Bahman Salehnia created the team in 1969 along with some young athletes from the port city of Anzali. After some time, the Iranian Navy decided to become the team's main sponsor and owner. Salehnia can be called the team's founder; he took over as the team's head coach in 1985, and until 1998 remained in the position. Until 2010 the team has only had two other coaches, Mohammad Ahmadzadeh and Nosrat Irandoost and the last head coach of this team from 2010 is Farhad Pourgholami which gave his position to Mohammad Ahmadzadeh in the middle of the season again. The club was transferred to Mr. sirous Mahjoob who is one of the abroad financiers & sport managers on 2013. His activities include banking & Hotel. He has about 2000 employees around the world. He determines for board of directors, and provides all the costs of the club.
Salehnia was last manager of the team when he helped the team climb out of the 1st division and back into the IPL. The club has never really had great success in the league but they were able to become the best non-Tehran based club and finishing third in the 1977 and 1989. Malavan has won the Hazfi Cup on one occasions, in 1990. In 1988 Malavan participated in Asian Club Championship but after beating Saunders SC in first round they withdrew from tournament due to the Iran–Iraq War.
In 2003 Malavan was relegated to the Azadegan League, they only stayed one year in the lower league as they were immediately promoted back to the Iran Pro League. Since then, they have been one of the most stable teams of the league in recent years where they only had few coaches during their history and always finished in mid table and challenge the big teams. They finished 12th in the 2008-09 and 2009-10 season. In 2010-11 season they finished 8th and reached the final of Hazfi Cup but lost to Persepolis. In the 2013-14 Iran Pro League season Malavan achieved a surprising 7th place finish in the league, their highest ever.
The match between Malavan and Damash or Sepidrood F.C. is known as The Derby Of Gilan or El Gilano. This derby is one of Iran's most important and heated derby's. Malavan hold the record for most wins in the derby with 4 since the start of the Iran Pro League in 2001. Malavan also holds the largest margin of victor as they defeated Damash 3-0 in 2005 and 2013. The derby is also known for its fan violence. In 2008 after Malavan defeated Damash 2-1, angry Damash fans attacked Malavan's fans and tore up 1000 seats of the stadium. This was also a similar scene when Malavan thrashed Damash 3-0 in 2013.
Malavan is known to have some of the most passionate and loyal fans in Iran. Their famous chant is Ghouye sepide khazari/Malavan bandar Anzali (Persian: قوی سپید خزری/ملوان بندر انزلی) which means the white swan of north/Malavan of bandar Anzali. Malavan fans are very passionate about Sirous Ghayeghran and they have a special chant that they always sing when their team is behind to remind the legacy of Ghayeghran to players. In 2010-11 season when Malavan faced Esteghlal the semi-final of Hazfi Cup, and lot fans, even more than the capacity of the stadium, went to see the match After the achievement of Malavan they celebrated this victory all over the city. In the final match day even more went to stadium. Malavan fans are known for their occasional violence, such as when Malavan lost to Persepolis in the final of the Hazfi Cup, a riot ensued after the match and the fans broke the fence, invaded the pitch and attacked riot police.
Below is a list of Malavan coaches from 1968 until the present day. Firouz Karimi carries the honor of being the first Iranian head coach to assume the title without rising from the Malavan football school.