Iran Pro League
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2011)|
2001 with current format
|Number of teams||16|
|Levels on pyramid||1|
|Relegation to||Azadegan League|
|Domestic cup(s)||Hazfi Cup|
|International cup(s)||AFC Champions League|
|Current champions||Foolad (2nd title)
|Most championships||Sepahan (4 titles)|
|TV partners||IRIB TV3
Jame Jam 1
|2013–14 Iran Pro League|
The Iran Pro League (IPL) (Persian: لیگ برتر فوتبال ایران) also known as Persian Gulf Cup (Persian: جام خلیج فارس), is a professional football league competition for clubs located at the highest level of the Iranian football league system.
- 1 History
- 2 Current clubs (2013–14)
- 3 Champions
- 4 All-time Premier League standings
- 5 Competition format and sponsorship
- 6 Media coverage
- 7 Players
- 8 Ranking
- 9 Records
- 10 See also
- 11 Notes
- 12 External links
Iran Pro League
Persian Gulf Cup
On August 12, 2006, the Iranian Football Federation decided to change the name of the league once again. The name of the league was changed to the Persian Gulf Cup. This was done to promote the name of the Persian Gulf, instead of the many variations that some nations and organizations use which Iran disputes. The logo of the league was also changed, with the winner being selected from over 130 designs and unveiled on November 14, 2006.
Saipa was the 6th team to win the 6th new edition of the league which meant 6 different teams won 6 leagues in a row. But in 2008 Persepolis regained the title after 6 years by a dramatic win against rivals Sepahan on the 96th minute of the final matchday and became the first team that won two titles in the new edition of the League. The next season Esteghlal did the same thing and won the league for the second time on the final match day.
Sepahan's domestic dominance started in the 2009-10 season where they won the league comfortably, a feat which they did again the following season. In the 2011-12 edition of the league they had a more difficult job trying repeat the glory of the past years, they won it on the final match day for the third time in a row. They are the first club in the history of the Iran Pro League to win the League 3 times, and 3 times in a row. Sepahan's dominance ended in the 2012-13 season, when Esteghlal cruised to a comfortable league victory.
Before the start of the 2012-13 season, the IFF, who were recommended by Iranian National Team Manager Carlos Queiroz, announced that for the 2013-14 season the number of the teams will be reduced from 18 to 16, to increase the competitiveness of the league.
The 2013-14 season witnessed the closest title race since the league came into existence. Coming into the last match day 5 times had the possibility of becoming champions, in the end Foolad became champions after beating Gostaresh Foolad 1-0.
Current clubs (2013–14)
|Damash Gilan||Rasht||Dr. Azodi||11,000|
|Esteghlal Khuzestan||Ahvaz||Takhti Ahvaz||30,000|
|Mes Kerman||Kerman||Shahid Bahonar||15,430|
|Saba Qom||Qom||Yadegar Emam||10,610|
|Zob Ahan||Esfahan||Foolad Shahr||31,439|
List of champions by season
|Season||Winner||No. IPL titles
|2003–04||Pas Tehran||1 |
Most successful clubs since 2001 in Iran Pro League
|Sepahan||4 (2002–03, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12)||1 (2007–08)||1 (2012–13)|
|Esteghlal||3 (2005–06, 2008–09, 2012–13)||3 (2001–02, 2003–04, 2010–11)||3 (2004–05, 2009–10, 2011–12)|
|Persepolis||2 (2001–02, 2007–08)||1 (2013–14)||2 (2002–03, 2006–07)|
|Foolad||2 (2004–05, 2013–14)||—||2 (2001–02, 2003–04)|
|Pas Tehran||1 (2003–04)||2 (2002–03, 2005–06)||—|
|Saipa||1 (2006–07)||—||1 (2005–06)|
|Zob Ahan||—||3 (2004–05, 2008–09, 2009–10)||1 (2010–11)|
|Tractor Sazi||—||2 (2011–12, 2012–13)||—|
|Esteghlal Ahvaz||—||1 (2006–07)||—|
|Naft Tehran||—||-||1 (2013–14)|
All-time Premier League standings
|out of 12|
|2nd, 3rd or 4th place|
|5th or below|
Since the 2001–02 season, twelve seasons of "IPL/ Persian Gulf League" has been completed. The below table shows the total ranking for the all football clubs competing in these all 12 seasons.
