Farman Salmanov, Who?
Ask any Chelsea or Zenit fan who Farman Salmanov is and they really ought to know because he had such a huge impact on both clubs.
But more than likely neither will remember him. So they won’t tell you, “top bloke”, “knew him well”, “Shame about his passing”, “Made Chelsea who we are”, “We should have a statue of the man outside Stamford bridge”, “We should rename the Gazprom arena the Salmanov field”.
I’m not sure if either club have a dedicated History Society, like Arsenal has but if they do, and if they work at the level of uncovering obscure facts as the Arsenal History Society does, then surely they must trace their current wealth back to Farman Salmanov.
So I do have to ask, has any Arsenal fan ever heard of this man? Probably not since we don’t cover the history of other clubs. But still, why should he be so revered by Chelsea and Fc Zenit fans, what could he have done which passed us by with not so much as a media whisper?
Farman Salmanov was born in July 1931, in Azerbaijan in the former USSR. Farman excelled at school and upon leaving he went to the Azerbaijan industrial institution (I’m serious they played football).
Once graduated he was sent far far out into the world by the Kremlin to make his name, Or rather do as he was told. Farman was sent by the Kremlin to look for something that would help the USSR in its quest to remain a super power.
He was first sent to Kuznetsk basin but decided he would not find what the Kremlin wanted there, so he decided without permission to move his search to a different area of Western Siberia just west of Tunguska where on 30 June 1908 a meteor or comet entered the Earth’s atmosphere and detonated in an air burst style explosion knocking over approximately 80 million trees and devastating an area of 2150 Sq. Km.
But as any Zenit fan will tell you, he was not there to replant the trees or look for kryptonite.
On the 21st of March 1961 Salmanov sent a message to all his competitors stating “Dear comrade, an oil fountain is gushing from the depth of 2,180 meters in Megion. Is it clear?” When he struck oil the second time he sent another message but this time to the then Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev stating only “I found oil, that’s it”.
What was not realized at the time was that Salmanov had hit the biggest petroleum field ever discovered, also known as the Western Siberian basin (and a very interesting part of the world, geologically speaking). Formed over hundreds of millions of years ago starting back in the Paleozoic era through to today’s mass extraction of gas, oil and coal, little rays of sunshine trapped away for millions of years now released to entertain us at all good football stadia near you.
Farman Salmanov dedicated fifty years of his life to the oil-and-gas industry of the Soviet Union and Russia, and discovered or participated in the discovery of over one hundred fields, including such huge oil and gas reserves as Mamontovskoye, Megionskoye, Pravdinskoye, Ust-Balykskoye, Surgutskoye, Urengoyskoye, Yamburgskoye, etc.
So there we have it the founding father of Fc Zenit St Petersburg and the modern Chelsea football club, for without the oil, there would be no money for either club to behave as they do today.
Of course someone else would have found it, but then, maybe life might have been a bit different.
Written by Adam Brogden.
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