It is not only Zenit in St. Petersburg that plays football

In Berlin, Hertha Bundesliga merged with the Union, representing the eastern part of the capital, the former GDR. The Roman derby between Lazio and Roma is one of the hottest in Serie A. There are six Premier League teams in London. Even in the French capital, FC Paris play in Ligue 2, which, at the end of this season, can join PSG in Ligue 1.

There are five RPL clubs in Moscow, and even Torpedo is on its way. And only Zenit fans do not get tired of shouting: “One city – one team”. Meanwhile, three St. Petersburg clubs play in the PFL-2, the third division of Russian football in terms of ranking. Zenith-2, which is a transitional step from the youth group to the main one, is not taken into account.

Dynamo revived for the fifth time

Recently, Lenfilm hosted a presentation of a book by football historian, journalist and author Alexei Dunayevsky Petrograd. Soccer checkers. The author, not without pride, said that the Leningrad Dynamo is older than the one in Moscow and comes from the sports club organized in 1922. Uritsky. In it, in their spare time from the arrest of the robbers, including Lenka Panteleev himself, the Chekists played football.

Before the war, Dinamo Leningrad was considered the strongest club in the city, where Zenit’s best players also went to improve their skills. Among them were Evgeny Arkhangelsky and Boris Oreshkin, who reinforced their teammates in Moscow during the legendary tour of the United Kingdom. The Dinamo players took part in the exclusion matches, but in the post-war years the blue and whites gradually found themselves in the shadow of Zenit.

The collapse of the Union “Dynamo” met in the second All-Union League and migrated to the first Russian. Due to lack of funding, the team lost its professional status for the first time in 2000. The following year, the head of the company Stroyimpuls Sergey Amelin undertook to revive the old glory of Dynamo football. He set ambitious goals: to reach the Premier League by the age of 300 in St. Petersburg and in another two years to play in European competitions. Only the ambitious president was quickly replaced.

At the end of the 2002 season, after which Dinamo finished fourth, 19 points were deducted from the club and they dropped to 16th place in the table. The reason was the violation of the limit by the legionnaires. The story is dark. Russian passports for former Moldovan Oleg Shishkin and former Belarusian Alexander Chaika and Andrei Lavrik, issued in the Lipetsk region, appear to have been forged. For violating the limit to the legionnaires, the blue and whites were credited with technical defeats.

Following this story, Amelin no longer remembered either the Premier League or the European Championships and soon left the presidency altogether. The team once again lost its professional status. Another construction mogul, Petrotrest chief Leonid Tsapu, has decided to revive it. However, he either entered into an agreement with Dynamo for the use of a well-known brand, or exposed his team under the Petrotrest flag. Until the construction company was declared bankrupt.

The next benefactor of the blue and whites was Boris Rotenberg. Having received reliable funding, Dynamo under the leadership of Alexander Tochilin was preparing to aim for a promotion and many fans were already looking forward to the St. Petersburg derby in the Premier League. It is only supposed that an order was given for the development of football in Sochi and Dinamo Petersburg migrated in full force to the Black Sea coast.

And I had to start from the beginning. The revived Dynamo played in amateur tournaments for two seasons and only took up professional status last summer. The team coached by the well-known midfielder of Zenit and the national team of Moldova, Alexander Kurteyan, does not set big goals for this season. The tournament in the PFL-2 zone, where the teams of St. Petersburg compete, is held in two phases. According to the results of the first, 12 clubs were identified, which continue to fight for the rise. Dynamo players are among them.

“Leningrad” will not repeat the fate of “Tosno”

Officially, “Leningrad” represents the region. Leningrad, of course. With the exception of a few matches played in Tikhvin, this team pleases St. Petersburg fans with its game. Many consider Leningrad to be the successor to Tosno, who played one season in the Premier League and won the Russian Cup in the spring of 2018.

It is true that even the triumph of the cup did not allow the team to play in European matches. The license documents were submitted too late and by then Tosno had accumulated multi-million dollar debts. They owed everything, from players to stadiums they rented. With the exhibition of the Russian Cup at the stand of the Leningrad Region at SPIEF-2018, Tosno declared bankruptcy.

The “Leningrad” was created in the same year. The general manager of the new club, Igor Levitt, having controlled Tosno, decided that there was no reason to take on the duties of even the owner of the Russian Cup. You have to start life in football with a clean slate. From the beginning, a course of matching income and expenses was followed. In addition, initially, the construction companies operating in the Leningrad region expressed their readiness to support the team and only after some time, the management of the Leningrad region introduced the number of shareholders on the initiative of Governor Alexander Drozdenko.

The task of forcibly raising the class had not been set before “Leningrad”. They wanted to build an infrastructure, create a team, based on the football students of the city and the region and gain experience. That played a tough joke on Leningrad. This season, the club, led by a well-known former footballer and already experienced coach Sergei Kiriakov, finally turned to the transition from the second division to the first. Yes, there is only one ticket from the PFL Zone Tournament, and among the opponents is Yaroslavl Shinnik, who collapsed unexpectedly in the PFL-2. In order for Yaroslavl to return to the position it deserves in Russian football, Vadim Evseev was called upon to revive Shinnik. The match for the only ticket is not only on the field, but also on the sidelines. In the first part of the tournament, Yaroslavl’s team unexpectedly lost to Olymp-Dolgoprudny-2 near Moscow. If this team were among the applicants for a PFL ticket, the difference between Sinnick and Leningrad would be only four points.

In Yaroslavl, they decided to play it safe. The fact is that according to the regulations, Volna, which represents the Nizhny Novgorod region, had to deduct three points for violating the protocol against Covid. They will be removed, but after the end of the tournament. Meanwhile, Volna, not Olymp-Dolgoprudny-2, was among the 12 strongest. Volzhan “Shinnik” has won twice and now the difference from “Leningradets” is seven points. Nevertheless, Kiryakov believes it is possible and necessary to compete for a ticket to the PFL. To do this, you must play the remaining 12 matches as 12 finals.

Our “Star” with you

Another St. Petersburg team in the PFL-2 has consistently won the city championships and the official Northwest Amateur Tournament for many years. In the beginning, it bore the name of the sponsoring company and only in 2014 it started to be called Zvezda. The sponsor was retained. Interestingly, when the club finally decided to try its hand at professional football in 2019, most of the experienced players refused to sign contracts. It was even more profitable to play in the city league financially than in the PFL.

Zvezda leaders bet on young players and a year ago set up their own football school. The club completed its premiere in the 14th line of the Western Zone standings, remaining in it due to the early end of the league due to the limitations of the coronavirus. The following season, Zvezda finished eighth and also became the winner of two currently distinguished nominations: “For the largest number of young players on the team” and “For the largest number of home players on the team”.

In the summer, the team was led by Anver Koneev, who had worked in the Zenit system for a long time. He helped Vladislav Radimov and Konstantin Zuryanov and was also the coach of the Russian youth team at the Granatkin Monument. So far, Zvezda has not advertised ambitious plans to increase order. Behind this club there is neither a district nor a sports club with a long tradition. Only Zvezda has its own fans, though few.

And is it bad that in St. Petersburg there is not only Zenit? Now FC Yadro, which bears the name of the construction company that grants it, is also considering professional status. So far, this team is typically amateur, but, as its coach, former Zenit midfielder Alexander Gorshkov, pointed out, the work in all areas is professional.

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