FC Fakel Voronezh
|Full name||Futboľnyy Klub "Fakel" Voronezh|
|Ground||Tsentralny Profsoyuz Stadion, Voronezh|
|League||Russian Second Division|
FC Fakel Voronezh (Russian: Футбольный клуб "Факел" Воронеж) is a Russian association football club based in Voronezh. Currently the club plays in the Russian Second Division. The name of the club means "Torch" (Russian: Факел).
Before the 2011-12 season FC Saturn Moscow Oblast dropped out of Russian Premier League due to financial problems. FC Krasnodar replaced them in the Premier League, creating a vacancy in the Russian First Division. Despite only coming in 4th in their Russian Second Division zone in 2010, Fakel volunteered to take the First Division spot, and the Russian Football Union decided to promote the team.
The club was founded in 1947 at a then classified airplane plant. For secrecy reasons, the team was not officially given a name and was referred to as the Voronezh city team. In 1959 the team became a part of Trud sports society and was renamed Trud Voronezh. In 1976 the team was renamed Fakel.
The team played in the Soviet League since 1954:
- 1954-1960 in Class B
- 1961 in Class A
- 1962 in Class B
- 1963-1970 in Class A, Group 2
- 1971-1978 in Second League
- 1979-1984 in First League
- 1985 in Top League
- 1986-1987 in First League
- 1988 in Second League
- 1989-1991 in First League
The best result of Trud/Fakel was a place in the Top Division in 1961 (finished 15th) and 1985 (finished 17th). Fakel reached the semifinal of the Soviet Cup in 1984.
In the Russian league, Fakel played in various divisions, never staying in the same division for more than two consecutive seasons:
- Top Division: 1992, 1997, 2000-2001
- First Division: 1993, 1995-1996, 1998-1999, 2002-2003, 2005-2006, 2011-
- Second Division: 1994, 2004, 2010
- Russian amateur league: 2007
The best result achieved by Fakel in Premier League was a 13th position in 2000.
Fakel has also experienced several short-lived name changes: to Fakel-Profsoyuz in 1992, Voronezh in 2002 and Fakel-Voronezh in 2002-2003.
At the end of the 2006 season, Fakel were relegated from the Russian First Division. Due to financial considerations - Fakel were in debt to some players - they were refused entry to the second division. As a result Fakel started the 2007 season in the amateur league. In early 2009, Voronezh club FC FCS-73 Voronezh received financial support from the local authorities and changed their name to FC Fakel-Voronezh. Another Voronezh club was participating in the amateur league in 2008 and qualified for the Russian Second Division 2009 under the name FC Fakel-StroyArt Voronezh. For the 2009, that club changed their name to FC FSA Voronezh. The team that played as FC Fakel Voronezh in the Amateur Football League in 2008 has been replaced in the AFL for the 2009 season by FC Fakel-Voronezh-2.
Fakel and FC Yelets were excluded from the Russian Second Division for attempts to bribe and threaten the referee on 18 July 2009. At the time of exclusion (21 August), Fakel were sixth with 31 points from 19 games, while Yelets were 16th with 9 points from 19 games.
A new club called FC Fakel Voronezh technically independent from the club that played in 2009 as FC Fakel-Voronezh Voronezh was founded in 2010 and played in the Russian Second Division (FSA Voronezh failed licensing for 2010 and the new Fakel was the only Voronezh professional team for 2010). It employed the manager and 6 players from the 2009 FC Fakel-Voronezh roster. The reserve team FC Fakel-d Voronezh played in the Amateur Football League in 2010.
As of February 26, 2013, according to the official RFU website.
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Fakel's reserve squad played professionally as FC Fakel-d Voronezh in the Russian Third League in 1997.
Notable past players
Had international caps for their respective countries. Players whose name is listed in bold represented their countries while playing for Fakel.
- ""ФАКЕЛ-ВОРОНЕЖ" И "ЕЛЕЦ" ИСКЛЮЧЕНЫ ИЗ ПРОФЕССИОНАЛЬНОЙ ЛИГИ. НО ИХ "ДЕЛО" НЕ ЗАКРЫТО" (in Russian). Sport-Express. 22 August 2009. Retrieved 26 August 2009.