While the Soviet economy may have been falsified, its football, according to Utkin, was somewhat cleaner. 'In the Soviet era,’ he said, pausing to gaze at a group of model-type Russian girls giggling on the first floor of the restaurant, ‘the stakes in the game weren’t so big, and there wasn‘t really the material incentive to fix matches. Then, it was more of a political thing. Making sure that the Moscow teams did well, that the Ukrainians were kept happy with a cup or two, and so on. Anyway, that’s not really the main point. It’s difficult to compare the two. Soviet footballers weren’t paid anything like as much, and even if they did get some money there was nothing to spend it on. They played for honour, for their team, for the political or social structure it represented. Basically, comparing Soviet football and Russian football is like comparing a Dostoevsky novel and a modern-day bestseller. The first was created with love, out of the sheer pleasure of the act itself, the second is a commercial thing, with financial concerns behind it.