So Torpedo Moscow have been banned from registering new players to play for the club in the Russian Premier League down to unpaid debts, who's fault is this? Aleksandr Tukmanov. The definition of an awful chairman, but aside from the unpaid debts why? Why is Tukmanov so hated by Torpedo fans? Why is he hated so much so that the club's fans have made a statement saying he has no choice but to leave the club? I'll give you a brief insight into the situation in this article and hopefully answer these questions.
Who is Aleksandr Tukmanov? He was a defender in his playing career who spent most of his career, conveniently, at Torpedo Moscow between 1969 and 1975. He also played for Spartak Moscow, Torpedo Vladimir and Fakel Vorenezh. After his playing career Tukmanov was a major director in the Russian FA between 1998 and 2005 before becoming Torpedo Moscow chairman in 2007.
So why is he hated by Torpedo fans? Here's where it gets incredibly complicated. Russian football is very different to English football so what i'm about to tell you may be hard to follow but give it your best shot! Here's a bit of history of Torpedo Moscow that must be told. Torpedo Moscow was formed in 1924 by the AMO automobile plant, which was renamed to the Stalin Autombile plant, abbreviation ZIS, and finally Likhachev Automible plant, abbreviation ZIL. ZIL owned the club until the mid 90's when a fall out occured which ended up with the club being sold to the Luzhniki corporation. After being sold to Luzhniki the club had to leave their iconic stadium, Eduard Streltsov stadium, and moved to the biggest stadium in Russia, The Luzhniki stadium. Along with having to move grounds the club was renamed Torpedo-Luzhniki between 1996-97 before being renamed as Torpedo Moscow.
There's still more! Following the sale of Torpedo to Luzhniki ZIL created their own team, Torpedo-ZIL in 1997 which made a debut in the Russian Third Division before reaching the Russian Premier League in 2000 where they played Torpedo Moscow for 3 seasons before Torpedo-ZIL was renamed FC Moscow following the sale of the club to MMC Norilsk Nickel in 2003. ZIL made yet another Torpedo-ZIL in 2003 which disbanded in 2011 after they failed to succeed in getting promotion to the Russian First Division.
Back to Torpedo Moscow, under SC Luzhniki ownership they were relegated from the Premier League in 2006 and then the First Division in 2008. In early 2009 Luzhniki sold the club back to ZIL. Where it was speculated that ZIL would merge Torpedo ZIL (2003) and Torpedo Moscow. This didn't happen however and Torpedo spent 2009 in the Amateur Football League, the 4th tier of Russian football. Torpedo gained 2 successive promotions to get back into the Russian First Division in 2011 and in the 2013-14 season they gained promotion to the Russian Premier League through the play offs. Right, that's the end of the history, confusing right!
So you may be wondering why I've just listed Torpedo's history that is incredibly confusing. Well the reason is because Tukmanov is blamed for a lot of the bad things that have happened in Torpedo's history from the 90's onwards. The following article i'm going to quote is from the clubs ultra movement, Zapad 5's, website (http://www.zapad5.ru/news/158 if anyone wants to read it.) The article says "it's you after moving the club in Luzhniki in the mid-90s created a command-clone "Torpedo-ZIL", which for many years has divided fans. This is when your control RFU Stadium "Torpedo" them. Eduard Streltsov fraudulently got into private hands and was sold for a penny to Mikhail Prokhorov." The article is translated directly from Russian to English using Google translate so it may be a bit hard to understand but i'm sure you get the gist of it.
There's more still! Where the article says that the Eduard Streltsov stadium was sold to Mikhail Prokhorov it goes on to say "Because of you, "Torpedo" Moscow became the first club to have moved to play in the suburbs on a regular basis - not because the stadium is being built, but because you personally have proved profitable." This is in relation to Torpedo's current situation, the club plays in Ramenskoye, which according to Google maps is a 47km journey that takes 56 mins without traffic and a mammoth 1 hour 53 minutes with traffic, all because Tukmanov sold the clubs stadium to Mr Prokhorov and refused to pay the excessive rent costs to play home matches there.
Next Tukmanov is partly blamed for the clubs failure in the Russian Premier League this season as he sold the clubs best player Oleg Vlasov to fellow promoted side Mordovia Saransk and let the clubs manager Aleksandr Borodyuk leave the club at the end of his contract, Tukmanov is blamed for not fighting hard enough to keep Borodyuk. However the article was written on the 11th August when Torpedo were bottom with 0 points from 2 games and a minus 10 goal difference since then they have ground out a 1-1 draw at home to Amkar Perm and grabbed a 2-0 away win to FC Ural to leave the club in 10th, 3 points away from the relegation play off zone.
Finally the article says "And now, be reasonable. Be the first ever man. You have to admit that they can not provide the "Torpedo" no development. You are not able to lead the club of modern Premier League.You can not attract a decent budget, build a marketing job, increase the audience and attract sponsors.
You need to realize that the history of the club store and transmit to future generations not someone, and fans. That in 50 or 100 years, our grandchildren, great-grandchildren to know about you something good, you should immediately leave the club and ensure its transmission to the reliable hands." Tukmanov, despite selling the clubs stadium for profit, cannot develop the team. the fans feel that with him the club will languish in the bottom reaches of the Russian Premier League, a situation not good enough for a team that in the early 2000's was in the UEFA Cup before being relegated.
The article ends with saying "You have to leave the club before the break in the championship. Do you have time to find an investor to gain in the offseason and give him full control of the team. We are waiting. This should be your last few months in the "Torpedo". No other choice. The clock is ticking ..." A pretty chilling threat when you consider that Zapad 5 probably make up the majority of the fans that attend games in Ramenskoye. It should be interesting to see what happens in March, after the winter break, if Tukmanov is still at the club.
Hopefully this article explained why Tukmanov is so hated by the clubs fans and it gives you a brief insight into Russian football because unfortunately Torpedo Moscow aren't the only team to suffer circumstances like I've listed above, Torpedo have been incredibly lucky to rise to the top again and not go bust like many a team since Torpedo's demise in 2007. It's a weird footballing world in Russia!