 1
9 Rubin Kazan 14 1 434 184 122 128 570-434 674 2 - 2
10 Alania Vladikavkaz 16 3 2012–13 489 179 109 201 630-663 646 1 2 - Disbanded and reestablished 2014
11 Rotor Volgograd 13 1 2004 402 151 109 142 562-506 562 - 2 1
12 Saturn Moscow Oblast 12 1 2010 360 120 121 119 396-378 481 - - -
13 Amkar Perm 13 1 404 114 131 159 368-478 473 - - -
14 Akhmat Grozny 10 2 314 102 77 135 322-404 383 4 - - -
15 Moscow 9 1 2009 270 92 83 95 295-311 359 - - - Disbanded 2010
16 Anzhi Makhachkala 9 3 284 86 83 115 299-353 341 - - 1
17 Shinnik Yaroslavl 10 4 2008 304 85 86 133 294-403 341 - - -
18 Ural Sverdlovsk Oblast 9 2 278 93 58 127 337-421 337 - - -
19 Kuban Krasnodar 9 5 2015-16 284 75 96 113 304-379 321 - - -
20 Krasnodar 6 1 194 88 54 52 295-213 318 - - 1
21 Tom Tomsk 9 2016-17 284 75 77 132 259-395 302 - - -
22 Chernomorets Novorossiysk 8 2 2003 248 74 65 109 274-357 287 - - -
23 Lokomotiv Nizhny Novgorod 8 2 2000 248 68 63 117 233-356 267 - - - Disbanded 2006
24 Zhemchuzhina Sochi 7 1 1999 222 61 57 104 263-390 240 - - - Disbanded 2003 and 2013, reestablished 2007
25 Spartak Nalchik 6 1 2011–12 194 54 57 83 207-239 219 - - -
26 Energia-Tekstilshchik Kamyshin 5 1 1996 158 53 43 62 172-177 202 - - -
27 KAMAZ Naberezhnye Chelny 5 1 1997 162 51 32 79 198-253 179 5 - - -
28 Uralan Elista 5 2 2003 150 36 39 75 138-225 147 - - - Disbanded 2005, reestablished 2014
29 Luch-Energia Vladivostok 4 2 2008 124 34 32 58 116-187 134 - - -
30 Baltika Kaliningrad 3 1 1998 98 30 37 31 114-111 127 - - -
31 Fakel Voronezh 4 3 2001 124 31 29 64 101-175 122 - - -
32 Dynamo Stavropol 3 1 1994 94 27 23 44 94-125 104 - - - Disbanded 2014, re-established 2015
33 Ufa 3 1 90 25 26 39 73-108 101 - - -
34 Tyumen 5 3 1998 154 25 26 103 116-326 101 - - -
35 Volga Nizhny Novgorod 3 1 2013–14 104 25 16 63 87-171 91 - - -
36 Mordovia Saransk 3 2 2015-16 90 20 22 48 82-150 82 - - -
37 Okean Nakhodka 2 1 1993 64 22 14 28 65-83 80 - - - Disbanded 2015
38 Khimki 3 1 2009 90 17 23 50 86-151 74 - - -
39 Asmaral Moscow 2 1 1993 60 19 11 30 74-102 68 - - - Disbanded 1999
40 Sokol Saratov 2 1 2002 60 17 13 30 55-87 64 - - -
41 Arsenal Tula 2 2 60 14 11 35 38-86 53 - - -
42 Lada Togliatti 2 2 1996 64 10 16 38 42-105 46 - - -
43 Orenburg 1 1 2016-17 30 7 9 14 25-36 30 - - -
44 Sibir Novosibirsk 1 1 2010 30 4 8 18 34-58 20 - - -
Competing in RFPL
Competing in FNL (2nd tier)
Competing in PFL (3rd tier)
Competing in amateur leagues (below 3rd tier)
Defunct (see notes)
Notes
  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.