With 2016 season of RRPL thing of the past, his vice-president Ivan Lysko talks about the current situation and the future of the league.
In RRPL, Enisei-STM and Krasny Yar seems well ahead the other teams. What is your plan to improve the competitiveness of the league ?
Kuban shows how work in clubs structure and good finances delivers positive results. It must an example for clubs like in Penza with good rugby school and big rugby traditions. Professional teams required minimum financing.
Why isn’t it happening in Penza ?
Because finances depends from the work with regional government.
Are clubs lacking private investors ?
Yes, unfortunately like 99% of Russian sport. Investments come only from governments or from sponsors after government asked them.
There were rumors about potential investments in Saint Petersburg. What could you say ?
I heard they try to find investors and asked for help to the board of trustees’ head of Saint Petesburg rugby federation Igor Artemyev. He is the head of federal antimonopoly service of Russian Federation. We are very waiting for a club from Saint Petersburg in Division A. The franchise could be Narvskaya Zastava. The club is supporting Mamuka Losaberidze bid for union presidency.
« Very important step will be play some matches in Krasnoyarsk »
Overall, what do you think can be made to improve the level of rugby in Russia ?
Well, it’s a hard question. Overall, it is big and hard job in all directions : professional rugby (quantity and quality of teams), amateur rugby (support new regions who decides to develop rugby in their territories), popularization of rugby via TV and mass media. It’s very important to develop all the directions together because they’re connected. As about professional clubs, we need to pay more attention to around pitch and not only to the pitch himself. We need to improve marketing and PR components because most of the viewers are not worry about what we are doing on the pitch and are looking comfort atmosphere at the stadium. We need good photos, videos, etc…
What do you think about Enisei and Krasny Yar records in the European competitions ?
It’s incredible and fantastic. One year ago we couldn’t dream about one bonus point in Challenge Cup, and now we have a chance for play-off. I think Russian clubs confirmed sport and commercial contribution to EPCR. But very important step for developing will be play some matches in Krasnoyarsk, when audiences may be 5000-8000, but of course in good weather conditions. Now we have two more clubs VVA and Kuban who want and can take part in the qualifying competition.