In: Jahrbuch für Historische Kommunismusforschung 2018. Berlin: Metropol Verlag, pp. 79–92.
Up until now, little has been known about the secretary general of the Young Communist League (Komsomol), Aleksandr Kosarev (1903–1939). This article discusses the role he played in the pre-war Soviet Union and, above all, it scrutinizes how he tried to expand his power base in order to gain increasing political influence. His activity was shaped by different factors and embraced many areas. Using the example of Kosarev’s engagement in the process of establishing football in the Soviet Union, both as an ideologically acceptable game and as a desirable pastime, this article shows how he became the patron of one of the most popular teams, Spartak Moscow, and the nature of his intentions which were concealed behind this.