The World Financial Association (WFA), together with its thirty-two member countries, is an international business association. Among its numerous activities are six international soccer tournaments, five of which are played in Russia. The association does not have any player association or player council. One of its major members, FIFA, the governing body of world soccer, has a youth division based in Russia.
According to the World Bank, Ufa plays a crucial role in helping developing countries like Russia, Brazil, India and China to develop the infrastructure required for football. The financial results of Ufa, the health of its finances and its sound financial position persuaded the international perspective, the association said. The Russian capital ‘Ufa,’ the country’s second largest region of the Volga River area of Bashkortostan, is on about 1200 kilometres from Moscow. The chief port of the region is in St Petersburg and it also houses the biggest Siberian oil refinery.
The chief difference between the Ufa financially strong and the weak is the enormous amount of resources it receives every year. It received more than one-third of its total revenue (over one billion roubles) in the last twelve months. This means that in one year Ufa had revenues over one-third of a billion roubles. This is way more than the annual revenues of some of its fellow associations including the Hyundai consortium that formed a similar association, the Qatar Football Association, and the Hyundai A-league that play in Australia.
In September last year, Ufa successfully completed the acquisition of FC Shakhtar of Romania. The organization now has two stadiums – the Olympic Stadium in Kharkov and the VTB Arena – as well as the VTB Arena itself, which is home to the national basketball team. Furthermore, it was signed one year ago by Sheikh bin Jassim, who is the owner of FC Barcelona and is responsible for the successful completion of the negotiations for the mega deal.
Besides the major financial gains, there are other advantages that Ufa has. First, due to the huge financial aid they received, Ufa was able to significantly increase its share of the Russian sport industry. Second, the signing of the agreement with VTB showed that Ufa has deep financial backing which means that it is not just buying an attractive project, but rather a project of high quality and long-term value. Finally, in terms of the soccer transfer market, signing a three-year agreement with Ufa represents a significant amount of money and is a signal of the company’s interest in the sport in general.
On the other hand, signing a three-year agreement with FC Shakhtar represents only a part of the total amount that the shareholders have given to Ufa. It is obvious that the money they obtained from selling of the club’s shares to VTB represents a substantial part of the acquisition price. However, there is no proof that the money obtained from FSGB is the only or primary source of funding for this acquisition. Therefore, the question is: Did VTB give Ufa the entire amount of the 700,000 they asked for in order to complete the transaction? This is why I believe that the acquisition was completed with the permission and support of the Russian government.