2010–11 Croatian First Football League
13th Croatian title
17th domestic title
|Champions League||Dinamo Zagreb|
|Europa League||Hajduk Split|
|Goals scored||531 (2.21 per match)|
|Top goalscorer||Ivan Krstanović (19)|
|Biggest home win||Hajduk Split 6–1 Istra 1961|
Inter Zaprešić 5–0 Lokomotiva
|Biggest away win||Hrvatski Dragovoljac 0–6 Dinamo Zagreb|
|Highest scoring||Hajduk Split 6–1 Istra 1961|
The 2010–11 Croatian First Football League (officially known as T-Com Prva HNL for sponsorship reasons) was the 20th season of the Croatian First Football League, the national championship for men's association football teams in Croatia, since its establishment in 1992. It began on 23 July 2010 and ended on 21 May 2011. Dinamo Zagreb were the defending champions, having won their 12th championship title (and fifth consecutive title) the previous season, and they defended the title again.
Amid a considerable amount of criticism, the Association of Prva HNL Clubs had decided to expand the league from 12 to 16 clubs for the 2009–10 season. However, while the league format is regulated by the association of member clubs, each club must also obtain a football licence for top-flight competitions issued by the Croatian Football Federation and which applies criteria prescribed by UEFA, which are mainly concerned with the standard of their grounds and clubs' financial stability.
On 5 April 2010 only four clubs had met the requirements needed for these licenses - Dinamo Zagreb, Inter Zaprešić, Slaven Belupo and NK Zagreb. Clubs whose requests were rejected were allowed to appeal by 15 April, and the licensing department of the Croatian Football Federation was required to officially respond to these appeals by 3 May 2010.
In addition to this, only four Druga HNL clubs had officially requested a license, e.g. only four clubs expressed interest in competing in the 2010–11 Prva HNL in case they win promotion - RNK Split, Hrvatski dragovoljac, Solin and Mosor. According to the official Prva HNL statute at the time, if less than 16 clubs managed to obtain licenses by the beginning of the 2010–11 season, the format would be automatically reduced to 12 clubs. In such a scenario the five bottom-placed teams from the previous season would be relegated and only the winners of the Druga HNL would get promoted to top level.
On 6 May 2010 the Croatian Football Federation announced that, after the appeals had been resolved, a total of 16 clubs were granted top level licences:
(Note: Clubs listed in italics obtained licences for grounds owned by other clubs as their own grounds were found unsuitable for top level matches.)
Prva HNL teams Međimurje and Varteks were not granted licences, due to financial difficulties at those clubs and accumulated debts to employees and players, with Varteks owing some 550,000 kuna (76,000 euros) and Međimurje 90,000 kuna (12,500 euros).
Since a total of 16 clubs were granted licences, including Croatia Sesvete who must be relegated at the end of the previous season, the retention of the 16-club format was in question for the 2010–11 season. It was also announced that the licensing process had officially ended on 1 May 2010. Međimurje, Varteks and other clubs which failed to get licences were allowed to try to obtain them through arbitration, and the process had to be completed by 31 May 2010, when the Croatian Football Federation was required to submit the list of top-flight clubs for the 2010–11 season to UEFA. On 21 May 2010 it was announced that Varteks and Međimurje were granted top level licences for next season. This meant that the 16-club format would be retained in the 2010–11 season.
Future format changes
On 5 July 2010 the CFF Executive Committee reached a decision, (confirmed by the CFF Assembly on 14 July 2010), to reduce the number of teams in Prva HNL. The league will be reduced to 12 teams in the 2011–12 season, and then to 10 team format, expected to be introduced for either the 2012–13 or 2013–14 season. That means that the number of relegation spots was increased from 3 to 5 for the current 2010–11 season, and only the 2010–11 Druga HNL champions will be promoted. However, CFF Assembly on 17 December 2010 delayed the execution of this changes by one year. Instead, the league will stay at 16 teams with only the last three teams being relegated and the first three teams from 2010–11 Druga HNL earning promotion (if they are granted with top level license). In case of 16 teams not acquiring top level license, format with 12 teams will be applied.
On 4 April 2011, CFF announced that the first stage of licensing procedure for 2011–12 season was completed. For the 2011–12 Prva HNL, only eight clubs were issued a top level license: Dinamo Zagreb, Hajduk Split, Inter Zaprešić, Istra 1961, Lokomotiva, Slaven Belupo, Varaždin and NK Zagreb. Out of these eight, only Lokomotiva and NK Zagreb weren't issued a license for participating in UEFA competitions. In the second stage of licensing procedure clubs that didn't get a license appealed on the decision and provided new facts and arguments. On 4 May 2011, it was announced that all remaining Prva HNL clubs were granted top level license. Additionally, Cibalia, Rijeka and RNK Split obtained a license for UEFA competitions. Only three teams from Druga HNL acquired the top level license: Dugopolje, Gorica and Lučko, where the latter two are set to play outside of their home venues.
