TOP-10 Men's Super League volleyball clubs

ranking 14.08.2019

Information Agency Credinform presents a ranking of Men's Super League volleyball clubs by assets. Using the Information and Analytical System Globas, the experts of the Agency selected Top-10 of volleyball teams with the largest amount of assets. The experts also analyzed incomes of the Russian volleyball clubs.

Super League is the Russian volleyball championship among men's teams. It is the annual competition of volleyball clubs organized by the Volleyball Federation of Russia (VFR).

The tournament has been held since 1992. It is the most prestigious and first strongest division of professional volleyball in Russia, where the winner of the playoffs becomes the champion. Participants in the playoffs are determined by the results of the regular season, which consists of 26 games, during which the teams score points. The championship is attended by 14 teams. Volleyball clubs that took the first eight places continue to fight for the main trophy, and the rest are fighting to maintain a place in the top division, playing a two-round tournament (play-out). The team that took the last place leaves the Super League. The club that has finished next to last, plays transitional matches for the right to stay in the country's top championship.

As in basketball, the value of a player is determined by his contract, i.e. the amount that a sports organization spends on paying a salary to a player while he plays for a club.

It is significant that the transitions of players between clubs are possible only at the full consent both of a player and club in which he plays. Every transition is thoroughly examined by the Transition committee, and then approved by the VFR Executive committee. This approach allows to avoid unfair competition and struggle for the player, as well as to protect all parties from various problems (financial, administrative, criminal or moral).

Sometimes it is very difficult to achieve satisfaction of all parties, therefore, in most cases, the transition to other teams is carried out with the status of a free agent, i.e. at the moment when the contract expired and all the obligations of the player to the club are fully fulfilled. If a Russian player is transferred from the Super League to a foreign club, then foreign representatives have to pay additional 2000 Euro to the All-Russian Volleyball Federation for a transfer certificate, which gives the player the right to transfer to a foreign team.

Salary projects of volleyball clubs are low. Players of Kazan Zenit have the largest income: from 3,4 to 7,8 million RUB per month. Players of the top five teams - Zenit (Saint Petersburg), Lokomotiv, Belogorye and Dynamo - earn on average up to 4,9 million RUB per month. The average salary of clubs from the second part of the table does not exceed 1 million RUB per month.

Table 1. Assets and income of TOP-10 Men's Super League volleyball clubs
Rank Name Balance sheet assets, million RUB Income, million RUB Net profit (loss), million RUB
1 VC Zenit (Kz)
Зенит - Казань
Kazan
288,9 817,5 20,9
2 PSVC Ural
Урал - волейбол
Ufa
248,2 27,0 10,1
3 VC Lokomotiv
Локомотив  - волейбол
Novosibirsk
128,6 474,9 450,1
4 VC Belogorye
Белогорье
Belgorod
77,8 61,1 7,6
5 VC Zenit (Spb)
Зенит Спб 2
Saint Petersburg
70,2 1,4 -201,1
6 VC Yaroslavich
Ярославич
Yaroslavl
52,2 40,0 0,0
7 VC Gazprom-Yugra
Газпром-Югра
Surgut
37,0 26,2 -0,5
8 VC Dinamo
Динамо Москва  - волейбол
Moscow
26,1 49,2 0,3
9 VC Fakel
Факел
Novy Urengoi
24,5 3,0 1,2
10 VC Kuzbass
Кузбасс
Kemerovo
22,1 11,8 6,6

Source: Information and Analytical System Globas, by Credinform; Official website of the Volleyball Federation of Russia; calculations by Credinform.

VC Zenit-Kazan with the highest balance sheet assets (288,9million RUB) is the first in the ranking. Currently, the club is the second largest club in the history of domestic volleyball: it won many trophies of championships in the USSR, Russia and Europe. The club from Kazan won first places in various tournaments for 32 times, being second to only CSKA with over 52 titles. However, in 2009 CSKA team withdrew from the Super League, disbanded and ceased to exist. The income of club from Kazan is the highest in the league, due to the media and the results that the team shows. In addition, net profit for 2017 amounted to 20,9 million RUB.

