2014–15 A Group

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A Group
Season2014–15
ChampionsLudogorets Razgrad
(4th title)
RelegatedMarek
Haskovo
Champions LeagueLudogorets Razgrad
Matches played132
Goals scored336 (2.55 per match)
Top goalscorerAñete (14 goals)
Biggest home winLevski Sofia 8–0 Haskovo
(27 February 2015)[1]
Biggest away winHaskovo 0–5 Levski Sofia
(4 May 2015)[2]
Highest scoringLevski 8-0 Haskovo
(27 February 2015)[3]
Longest winning run5 games
CSKA Sofia
Longest unbeaten run14 games
CSKA Sofia
Longest winless run15 games
Haskovo
Longest losing run11 games
Haskovo

The 2014–15 A Group was the 91st season of the top division of the Bulgarian football league system, and 67th since a league format was adopted for the national competition of A Group as a top tier of the pyramid.

The competition was divided in two phases - Regular season, with every team playing against every other team twice, and Playoffs, with teams divided into Championship group (top six) and Relegation group (bottom six) to determine the champions and the relegated teams, respectively.

Ludogorets Razgrad entered the season as three-time defending champions, and succeeded to retain the title for a 4th consecutive and overall time 2 rounds before the end of the season, after their home win over Lokomotiv Sofia.[4]

Beroe Stara Zagora finished second,[5] while Lokomotiv Sofia claimed the third place.[6]

Marek Dupnitsa and Haskovo survived only one season in A Group and were relegated.

Competition format[edit]

The championship is divided in two phases.

In the first phase, the Regular season, every team must play two times against each of the other eleven teams on home-away basis for a subtotal of 22 matches.
In the second phase, the Play-offs, the teams are divided in two groups - Championship group (first six) and Relegation group (bottom six). In those two parallel played groups every team has to play two times, again on home-away basis, only against the remaining five teams in the group for a subtotal of 10 matches.

Thus, the season has a total of 32 fixtures.

At the end of the season, the champion earns a place in the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League qualifying rounds, while the next two or three clubs in the final standings in the league table (depending on the winner of the 2014–15 Bulgarian Cup) earn the right to play in 2015/16 UEFA Europa League qualifying rounds. The last two teams in the table (from 11th to 12th place) are directly relegated to B Group for the next season while two clubs from the lower division are promoted.

Teams[edit]

A total of 12 teams are contesting the league, including the best 10 sides from the previous season, plus two promoted clubs from the lower division B Group.

As finishing in the bottom four places of the table at the end of season 2013–14, Chernomorets, Neftochimic, Pirin (Gotse Delchev) and Lyubimets 2007 were relegated to B Group and only two teams were promoted from B Group with the object of decreasing the number of teams from 14 to 12 for the current season.

The relegated teams were replaced by Marek (Dupnitsa), the 2013–14 B Group champions and Haskovo, the 2013–14 B Group runner-up. While Marek returns to the top division after six years, Haskovo reaches again the highest class after 21 years.

Stadia and locations[edit]

Note: Table lists in alphabetical order.

Team Location Stadium Capacity (seating)
Beroe Stara Zagora Stara Zagora Stadion Beroe 12,128
Botev Plovdiv Plovdiv Botev 1912 Football Complex 4,000
Cherno More Varna Varna Stadion Ticha 8,250
CSKA Sofia Sofia Stadion Balgarska Armia 22,015
Haskovo Haskovo Stadion Haskovo 12,500
Levski Sofia Sofia Stadion Georgi Asparuhov 19,000
Litex Lovech Lovech Stadion Lovech 8,100
Lokomotiv Plovdiv Plovdiv Stadion Lokomotiv 10,000
Lokomotiv Sofia Sofia Lokomotiv Stadium 22,000
Ludogorets Razgrad Ludogorets Arena 6,500
Marek Dupnitsa Dupnitsa Stadion Bonchuk 16,050
Slavia Sofia Sofia Stadion Slavia 15,992

Personnel and sponsoring[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players and Managers may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

