The Russian national football league (FNL), formerly known as Russian First Division (Russian: Первый дивизион is the second professional football).
Previously, the Professional Football League led the division. Since 2011 it is managed by the Football National League.
The league consists of 20 clubs. After each season, the two best clubs are promoted to the Premier League, and the bottom five clubs are relegated to the Russian Professional Football League. The third and fourth teams play in home and away games against the teams of the 13th and 14th Premier League. If one or more clubs are not allowed for the upcoming season, the previously relegated teams will be led in the order of the last season in the league. The reserve squads of the Premier League teams (such as FC Spartak-2 Moscow) are not eligible for relegation.
Due to the dissolution of the Soviet Union, all Russian clubs of the former Soviet league and the Soviet First League joined together to form the Russian league, which meant that the new second stage of Russian football would remain regionalized. In the first two seasons, the second division competition was held in three separate groups by geographic region, and in 1994 a single division was formed.
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