“We accepted the comments of the RFU”
The decision to call new presidential elections in the RPL was made at a general league meeting on Tuesday. This was told by the general director of Lokomotiv Vasily Kiknadze. He emphasized that the participants agreed with the comments of the RFU.
“The meeting was dedicated to certain issues related to the election of the leader of the league. Clubs reviewed the application. We came to the following: we accepted the comments of the RFU, in this regard, we decided in accordance with the regulations to set a deadline for nominating candidates for the head until February 4. March 17, we are planning the election of the head of the RPL. An election commission has been formed. In accordance with the recommendations of the RFU, amendments to the charter will be prepared by June 30. We want to note that the RFU itself recognized the need to change the adjustments in its documents. Today, the question was discussed that in accordance with the current regulations of the RFU and FIFA, their requirements are mandatory for clubs that are members of the RFU, ”the Championship official quotes.
He also noted that the meeting was held in a working atmosphere, and no conflicts arose during the discussions.
“The topic of today's meeting is working. An action plan has been outlined. Colleagues asked me to speak because of my degree of media. Not because I’m somehow connected with the chair I occupy, ”Kiknadze added.
The current head of the RPL Sergey Pryadkin was re-elected to his post in mid-January. However, the RFU considered that the league did not comply with all the necessary standards during the elections. In particular, the Russian Football Union was unhappy that the league had not notified him about them 40 days before the election. The moment that Pryadkin had no competitors also raised questions.
As a result, the RFU recognized the elections as invalid and ordered the RPL to hold new ones within three months “in full compliance with the principles and requirements of the FIFA and UEFA charters, the FIFA model election code, the charter and the RFU election rules”. RPL did not appeal this decision. New elections will be held on March 17.
The main contender for the post, of course, is the current head of the league Pryadkin, who is supported by all the clubs. For example, the sports director of Tambov, Pavel Khudyakov, after a high-profile RFU verdict, said that there simply is no alternative to the functionary, who has been the head of the RPL for 13 years.
“All 16 teams voted for Pryadkin, so we are now a little shocked. At the re-election, we will also support Pryadkina, this is a serious leader. There is no alternative to him, ”Khudyakov said.
Thus, now it can be assumed that the current president will retain his post at the re-election. He has sufficient experience and enjoys absolute support from clubs, and therefore it is not surprising that it will be difficult to find an alternative.
However, right now in Russian football there are several figures that could replace Sergei Gennadievich. The name of Ilya Gerkus is called as one of the candidates in the media. He successfully worked for a long time at Zenit, and then became president of Lokomotiv, who, under the leadership of a functionary, won the Russian championship 14 years later and returned to the Champions League.
Herkus proved to be an experienced and competent manager, but soon left the capital's club. It is also important that he has successful experience in television. Prior to Lokomotiv, Herkus worked in League TV and helped launch the Our Football channel in HD quality. It is curious that earlier the ex-president of Loko was also an adviser to Pryadkin.
Also suitable candidate is another Petersburger Maxim Mitrofanov. He previously, like Herkus, worked at Zenit, and at the moment is the Deputy Secretary General of the RFU and Director for Development.
You can also recall the former captain of the “Zenith” Roman Shirokov. After his career, he worked as the sports director of Dynamo. The ex-player of the national team stayed in this post for a year and a half - in 2019, he resigned of his own free will.
“The club just left the FNL, took 8th place. Nobody wants to give money just like that, even if it's Dynamo. Yes, and what was to invest in - even his own stadium was not at that time. It is good that VTB gave about half the minimum budget. Plus Strzhalkovsky incredible efforts collected the remaining 50%. If it weren’t for him, maybe the club would have flown to PFL a long time ago, ”Shirokov told of his work at Dynamo.
Shirokov is undoubtedly a talented leader who is well versed in the topic and has many ideas on how to change Russian football for the better. However, its main disadvantage is the lack of experience. Nevertheless, Shirokov is not yet 40, and this can become a problem in such a responsible and important post.
Another candidate for the presidency of the RPL may be RFU Secretary General Alexander Alaev. Information that he could go on increasing appeared in the media last year. He has been working in the RFU for quite some time and has done a lot, for example, for the development of beach football. And after Vitaly Mutko Alaev left, he even headed the federation on a temporary basis, but did not stand for election.
Nevertheless, Alaev, despite his youth, is already a rather experienced leader, well acquainted with the problems of domestic football. He worked a lot in various positions and established himself as a competent manager of a new generation.