Team Manager Captain Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor
Beroe Stara Zagora Bulgaria Petar Hubchev Bulgaria Ivo Ivanov Joma BEROE
Botev Plovdiv Bulgaria Petar Penchev Bulgaria Ivan Tsvetkov Uhlsport Vivacom
Cherno More Varna Bulgaria Nikola Spasov Bulgaria Kiril Kotev Tommy Armeets
CSKA Sofia Bulgaria Luboslav Penev Bulgaria Valentin Iliev Legea Efbet
Haskovo Bulgaria Stamen Belchev Bulgaria Ivan Skerlev Flair
Levski Sofia Bulgaria Stoycho Stoev Bulgaria Vladimir Gadzhev Joma Efbet
Litex Lovech Bulgaria Krasimir Balakov Bulgaria Strahil Popov adidas Prima, Efbet
Lokomotiv Plovdiv Bulgaria Hristo Kolev Bulgaria Stanislav Malamov Joma ProfiLink
Lokomotiv Sofia Bulgaria Dimitar Vasev Bulgaria Aleksandar Branekov Joma Casa Boyana, Efbet
Ludogorets Razgrad Bulgaria Georgi Dermendzhiev Bulgaria Svetoslav Dyakov Macron eCasino.bg
Marek Dupnitsa Bulgaria Tencho Tenev Bulgaria Milen Lahchev Jumper Actavis
Slavia Sofia Bulgaria Ivan Kolev Bulgaria Georgi Petkov Joma Asset Insurance, Efbet

Managerial changes[edit]

Team Outgoing manager Manner of departure Date of vacancy Position in table Incoming manager Date of appointment
Cherno More Bulgaria Georgi Ivanov Resignation 18 May 2014 Pre-season Bulgaria Aleksandar Stankov 2 June 2014
Levski Sofia Bulgaria Elin Topuzakov 18 May 2014 Spain Pepe Murcia 5 June 2014
Marek Dupnitsa Bulgaria Ivaylo Pargov 18 May 2014 Bulgaria Anton Velkov 5 June 2014
Lokomotiv Plovdiv Bulgaria Aleksandar Stankov Mutual consent 19 May 2014 Bulgaria Emil Velev 12 June 2014
Litex Lovech Serbia Miodrag Ješić End of contract 19 May 2014 Bulgaria Krasimir Balakov 27 May 2014
Botev Plovdiv Bulgaria Stanimir Stoilov Mutual consent 4 June 2014 Bulgaria Lyuboslav Penev 6 June 2014
Botev Plovdiv Bulgaria Lyuboslav Penev Mutual consent 7 July 2014 Bulgaria Velislav Vutsov 14 July 2014
Lokomotiv Plovdiv Bulgaria Emil Velev Mutual consent 8 July 2014 Bulgaria Nedelcho Matushev 9 July 2014
Ludogorets Razgrad Bulgaria Stoycho Stoev Sacked 31 July 2014 10th Bulgaria Georgi Dermendzhiev 1 August 2014
Levski Sofia Spain Pepe Murcia Sacked 4 August 2014 6th Bulgaria Georgi Ivanov 4 August 2014
Cherno More Bulgaria Aleksandar Stankov Sacked 18 August 2014 12th Bulgaria Nikola Spasov 18 August 2014
Slavia Sofia Bulgaria Milen Radukanov Resigned 31 August 2014 11th Bulgaria Ivan Kolev 1 September 2014
Haskovo Bulgaria Dimcho Nenov Resigned 20 September 2014 12th Bulgaria Emil Velev 6 October 2014
Lokomotiv Plovdiv Bulgaria Nedelcho Matushev Resigned 29 September 2014 11th Bulgaria Hristo Kolev 1 October 2014
Marek Dupnitsa Bulgaria Anton Velkov Resigned 5 October 2014 9th Bulgaria Tencho Tenev 10 October 2014
Botev Plovdiv Bulgaria Velislav Vutsov Sacked 3 December 2014 7th Bulgaria Petar Penchev 4 December 2014
Levski Sofia Bulgaria Georgi Ivanov Resigned 6 December 2014 6th Bulgaria Stoycho Stoev 22 December 2014
Haskovo Bulgaria Emil Velev Resigned 18 March 2015[7] 12th Bulgaria Stamen Belchev 27 March 2015[8]
CSKA Sofia Bulgaria Stoycho Mladenov Resigned 20 March 2015[9] 2nd Bulgaria Galin Ivanov 24 March 2015
CSKA Sofia Bulgaria Galin Ivanov Early end of caretaker spell (majority shareholders' decision) 27 April 2015 4th Bulgaria Luboslav Penev 28 April 2015[10]

First phase[edit]

The first 22 Rounds comprise the first phase of the season, also called the Regular season. In the first phase, every team plays each other team twice on a home-away basis till all the teams have played two matches against each other. The table standings at the end of the Regular season determine the group in which each team is going to play in the Play-offs.

