There are many reasons why Ufa would be a good choice for a football club when considering registering a team in Russia. First of all is the ownership structure, which is very convenient and easy to work with. The club consists of a group of investors who have bought the rights to a considerable piece of land that was used historically for the Olympics many years ago. All that’s left now is to develop the land and build a stadium on it.
The current team Ufa is registered with the Russian soccer association (soccerski nasdaq). The club was founded by the Russian investor Roman Abramovich in 1999 and is presently ranked third in the entire league table, just behind Zenit and Spartak Moscow. The owner owes no money to the team, instead relying on sponsors and advertising companies. The owner expects to make around 1.45 million roubles from the deal within two years, but has already managed to make more than half of this so far. His personal wealth and investment are obviously impressive but there must be something more behind his success.
Financial analysts believe that the reason why Roman Abramovich has chosen to register a team in ufa is because he has a vision, namely that the company can achieve great success by taking advantage of the huge untapped potential within the Russian market. As such many financial analysts and businessmen expect a phenomenal growth rate, which could rise to around five percent per year. This is based on the fact that about three million people a year, live in the Ufa Region, which is almost the same size as the city of Moscow itself.
The potential, even with a limited number of players, is enormous. According to media reports, one Russian millionaire told the press that he is ready to invest a few hundred million roubles in order to see his company become completely bankrupt and liquidate its shares. In order for a company to become bankrupt, it has to lose a significant amount of money. For some time now, financial experts have been predicting that the rouble will soon lose a large percentage of its value, but this prediction has not yet been confirmed. The reasons for this are mainly due to the slow growth of the Russian economy, low oil and gas prices and low export volumes.
However, despite all the negative factors, the potential of ufa seems enormous. The owner, who has also invested in other leading Russian businesses, has seen a steady growth in the company’s sales over the last couple of years. The first stage was considered a difficult one, particularly since the team had just won the very first championship, but they managed to reverse the situation and improved their performance in the next season. They reached the semi-finals of the Ufa Cup, which is similar to the Champions League in Europe and was able to defeat FC Barcelona en route to their first major domestic title in 14 years.
The semi-final against eventual winners FC Barcelona was one of the most difficult matches in Ufa’s history. After a pulsating opening, FC Barcelona took advantage of a sloppy refereeing decision which allowed them to take the lead before halftime. Despite having the ball at their backside for the majority of the first half, the FCA did not manage to create any clear chances, with neither Alves nor Boateng creating a chance for themselves during the half hour. Despite being at a disadvantage, FC Barcelona paid tribute to their rivals’ excellent performance by taking full control of the game and cruising to the victory. A couple of weeks later, Ufa again qualified for the quarter finals of the Ufa Cup, where they faced arch-rivals Gazza FC.
Both teams started brightly, with Alves making a great save from substitute goalkeeper Miguel Delgado in the opening period. The Argentine keeper then made another fine save from substitute goalkeeper Paco Cesar to secure the win for FC Barcelona, securing a deserved promotion for Ufa. Whilst this may have been a disappointment to Ufa, their one-year-old football club has proven that they are amongst the leading sides in Spain, following their impressive performance at the regional championships this season. One year on, Alves has impressed the coaching staff at FC Barcelona, who is now contemplating signing the promising goalkeeper on a permanent basis.
Meanwhile, Gazza FC was leaving with just one goal to show for their 5 game Ufa season, with none of the goals coming from the three forwards. Despite the lack of scoring, Gazza did enough to put themselves above their Ufa opponents, but this still leaves them well behind in the standings, with the Catalans now the overwhelming favourites for the promotion spots. Despite the defeat, Gazza is still a strong contender for the Claus Majewski trophy, which will be presented next season. Whoever is handed the responsibility of lifting the Ufa Cup will know that they are embarking on a long and arduous journey back to the top of Spanish football. One year on from a disappointing defeat at the first time of asking, Ufa look back on their campaign as a success and expect to be in the driving seat come next season’s final game.