The club that accepts participation in Prva HNL or Druga HNL in 2011–12 season, and has secured that right on terms of ranking and acquired license, must confirm their participation in written form no later than 6 June 2011. If a club doesn't submit such a claim or backs out later, they will be demoted to county league. The 2011–12 Prva HNL season is scheduled to start on 23 July 2011.
Although the bottom three clubs should have been relegated at the end of the 2009–10 season, problems with licensing have reduced this number. However, the Prva HNL Statute explicitly states that the bottom-placed team must be relegated, which will be Croatia Sesvete. Since only two second division clubs met the requirements for top level football, 14th-placed NK Zagreb will not be relegated and the 15th-placed club Međimurje will be replaced with Hrvatski Dragovoljac, the third-placed team in Druga HNL.
2009–10 Druga HNL winners RNK Split have secured a promotion spot in the on 2 May 2010. This will mark their return to top flight after 49 years, having been relegated from the 1960–61 Yugoslav First League. Hrvatski Dragovoljac was returned to Prva HNL after spending 9 years in lower levels, as their last top-flight spell had ended at the end of the 2001–02 season.
Stadia and locations
The following is the updated list of stadia for which top level licences have been obtained as of 21 May 2010. Five out of the eighteen licensed clubs had obtained licences to use other clubs' stadia as their own grounds had been found unsuitable for top flight matches but only Lokomotiva will end the season using stadium of other club because Međimurje dropt out to second division, RNK Split was given permission to play their home games at their own stadion, Istra 1961 was given permission to play their home games in their home town until their own stadium will be finished with renovation, and Hrvatski Dragovoljac is also waiting for its own stadium to be finished with renovation.
Just before the start of the season Istra 1961 was given permission to play their home games at the Stadion Veruda in Pula until the end of renovation of its own Stadion Aldo Drosina in Pula. They will play their first game at Stadion Aldo Drosina in February in 19. round against Dragovoljac. Originally, they were supposed to play their home games at the Kantrida stadium in Rijeka. Before their first home game RNK Split was given permission to play their home games at their own Stadion Park mladeži in Split. Originally, they were supposed to play their home games at the Poljud stadium in Split. Before their first home game Hrvatski Dragovoljac was given permission to play their home games at stadium in Kranjčevićeva in Zagreb where they continued playing their home games until renovation of their own Stadion NŠC Stjepan Spajić stadium ended. They have played their first home game at their own stadium in 18. round against Rijeka. Originally, they were supposed to play their home games at the Maksimir stadium in Zagreb.
|Stadium||City||Home club||Licensed club(s)||Capacity|
|Aldo Drosina||Pula||Istra 1961||10,000|
|Stadion HNK Cibalia||Vinkovci||Cibalia||9,920|
|Park mladeži||Split||RNK Split||8,000|
|NŠC Stjepan Spajić||Zagreb||Hrvatski Dragovoljac||5,000|
|ŠRC Zaprešić||Zaprešić||Inter Zaprešić||4,528|
|Gradski stadion||Koprivnica||Slaven Belupo||4,000|
Personnel and kits
- As of 26 May 2011
|Team||Manager||Captain||Kit manufacturer||Shirt sponsor|
|Cibalia||Stanko Mršić||Mario Lučić||Jako||Croatia Osiguranje|
|Dinamo Zagreb||Krunoslav Jurčić||Igor Bišćan||Diadora||INA|
|Hajduk Split||Ante Miše||Srđan Andrić||Umbro|
|Hrvatski Dragovoljac||Davor Mladina||Danijel Zlatar||Jako||Croatia Osiguranje|
|Inter Zaprešić||Ilija Lončarević||Tomislav Šarić||Legea||Zaprešić|
|Istra 1961||Igor Pamić||Dalibor Pauletić||Legea|
|Karlovac||Srećko Lušić||Matija Štefančić||Macron||HS Produkt|
|Lokomotiva||Marijo Tot||Željko Sopić||Legea|
|Osijek||Vlado Bilić||Ivo Smoje||Kappa||Croatia Osiguranje|
|Rijeka||Elvis Scoria||Fausto Budicin||Jako||Croatia Osiguranje|
|Slaven Belupo||Roy Ferenčina||Elvis Kokalović||Adidas||Belupo|
|RNK Split||Ivan Katalinić||Andrija Vuković||Jako||Skladgradnja|
|Šibenik||Vjekoslav Lokica||Goran Blažević||Jako||Zagrebačka banka|
|Varaždin||Samir Toplak||Roberto Punčec||Legea||Croatia Osiguranje|
|Zadar||Dalibor Zebić||Jakov Surać||Jako|
|NK Zagreb||Luka Pavlović||Mario Tokić||Legea|
