Russia is set to adopt the same league format as other major European leagues after the Russian Football Union (RFU) on Monday approved plans to switch to an ‘autumn-spring’ calendar.
“Today we discussed the changes in the national championship’s format,” said RFU chief Serfgei Fursenko.
“The RFU executive panel by a majority of votes confirmed the decision to change the Premiership format into the ‘autumn-spring’ model.”
The country’s football boss said that next year’s Russian Premier League, which has already accepted the RFU decision, will be a transitional championship that finishes in the spring of 2012.
The Russian Premier League currently runs from the spring until the autumn, putting it at odds with major European championships such as England, Spain, Italy, Germany and France, which have always used the autumn-spring model.
“The change of the championship to the ‘autumn-spring’ format will allow the Premier League to determine the national champion at the same time as the majority of European countries,” Fursenko added.
However, the country’s footballers’ trade union expressed its concern about the haste of the RFU decision, calling it “premature”.
“We are seriously concerned by the haste of the RFU decision to change the championship’s format,” read a statement on the trade union’s official website.
“It’s a very alarming symptom that the RFU decided to withdraw from public and professional discussion over these extremely important changes.”
The union’s website also announced that a poll conducted among players from nine of the Premier League’s 16 clubs resulted in 73 votes against the new format and only 23 votes in favour.
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