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Russian football clubs to co-operate after 3 punished under financial fair play rules

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MOSCOW - Russia's top football clubs have joined forces to cut costs after three teams were punished for breaking UEFA's financial fair play rules.

Russia's Zenit St. Petersburg, which was fined $16.4 million, Rubin Kazan and Anzhi Makhachkala were among nine European clubs sanctioned by UEFA this month.

Most leading Russian clubs are backed by state-owned companies and earn relatively little from TV rights or ticket sales.

"We decided to work collectively to solve this issue," Roman Babaev, director general of Russian champion CSKA Moscow, was quoted as saying by the RIA Novosti agency Monday.

"We're working on a strategy which will be aimed at ... increasing earnings and cutting expenditure."

The FFP rules aim to stop clubs making large losses in pursuit of European success.

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