|Team||Outgoing manager||Manner of departure||Date of vacancy||Replaced by||Date of appointment||Position in table|
|NK Zagreb||Igor Štimac||Resigned||13 May 2010 ||Ivo Šušak||27 May 2010 ||Pre-season|
|Dinamo Zagreb||Krunoslav Jurčić||Resigned||19 May 2010 ||Velimir Zajec||25 May 2010||Pre-season|
|Istra 1961||Zoran Vulić||Sacked||23 May 2010 ||Ante Miše||23 May 2010||Pre-season|
|RNK Split||Tonći Bašić||Removed from position||2 June 2010 ||Ivan Katalinić||2 June 2010||Pre-season|
|Slaven Belupo||Zlatko Dalić||Mutual consent||2 June 2010 ||Mile Petković||7 June 2010||Pre-season|
|Šibenik||Branko Karačić||Resigned||23 July 2010 ||Vjekoslav Lokica||11 August 2010 ||Pre-season|
|Istra 1961||Ante Miše||Sacked||3 August 2010||Robert Jarni||4 August 2010||16th|
|Dinamo Zagreb||Velimir Zajec||Sacked||9 August 2010||Vahid Halilhodžić||17 August 2010||8th|
|Osijek||Tomislav Steinbrückner||Sacked||16 August 2010||Branko Karačić||16 August 2010||12th|
|NK Zagreb||Ivo Šušak||Mutual consent||14 September 2010||Luka Pavlović||14 September 2010||5th|
|Istra 1961||Robert Jarni||Resigned||19 September 2010||Zoran Vulić||5 October 2010||15th|
|Hrvatski Dragovoljac||Davor Mladina||Resigned||19 September 2010||Damir Biškup||19 September 2010||16th|
|Lokomotiva||Roy Ferenčina||Mutual consent||2 October 2010||Ljupko Petrović||2 October 2010||12th|
|Hrvatski Dragovoljac||Damir Biškup||Removed from position||3 October 2010||Ivan Pudar||3 October 2010||15th|
|Hajduk Split||Stanko Poklepović||Sacked||28 October 2010||Goran Vučević||28 December 2010||2nd|
|Rijeka||Nenad Gračan||Mutual consent||6 November 2010||Elvis Scoria||8 November 2010||6th|
|Hrvatski Dragovoljac||Ivan Pudar||Mutual consent||7 November 2010||Davor Mladina||7 November 2010||16th|
|Slaven Belupo||Mile Petković||Resigned||13 March 2011||Roy Ferenčina||14 March 2011||11th|
|Lokomotiva||Ljupko Petrović||Removed from position||14 March 2011||Krunoslav Jurčić||14 March 2011||14th|
|Istra 1961||Zoran Vulić||Resigned||21 March 2011||Igor Pamić||29 March 2011||15th|
|Karlovac||Igor Pamić||Resigned||23 March 2011||Srećko Lušić||23 March 2011||6th|
|Hajduk Split||Goran Vučević||Mutual consent||16 April 2011||Ante Miše||18 April 2011||2nd|
|Osijek||Branko Karačić||Removed from position||2 May 2011||Vlado Bilić||9 May 2011||9th|
|Dinamo Zagreb||Vahid Halilhodžić||Resigned||6 May 2011||Krunoslav Jurčić||26 May 2011||1st|
|Pos||Team||Pld||W||D||L||GF||GA||GD||Pts||Qualification or relegation|
|1||Dinamo Zagreb (C)||30||22||6||2||52||12||+40||72||2011–12 UEFA Champions League Second qualifying round|
|2||Hajduk Split||30||16||7||7||54||32||+22||55||2011–12 UEFA Europa League Third qualifying round|
|3||RNK Split||30||16||5||9||38||22||+16||53||2011–12 UEFA Europa League Second qualifying round|
|11||Varaždin||30||9||9||12||32||38||−6||36||2011–12 UEFA Europa League First qualifying round[a]|
|14||Lokomotiva||30||8||9||13||24||37||−13||33||Relegation to 2011–12 Druga HNL[b]|
|16||Hrvatski Dragovoljac (R)||30||5||8||17||24||55||−31||23|
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored.
For deciding champions, qualification to UEFA Europa League and relegation: 1st points; 2nd head-to-head points; 3rd head-to-head goal difference; 4th head-to-head away goals scored
(C) Champion; (R) Relegated.
- Champions League-bound Dinamo Zagreb won the 2010–11 Croatian Cup, so cup runners-up Varaždin will enter the first qualifying round of UEFA Europa League.
- Despite finishing 14th NK Lokomotiva avoided relegation as only two second level clubs who had been granted first division licences by the Croatian Football Federation (HNS) managed to finish the season within top five places (Gorica and Lučko finished top two and the only remaining licensed club Dugopolje failed to clinch promotion as they ended the season in 8th place). However, on 20 June 2011 HNS rescinded Gorica's license which meant that only the last-placed Hrvatski Dragovoljac were replaced by Lučko, with 15th-placed Istra 1961 remaining in top flight as well.
|Home \ Away||CIB||DIN||HAJ||HRD||INT||IST||KAR||LOK||OSI||RIJ||SLA||SPL||ŠIB||VAR||ZAD||ZAG|
As of 21 May 2011; Source: Prva-HNL
|1||Ivan Krstanović||NK Zagreb||19|
|2||Ante Vukušić||Hajduk Split||14|
|Fatos Bećiraj||Dinamo Zagreb||8|
|Leon Benko||Slaven Belupo||8|
- 2010 Croatian Football Super Cup
- 2010–11 Croatian Football Cup
- 2010–11 Croatian Second Football League
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