Well, anyway, this is how it looks in Azerbaijan. The analysis is below is very subjective and in reality it may be a bit different, but I think, at any rate, it won’t be too different from this.
On the top of the 'food chain' we have rich clubs (approximate budgets between 15-30 million dollars), and these teams are:
(Lankaran) – belongs to billionaire shipping tycoon (read above). Almost half of the entire Azerbaijan NT plays there. Their biggest transfer was former Turkey NT forward Oktay Derelioglu.
(Baku) – several time Azerbaijan champions, sponsored by the major oil refinery company. Heavy historical affiliation with oil industry (Neftchi means "Oiler). Have players from Georgia and Moldova NTs.
(Baku)- sponsored by the International Bank of Azerbaijan. Their head coach is ukrainan Vitaliy Konkov and their main stars are former Dynamo Kyev players - Makovsky brothers (Belorussia NT players) and Nigerian Laki Idahor.
- I don't know who backs them up, but I know that they have about 5-7 different sponsors. In the squad they have Latvian NT, and former Fulham forward Andrey Stolcers and Senegal NT goalkeeper Halidu Sissoko. Plus they have very high quality players from Brazil and Argentina.
(Yevlah) - I'm not sure, but I think they are supported by the group of construction companies. Reportedly this club pays the highest wages in the country.
(Tovuz) - the owner is a very rich guy from Tovuz, Tahir Yusifov. He owns large food company, and is dedicated to make his club best in the country. Invests heavily into local football.
Clubs in good financial position, medium income clubs (approximate budgest between 5-15 million dollars)
(Imishli) - This club belongs to the "MKT" company (the monopolist of cotton production in Azerbaijan), hence the name. And this club might actually be among the richest in the country, but they have probably the worst management. They spend too much money on useless players like former Spartak and Russian NT forward Artyem Bezrodniy. But they do have quite a few good players including Macedonian NT player Zoran Baldovaliyev and a decent ukraninan coach Igor Nakonechniy.
(Agdam) - this club represents an occupied by armenians city of Agdam. The club is sponsored by one of the largest holdings of Azerbaijan, "Azersun Holding
". This club has a potential to be among the top teams, but the management doesn't pay as much attention to the team as it could have. Still, the team is doing decently well and has no monetary problems.
(Baku) - this club is a complete mystery for me. They definitely have money, but I doubt if someone knows how much exactly they have. Their head coach is serbian Peter Kurcibic and they have a couple of croatian and serbian players in the team.
Teams in shaky condition.
These teams definitely aren't poor, it just their position is not as strong as that of those in the top group. But again, I may be wrong (approximate budget between 1-5 million dollars)
(Qusar). They don’t have anything special except for 19-year old Nigerian striker Ahmed Tijani who is among top scorers in the league. The club expects to sell him at the end of the season with a good profit.
(Baku) – the only club in Azerbaijan that has no foreign players and probably the youngest one too. Considered by many as a club for youth.
(Gazah) They try hard, but they still have a lot to do.