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After selling Chelsea his €35m duo, club owner may walk away altogether


Suleiman Kerimov is claimed to be considering walking away from Anzhi Makhachkala altogether.

Chelsea moved late in the summer transfer window to pounce on the sudden firesale at Russian Premier League side Anzhi Makhachkala.

The owner of the previous big-spenders, Suleiman Kerimov announced in late August that he would be slashing costs at the club, for his own personal reasons - having previously paid the sort of wages which set football records.

The largest earner was Samuel Eto'o, who was on a reported £250,000-a-week - and they were able to promptly shift him off to Chelsea.

Jose Mourinho oversaw the transfer of another big star from the club, Willian - at a cost of £30 million, who had been signed by Anzhi for a similar price just months earlier.

The following months have not been easy for Anzhi. They sold several other top earners to rival clubs, and sacked new manager Rene Meulensteen, now of Fulham, after just a handful of games.

After 19 games in the Russian Premier League, they sit without a win, with eight draws and 11 losses. Unsurprisingly they sit bottom of the table.

The bottom two get automatically relegated from the division, and the two above that in 13th and 14th must contest a relegation play-off, meaning the once ambitious side are 10 points from safety.

What's more, there could be worse around the corner - owner Suleiman Kerimov could be set to walk away.

Russian newspaper Izvestia claim he is giving the club a 'last chance', and will stop financing the side if they get relegated. For all of his investment, his return failed to see Anzhi win the league title, and their current dramatic plight is even more frustrating.

He reportedly made his position clear at a team training camp ahead of the final 11 games of the season.

Former coach Andrey Gordeev stated: "Of course, the situation is extremely sad Makhachkala. The chances that the team will remain in the Premier League, is very small. However, I urge not to lose hope and faith in the best."

The consequences of him pulling out are grim. A tough season, at least, in the division below would have to be worked through, with all the team's remaining stars likely to depart amid further cost cutting.

New owners would have to be found, or the team could even revert to state ownership in the region of Dagestan.

As their two former stars, Eto'o and Willian, revel amid the acclaim of Chelsea's blockbuster Premier League win over Manchester City this week, the team they left behind faces potential ruin.


image: © Голубович Дмитрий

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