The second is PSVC Ural from Ufa Total balance sheet assets of the club are less than of the Top leader’s by only 40 million RUB (248,2 million RUB). However, the team from Ufa is behind Kazan team by the rest of terms. In the entire history of PSVC, the Urals have never become the winner of the Super League and have been the silver medalist of various championships only a few times for 27 years. It is noteworthy that the club is able to support its activities at its own expense. Following the results of 2017, net profit of the Ufa team is 10,1 million RUB.

VC Lokomotiv is ranked the third. Like PSVC Ural, VC Lokomotiv has never won domestic championships: once it won the second place, but in the season 2012/13 the team won the international trophy – the cup of CEV Champions League1. Lokomotiv won the national championship in volleyball for several times, and it is the finalist of the club world championship. In terms of income, the club is the second in the Super League (474,9 million RUB), and has no equal in terms of net profit (450,1 million RUB).

VC Belogorye is the third in the list of the most titled clubs in Russia. The Belgorod team became the country's champion for 8 times and was a multiple winner of international tournaments. In 2014 the team won the club world volleyball championship. The assets volume of VC Belogorye is 3,5 times less than the leader of the list. However, the club is not inferior in terms of sports potential, cups and victories. Having a relatively small income, net profit of the team was 12,5% of total income at the end of 2017.

The fifth is the club from St. Petersburg. VC Zenit (Spb) was formed in 2017. From the very beginning, the team became the silver prize winner in the championship of Russia and champion’s title contender. The team from Saint Petersburg has the smallest earnings and the largest loss among the entire Top. The club receives funding mainly from the state-owned corporation JSC Gazprom, as well as from other state and private investors.

One of the most titled teams in Russia, VC Dinamo is ranked only 8th in terms of balance assets (26,1 million rubles). Despite the fact that the club is owned by government agencies, the organization has been showing profits for 5 years.

The tenth is the current champion of the Men's Super League – VC Kuzbass. For the first time in its history, the club became the gold prize winner of the Russian Volleyball Championship in the season 2018/19. In the final of the playoffs, the Siberian team beat VC Zenit (Kazan) and won the long-awaited title. In addition, the club demonstrates good financial figures: net profit for 2017 amounted to 56% of revenue, which indicates the efficient use of funds and right strategy.

The remaining teams did not achieve serious success in the championship of Russia: the playoffs ended mainly at the first stage, or at the struggle for the opportunity to stay in the top division. Such unsatisfactory results are explained by poor financing of the regional sport of Russia. Large sponsors are wary of investing in the development of sports since the support is long-term, and the return on investment is low. However, the trend may change in the near future. Sports organizations become self-sustaining, their activities gradually bring not only income, but also profit, and regional teams will be able to claim victory in the Super League.

It is noteworthy that only two club from TOP-10 are privately owned. VC Belogorye belongs to Shipulin Gennady Yakovlevich. Mr. Shipulin is the Honored Coach of Russia in volleyball, and the former head coach of VC Belogorye. In a very short time, he managed to turn a provincial club into the flagship of the Russian volleyball, which forced Belgorod to call the Old World volleyball capital at the beginning of this century due to its victories in Russia and triumphs in the Champions League.

VC Gzprom-Yugra is equally owned by three individuals.

Unlike basketball and hockey, 7 out of 10 Men's Super League volleyball clubs are non-profit organizations – VC Zenit (Kz), PSVC Ural, VC Lokomotiv, VC Zenit, VC Yaroslavich, VC Fakel and VC Kuzbass.

Dynamo volleyball team, like football and hockey clubs of the same name, is owned by the Russian security agencies.

The results of the ranking showed that regional teams are gradually starting to achieve success, unlike football or basketball. VC Belogorye and VC Kuzbass became champions of the national championship with serious competition from other equally eminent teams. A well-built strategy, moderate funding and a focus on results allowed regional representatives to take first places not only in the domestic championship, but also in the international arena.


1CEV Champions League is the main annual volleyball tournament among club teams in Europe