League table[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification or relegation
1 Ludogorets Razgrad 22 14 5 3 46 14 +32 47 Qualification for Championship group
2 CSKA Sofia 22 13 5 4 39 15 +24 44
3 Lokomotiv Sofia 22 12 3 7 29 24 +5 39[a]
4 Litex Lovech 22 12 3 7 37 24 +13 39[a]
5 Beroe Stara Zagora 22 11 5 6 34 21 +13 38
6 Botev Plovdiv 22 11 3 8 32 26 +6 36
7 Levski Sofia 22 10 4 8 36 25 +11 34 Qualification for Relegation group
8 Cherno More Varna 22 9 4 9 26 24 +2 31
9 Slavia Sofia 22 6 5 11 24 30 −6 23
10 Lokomotiv Plovdiv 22 5 5 12 13 36 −23 20
11 Marek Dupnitsa 22 3 5 14 8 45 −37 14
12 Haskovo 22 2 1 19 12 52 −40 7
Source: bulgarian-football.com
Rules for classification: 1st points; 2nd head-to-head points; 3rd head-to-head goal difference; 4th head-to-head goals scored; 5th head-to-head away goals scored; 6th season goal difference; 7th season goals scored; 8th "sportsmanship" (R & Y cards); 9th draw
Notes:
  1. ^ a b LSO 2–0 LIT; LIT 4–2 LSO

Results[edit]

Each team played against every other team for a total of 22 matches.

Home \ Away BSZ BOT CHM CSK HAS LEV LIT LPL LSO LUD MAR SLA
Beroe 1–1 1–1 1–2 3–0 2–1 2–0 3–0 0–0 0–4 4–0 1–1
Botev Plovdiv 3–1 2–1 2–0 2–0 0–3 3–3 2–0 1–0 1–2 3–0 2–0
Cherno More 4–0 2–1 1–1 1–0 1–0 0–3 3–0 0–1 0–0 0–1 2–0
CSKA Sofia 0–1 1–0 3–1 4–0 2–0 2–0 2–0 3–0 1–1 5–0 0–0
Haskovo 1–0 1–2 0–1 2–4 1–4 1–4 1–2 0–0 1–0 0–1 1–5
Levski Sofia 0–1 2–1 1–0 0–3 8–0 2–2 1–1 1–0 3–2 4–0 2–0
Litex Lovech 2–1 1–2 3–0 0–1 2–0 3–0 1–0 4–2 1–0 3–0 2–0
Lokomotiv Plovdiv 0–3 0–2 1–1 0–3 1–0 1–1 2–0 0–4 1–4 1–0 1–1
Lokomotiv Sofia 0–3 3–1 2–1 2–0 2–1 0–1 2–0 2–0 2–2 2–0 1–0
Ludogorets Razgrad 1–1 1–0 2–0 2–0 3–1 1–0 4–1 2–0 5–1 3–0 0–0
Marek 0–3 1–1 1–3 0–0 2–1 1–1 0–0 0–0 0–1 0–4 0–2
Slavia Sofia 0–2 3–0 1–3 2–2 1–0 3–1 0–2 0–2 1–2 0–3 4–1
Source: A PFG
Colours: Blue = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.

Second phase[edit]

After the first 22 Rounds comprising the Regular season, the teams are divided into two groups of six determined by their standings in the table at the end of the Regular season. The second phase is also referred to as the Play-offs. The teams in each group of the Play-offs again play on a home-away basis but only with the teams in their respective group. Hence, the total number of games each team has to play in this phase is 10 (twice with each of the other five teams in the group).

Championship group[edit]

The top six teams at the end of the Regular season play in the Championship group to determine the champion for the season. Additionally, the teams in this group compete for the Bulgarian spots in UEFA's 2015–16 editions of Champions League and Europa League.

At the end of the Play-offs, the team placed first in the group can compete in the qualifying rounds of 2015–16 UEFA Champions League. The second and the third placed teams earn the right to compete in the qualifying rounds of 2015–16 UEFA Europa League. If the winner of the 2014–15 Bulgarian Cup is one of those top three teams, the fourth placed team in the group also earns a right to participate in the qualifying rounds of the Europa League.

