Anzhi Makhachkala plan massive clear out after billionaire cut funding | inside World Soccer

Anzhi Makhachkala star players could all be looking for new clubs after billionaire owner Suleyman Kerimov decided to drastically cut the team's budget.

Anzhi owner Suleyman Kerimov is Russia's 19th richest person with more than $7 billion to his name
Anzhi owner Suleyman Kerimov is Russia's 19th richest person with more than $7 billion to his name

Photo: AFP/Getty Images

In January 2011, Kerimov took over Anzhi, a club at the heart of the restive Republic of Dagestan who were recently promoted to the Russian Premier League.

He showed his intent to turn the club into serious contenders for European honours by financing a number of eye-catching signings, including Roberto Carlos and Samuel Eto'o.

But now, Kerimov wants to scale back the club's annual budget by $50-70 million, down from their previous outlay of $180 million a season.

Anzhi President Konstantin Remchukov suggested on Twitter that the club planned a fire sale of players to trim costs.

"The main news is that Anzhi will undergo a reformatting," Remchukov tweeted.

"Many of our expensive stars will leave Anzhi, while the club's budget will be decreased to $50-$70 million a year.

"We failed to clinch rapid success. Now Anzhi will develop its academy according to the medium-term plans of club development."

Samuel Eto'o is the highest-paid player in the world at €20 million net per season
Samuel Eto'o is the highest-paid player in the world at €20 million net per season

Photo: PacificCoastNews.com

Reports in Russia suggest that the decision to slash expenditure came after Kerimov suffered an estimated $375 million loss from last week's plunge in the share price of the Uralkali Russian potash producer, in which he is a main shareholder.

Such a dramatic cut in spending appears to signal Kerimov's declining ambitions and interest at Anzhi.

Anzhi, who have spent around €240 million since 2011, finished only third in the league last season and have just two points from their first four matches this season.

One of the first players to leave Anzhi may well be Eto'o, who is the best-paid player in the world, earning €20 million a season.

Along with the former Barcelona and Inter Milan striker, the futures of Willian, Lassana Diarra, Chris Samba, Yuri Zhirkov, Aleksandr Kokorin, and Igor Denisov are all up in the air.

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