|18||Damash Gilan (Pegah, Esteghlal)||7||218||52||68||98||198||302||-104||224||7th|
|30||Shahid Ghandi Yazd||1||30||4||7||19||21||43||-22||19||16th|
Competition format and sponsorship
There are currently 16 clubs in the league, although the competition started in 2001–02 with 14 teams. The season lasts from August to May, with each club playing the others twice, once at their home stadium and once at that of their opponents for a total of 30 games for each club, with a total of 240 games in each season. Teams receive three points for a win and one point for a draw. Teams are ranked by total points, then goal difference and then goals scored. At the end of each season, the club with the most points is crowned as champion. At the end of the season, the three worst teams are relegated to the Azadegan League.
In the Azadegan League there are two groups, the top team from each group is automatically promoted to the top flight. But, the two runner-up teams have to play against each other in a 2-legged competition. The winner is promoted to the top flight, while the loser remains in the Azadegan League.
In 2012, the league considered reducing the amount of teams to 16, for the 2012-2013 Persian Gulf Cup season. This idea was dismissed for the 2012-2013 season, but was implicated for the 2013-14 season.
Qualification for Asian competitions
As of 2008 four teams from Iran qualify for the AFC Asian Champions League annually. This includes the top three teams of the IPL together with the winner of the Hazfi Cup. If the winner of the Hazfi Cup is also among the three top IPL teams then the fourth best IPL team also qualifies.
According to a November 2012 study, in the 2010–11 season Iran Pro League clubs on average obtained 15% of their income from sponsorship.
Channel 3 broadcast nationally and IRIB 2 broadcast internationally both show IPL matches, however due to the immense popularity of Tehran teams Persepolis F.C. and Esteghlal F.C. only these teams' matches are shown on IRIB 2 internationally. Since the 2012-13 season IRIB Varzesh will televise a second game each week nationally. With the provincial channels broadcasting their local games.
On 20 July 2011, IRIB and the IFF came to agreement regarding TV rights of both IPL and national team matches worth $96.5 million that will run until 2014.
- The summer transfer season for teams in the Persian Gulf Cup lasts from June 18 to 12pm on August 8.
- The winter transfer season for teams in the Persian Gulf Cup lasts from December 31 to 12pm on January 20.
Each team is allowed as many foreign players in their squad as they desire, however there is a rule that only permits 3 foreign players the pitch at any one time for each side. In the past there have been breaches of this rule and in the 2006/07 season PAS Tehran F.C. were deducted 1 point for fielding 4 foreigners on one occasion and handed a 3-0 loss. Shortly after the 2011-2012 Iran Pro League season finished, the IFF announced that foreign goalkeepers on Iranian teams would be banned from Azadegan League, Iran Pro League, Hazfi Cup, and Asian Champions League. A few weeks later, the IFF announced that the ban of foreign goalkeepers had been lifted, and that each team is allowed 4 foreign on the field including the goalkeeper.
All-time top scorers
last update: Aug 8, 2013
|1||Reza Enayati||129||2001 to 2006, 2009 to Present|
|2||Arash Borhani||109||2002 to 2006, 2007 to Present|
|3||Mehdi Rajabzadeh||89||2001 to 2007, 2009 to Present|
|4||Fereydoon Fazli||85||2001 to 2002, 2003 to 2010|
|5||Karim Ansarifard||73||2007 to Present|
|6||Emad Mohammed||70||2005 to 2012|
|7||Jalal Rafkhaei||66||2005 to Present|
|8||Siavash Akbarpour||65||2004 to 2007, 2008 to Present|
|9||Mohammad Gholami||61||2001 to 2003, 2004 to Present|
|10||Reza Norouzi||61||2007 to 2008, 2009 to Present|
|11||Ibrahima Touré||60||2007 to 2011|
|12||Mehdi Seyed-Salehi||59||2001 to Present|
|13||Mohsen Bayatinia||58||2001 to Present|
|13||Mohammad Reza Khalatbari||58||2006 to 2011, 2012 to Present|
|15||Davoud Haghi||53||2003 to 2013|
|15||Saeid Daghighi||53||2004 to 2008, 2009 to present|
|17||Iman Razaghirad||52||2001 to 2006, 2009 to Present|
|18||Hadi Asghari||52||2005 to 2012|
|19||Ali Daei||49||2003 to 2007|
|20||Javad Kazemian||47||1999 to 2002, 2003 to 2006, 2010 to Present|
Players in bold are still active in the league.
