European Football - Russian clubs must pay fee to hire foreign coach

Russian top-flight clubs will have to pay a levy next season if they hire a foreign coach.

European Football - Russian clubs must pay fee to hire foreign coach

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Dan Petrescu

"Starting from June 1, any Premier League club whose head coach is not a Russian citizen must pay a one-time fee of five million roubles. First division clubs will pay 2.5 million roubles," the RFU said in a statement on its website.

The rule also applies to coaches who have dual citizenship and the money will go to support youth soccer in Russia, the RFU said.

RFU chief Nikolai Tolstykh said Mikhail Gershkovich, who heads the Russian coaches' union, was behind the idea.

"He feels we must support our own people," Tolstykh said.

Nine of the 16 Russian Premier League clubs have a foreign coach, including champions Zenit St Petersburg (Italian Luciano Spalletti), big spenders Anzhi Makhachkala (Dutchman Guus Hiddink), as well as Moscow clubs Dynamo (Romanian Dan Petrescu) and Lokomotiv (Croatian Slaven Bilic).

Sergei Galitsky, the billionaire boss of FK Krasnodar who are coached by Serbian Slavoljub Muslin, blasted the decision.

"Pure communists," Galitsky wrote on his Twitter account.

"They think Russian clubs make too much money so they think what else they can do to rob us. Call it the 'Gershkovich salary' but our club will not pay him anything."

The Russian national team coach is Italian Fabio Capello.

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