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification or relegation
1 Ludogorets Razgrad (C) 32 18 9 5 63 24 +39 63 2015–16 UEFA Champions League Second qualifying round
2 Beroe 32 15 10 7 46 30 +16 55[a] 2015–16 UEFA Europa League First qualifying round
3 Lokomotiv Sofia (R) 32 16 7 9 39 31 +8 55[a] Relegation to 2015–16 V AFG[b]
4 Litex Lovech 32 16 6 10 49 36 +13 54 2015–16 UEFA Europa League First qualifying round[b]
5 CSKA Sofia (R) 32 14 10 8 45 27 +18 52 Relegation to 2015–16 V AFG
6 Botev Plovdiv 32 12 6 14 38 39 −1 42
Source: bulgarian-football.com
Rules for classification: 1st points; 2nd head-to-head points; 3rd head-to-head goal difference; 4th head-to-head goals scored; 5th head-to-head away goals scored; 6th season goal difference; 7th season goals scored; 8th "sportsmanship" (R & Y cards); 9th draw
(C) Champion; (R) Relegated.
Notes:
  1. ^ a b BER: 7 pts; LSO: 4 pts
  2. ^ a b Lokomotiv Sofia did not receive license for European competitions and Litex Lovech took their place.
Results
Home \ Away BSZ BOT CSK LIT LSO LUD
Beroe 2–1 0–0 3–1 1–4 2–0
Botev Plovdiv 1–1 3–2 0–1 0–2 1–3
CSKA Sofia 0–0 0–0 3–1 0–1 0–0
Litex Lovech 1–1 1–0 2–0 0–0 4–2
Lokomotiv Sofia 0–1 1–0 1–1 0–0 0–0
Ludogorets Razgrad 1–1 0–0 4–0 3–1 4–1
Source: A PFG
Colours: Blue = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.
Results by round
Round23242526272829303132
Beroe Stara ZagoraDLDDWDWWWD
Botev PlovdivDLDDLLLWLL
CSKA SofiaDLDLLDDLDW
Litex LovechDWDLWDWLWL
Lokomotiv SofiaDWDWWDLLDW
Ludogorets RazgradDWDWLWDWLD
Source: sportal.bg
W = Win; D = Draw; L = Loss
Positions by round
Team ╲ Round23242526272829303132
Beroe Stara Zagora5555555222
Botev Plovdiv6666666666
CSKA Sofia2223444555
Litex Lovech4444333434
Lokomotiv Sofia3332222343
Ludogorets Razgrad1111111111

Relegation group[edit]

The bottom six teams at the end of the Regular season play in the Relegation group to determine which two teams are relegated to B PFG for next season.

At the end of the Play-offs the bottom two teams of this group will be directly relegated.

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification or relegation
7 Levski Sofia 32 17 5 10 66 33 +33 56
8 Cherno More 32 15 5 12 42 36 +6 50 2015–16 UEFA Europa League Second qualifying round[a]
9 Slavia Sofia 32 12 7 13 40 38 +2 43
10 Lokomotiv Plovdiv 32 9 5 18 28 52 −24 32
11 Marek (R) 32 5 5 22 14 71 −57 20 Relegation to 2015–16 B PFG
12 Haskovo (R) 32 4 3 25 18 71 −53 15
Source: bulgarian-football.com, UEFA.com (in English)
Rules for classification: 1st points; 2nd head-to-head points; 3rd head-to-head goal difference; 4th head-to-head goals scored; 5th head-to-head away goals scored; 6th season goal difference; 7th season goals scored; 8th "sportsmanship" (R & Y cards); 9th draw
(R) Relegated.
Notes:
Results
Home \ Away CHM HAS LEV LPL MAR SLA
Cherno More 2–0 0–2 1–2 1–0 1–1
Haskovo 1–3 0–5 2–0 1–0 0–1
Levski Sofia 5–2 1–1 5–0 6–0 2–3
Lokomotiv Plovdiv 0–1 4–0 0–1 4–0 1–2
Marek 0–2 3–1 1–3 1–4 1–0
Slavia Sofia 1–3 0–0 1–0 3–0 4–0
Source: A PFG
Colours: Blue = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.
Results by round
Round23242526272829303132
Cherno More VarnaWLWDWWLWWL
HaskovoDWLWDLLLLL
Levski SofiaDWLWWWWLWW
Lokomotiv PlovdivLLWLLLWWLW
Marek DupnitsaLWLLLLLLWL
Slavia SofiaWLWDDWWWLW
Source: sportal.bg
W = Win; D = Draw; L = Loss
Positions by round
Round23242526272829303132
Cherno More Varna8888888888
Haskovo12121212121212121212
Levski Sofia7777777777
Lokomotiv Plovdiv10101010101010101010
Marek Dupnitsa11111111111111111111
Slavia Sofia9999999999

Season statistics[edit]