last update: April 11, 2014
|2001–02||Iran||Parvin, AliAli Parvin||Persepolis|
|2002–03||Iran||Kazemi, FarhadFarhad Kazemi||Sepahan|
|2003–04||Iran||Jalali, MajidMajid Jalali||Pas Tehran|
|2005–06||Iran||Ghalenoei, AmirAmir Ghalenoei||Esteghlal|
|2006–07||Iran||Daei, AliAli Daei||Saipa|
|Ghotbi, AfshinAfshin Ghotbi||Persepolis|
|2008–09||Iran||Ghalenoei, AmirAmir Ghalenoei||Esteghlal|
|2009–10||Iran||Ghalenoei, AmirAmir Ghalenoei||Sepahan|
|2010–11||Iran||Ghalenoei, AmirAmir Ghalenoei||Sepahan|
|2011–12||Croatia||Kranjčar, ZlatkoZlatko Kranjčar||Sepahan|
|2012–13||Iran||Ghalenoei, AmirAmir Ghalenoei||Esteghlal|
|2013–14||Iran||Faraki, HosseinHossein Faraki||Foolad|
Multiple winning managers
last update: April 11, 2013
|No.||Winning manager||Club||No. titles|
|1||Amir Ghalenoei||Esteghlal, Sepahan||5|
|Majid Jalali||Pas Tehran|
Multiple winning players
last update: May 12, 2013 
- Hazfi Cup
- Iranian Futsal Super League
- 17th of Shahrivar league
- Qods League
- Iranian Super Cup
- Tehran Football Competitions
- List of foreign IPL players
- Takht Jamshid Cup
- Mehrdad Estiri, Mohammad Haghighi, Reza Mohammadkazemi, Hamzeh Rayej & Mohammad Jahed (2010). "Promotion in Iran's Football Pro-league: Important but Weak!". International Journal of Applied Sports Sciences (Korea Institute of Sports Science) 22 (1): 62. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
- "برنامهي كامل دور رفت ششمين دورهي ليگ برتر فوتبال؛ ليگ برتر به "خليج فارس" تغيير نام داد" (in Persian). ISNA. Retrieved 2006-08-14.
- "برترين طرح ارائه شده براي ليگ برتر انتخاب شد" (in Persian). IRIFF Official Website. Retrieved 2006-11-24.
- "Persian Gulf Cup". Soccerway. Global Sports Media. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
- "Iran League Seasons". Persianleague.com. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
- Mahsa Qorbani, Mohammad Javad Sheikh, Meysam Bagheri (November 2012). "A comparative study of how to finance professional football premier leagues in Iran and England". Scholarly Journal of Business Administration 2(9): 147. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
- "The strongest National League in the World 2012". IFFHS. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
- "با رسیدن به نویدکیا و سیدجلال/ رحمتی، بیک زاده و جانواریو هم 4 تایی شدند" (in Persian). Goal.com. Retrieved 2013-05-14.
- Persian League Football Highlights
- Iran Pro League at PersianLeague.com
- League at Soccerway.com
- League results in date order at persianfootball.com
- IRIFF – Islamic Republic of Iran Football Federation
- List of Iranian champions at RSSSF
- Iran Pro League - Hailoosport.com (Arabic)
- Iran Pro League - Hailoosport.com