Teams: dinamo kyiv,benfica,and russian sport
It sucks realy,third division...oh well.:thmbdown:
Torpedo holed below the water line
Three-time Soviet champions FC Torpedo Moskva look destined to start next season in the Russian third division to the horror of club legend Valentin Ivanov, who said: "I thought this team could never even be relegated."
Ivanov was among the stars of the Torpedo side that first took the Soviet title in 1960, the same year the USSR won the UEFA European Championship, while the likes of Valeri Voronin, Viktor Shustikov and Slava Metreveli helped secure further crowns in 1965 and 1976, not to mention eight USSR Cups. However, all they have won since independence is the 1992/93 Russian Cup.
Having finished in the top five of the Premier-Liga several times in the early 2000s, they were relegated for the first time in their history in 2006. Then the club lost most of their leading players after a sixth-placed first division finish in 2007, amid mounting financial problems. "I thought this team could never even be relegated," Ivanov told uefa.com.
Belarussian international Maksim Romaschenko, for one, was less than impressed by the new terms Torpedo offered him at the end of 2007. "The salary they proposed was laughable," said the 32-year-old, now at Bursaspor. "It was a humiliating contract. I would rather have ended my career than sign this agreement. I have too much self-respect."
Finances certainly played a part as Torpedo nosedived towards another relegation this term, although coach Vyacheslav Daev told uefa.com that rumours of a merger with Premier-Liga outfit FC Moskva had not helped either: "We could not buy new players. There was also pressure because of the speculation about FC Moskva. The players thought, 'why bother if the team is going out of business anyway?'."
The head of the board of directors, Vladimir Aleshin, is thought to be still in talks about throwing in Torpedo's lot with Moskva, or even brokering a deal that would enable them to take up FC Sportakademclub Moskva's first division place. Ivanov, meanwhile, is hoping one of Russia's newly wealthy oligarchs will lend a hand. "I believe that with their help we can get back to the top," he said.
Daev battling on
Daev, at least, is determined to carry on the fight, even if Torpedo have no other option than to begin the 2009 campaign in the third tier. "I don't want to blame just one person," he said of the team's low ebb. "I also made mistakes and am ready to work to put them right, even in the second division. We have to get back to our rightful place."
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