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Farman Salmanov, Who?

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.

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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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12 comments to Farman Salmanov, Who?

  • Damien Luu

    And so we’ve found the villain who spoiled the modern football world :)))

  • Patient

    Damien, you’re so funny. 3_3

  • Pat

    Very interesting article Adam.
    But poor Farman only discovered the oil.
    He probably thought it would be used to heat people’s homes cheaply and run a decent public transport system.
    And here we are fifty years later.
    Is he still alive? I wonder what he thinks about it all.

  • Walter

    Very Untold, Adam.
    Just imagine the money would be used to educate people, to improve agriculture so there could be more food for more people, just imagine the natural resources of the world would be used to the benefit of the people who live on earth.
    But alas, they use the money to make already well paid football billionaires even better paid.
    Well that is the way the world goes I guess…

  • Asif

    Hahahaha…the root cause analysis of Chelski’s petro dollars the…I think Roman does have a picture of this man in his office cabin somewhere. Next up – we would like to know the legend behind Sheikh Mansour’s riches!!!

  • Adam

    Mr Salmanov passed away in 2007 (“shame about his passing” was not a dig at his ball distribution skills). I could have gone in to a lot more detail, but then my intention was for this to be a bit cheeky and not too serious. Although the race taking place within this industry is a serious matter and deserves attention. companies are amalgamating and buying shares from one another in a tangled web of wealth grabbing which i will try my best to dissect. Why some of this wealth is being pumped into football is a mystery to me?

  • Andrei

    According to Global Oil & Gas Exploration and Production report the total industry revenues are expected at $4.37 trillion in 2012. So what if a tiny fraction of “this wealth is being pumped into football”?. It is just a triffle. They make much bigger investments in other more important areas.

  • Adam

    Andrei. So what? I don’t understand that comment. Could you please tell me who “they” are. Please could you also inform me as to what “other more important areas” “they” invest in to. I would like to understand this.

    A short story for you Andrei,

    Max Ilgner used to work for a company called BASF which was amalgamated with other companies to form a conglomerate, He (Max Ilgner) used a “trifle” of this super companies wealth to sway opinion within the former Czechoslovakia through propaganda. This sway of opinion led to tens of thousands of unwanted being shipped off for special treatment.

    Moral of this short story.

    A “trifle” of huge wealth can still have an impact on history.

  • Andrei

    @Adam It is really simple. Oil & gas revenues are such a vast wealth that it becomes a major force in global economy. It is inevitable that fractions of it get spilled over to many places including football. Like it or not EPL is a global brand and therefore it is target for all sorts of global forces including gas & oil.

    Your story is very touching but are you naive enough to believe that anything has changed since then? This brings us to “they” and “other important areas”. “They” refers to military-industrial complexes behind global oil & gas market. “Other important areas” range from brainwashing population in Russia via oil bought subsidies and in Western Europe though mass media control to US Fifth Fleet in Persian Gulf supporting currupt regimes. Or environmental crisis in Nigeria.

  • Adam

    @Andrei, Im very much aware of the various companies and their recent acquisitions within the media sector and even centres of education at the highest establishments within the UK itself. Im just surprised you seem to not care?

  • Andrei

    @Adam I’m not concerned about big oil spending in football. I’m not particuarly thrilled about it either. But I’m just being pragmatic – there is not much you can really do about it. Also I’d rather have them invest in football then in “other” areas. I’d would prefer to be brainwashed about football matters not oil spills in Nigeria.

  • Domhuail MacMathghamhna

    Some of the money going into Football is:

    1) needing to be ¨laundered¨ by less salacious characters,
    2) used as a tax haven or at least tax credit by rich toyboys,
    3) buying dreams for rich toyboys who never could achieve anything themselves without their riches.

    Who cares where the money comes from, right? The FA, FIFA and EUFA don’t so why should we, right? Cheating ,corruption, match-fixing, billionaire playboy Footballers, its all part of the game,right? We can’t do ANYTHING about all this so lets sit back and enjoy or not, right? Evil triumphs while Good tweets away!