First Professional Football League (Bulgaria)

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For other sports leagues which may be referred to by this name, see List of professional sports leagues.
First Professional Football League
APFG.png
Country Bulgaria
Confederation UEFA
Founded 1924 (as BSFC)
1948 (as A Group)
2016 (reformed as First League)
Divisions 1
Number of teams 14
Level on pyramid 1
Relegation to Second League
Domestic cup(s) Bulgarian Cup
Bulgarian Supercup
International cup(s) Champions League
Europa League
Current champions Ludogorets Razgrad (5th title)
(2015–16)
Most championships CSKA Sofia (31 titles)
TV partners Nova Broadcasting Group
2016–17 season

The First Professional Football League (Bulgarian: Първа професионална футболна лига), is a Bulgarian professional league for association football clubs. At the top of the Bulgarian football league system, it serves as the country's primary football competition. The league determines the champion of Bulgaria and contested by fourteen teams it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the second tier of the Bulgarian football league pyramid, the Second League. First League was formed during the summer of 2016 with the restructure and rebranding the name of the top division of the bulgarian football.

The First League is formed by a regular season and playoffs. Each of the fourteen teams participating in the league must play at least two times against every other team on a home-away basis before starting the playoffs stages. Seasons run from late July to May in the following year with a winter break, which usually lasts two months. Most games are played on Saturdays and Sundays, with some played during weekday evenings, mainly on Friday and Monday. The TV rights for the league matches are owned by the media company "Football Pro Media" and the games are broadcast live on the channels Diema, Diema Sport and Diema Sport 2, part of the Diema Extra paid pack.

The Bulgarian football championship was inaugurated in 1924 as BSFC and it has been playing as a league format since 1948 when A Group was created as the top tier of the Bulgarian football league pyramid. The top division of Bulgarian football has been restructured for season 2016–17 with the participating teams taking ownership stake in the tournament and rebranding the name to First League while it is still being administered by the Bulgarian Professional Football League and the Bulgarian Football Union. The champion of First League has the right to take part in the UEFA Champions League from the stage allowed by the league's coefficient. The two UEFA Europa League spots are allocated to the second team in the final standings and the winner of the playoffs. All teams qualify for the Bulgarian Cup which also offers UEFA Europa League spot. In every season, the teams in First League start participating in the competition from Round 2 (Round of 32) in the middle of November.

A total of 66 clubs have competed in the top tier of Bulgarian football. In the last several seasons, many teams such as the current champions Ludogorets made their debuts in the top division of Bulgarian football. In the 2013–14 season, Lyubimets became the 66th club to ever participate in the top division competition. Since season 1948, eleven teams have been crowned champions of Bulgaria. The three most successful clubs are CSKA Sofia with 31 titles, Levski Sofia with 26 titles and Slavia Sofia with 7 titles. The current champions Ludogorets Razgrad won their fifth consecutive and overall championship title in their fifth A Group season of 2015–16.

History[edit]

Bulgarian State Football Championship[edit]

The first football championship of Bulgaria started in 1924 with a knockout format. An attempt to form a league as the top division of the Bulgarian football league system was made in 1937–1940, when the National Football Division was created. There were 10 teams, each playing twice against all the others, once home and once away. The team that finished first in the table became champions.

A Republican Football Group[edit]

The first season of the A Republican Football Group started in the autumn of 1948. In that season, ten teams participated in the league: Levski, Septemvri, Lokomotiv, Slavia and Spartak from the capital city Sofia, and Botev (Varna), Slavia (Plovdiv), Marek (Stanke Dimitrov), Benkovski (Vidin) and Luybislav (Burgas). The first football champion of the A Republican Football Group was Levski in 1948–49.

The 1949/50 season in the A Group was not completed. The league was stopped after the first fixture. It was then decided that the championship of Bulgaria would be played in a spring-autumn cycle as in the Soviet Union. In the autumn of 1949, qualification tournaments were played to determine the teams that would play in the next 1950 season. In the next two seasons the number of teams in the league was increased to 12, and for the 1953 season there were 15 teams (the 16th team was the Bulgarian National Football Team). In seasons 1954 and 1955 there were 14 teams in the league, and in seasons 1956 and 1957 there were 10.

In 1958, the championship was again stopped after the spring half-season, as had happened in 1948. New re-organizations were accepted and the league was again going to be played in the autumn-spring format. Despite the fact that the teams had played just 1 match, CDNA was crowned as the champion of Bulgaria.

The frequent changes in the number of teams in A Group continued in the 1960s. In the first two seasons after the reforms in 1958, the number of teams in the league was 12, in the period 1960–1962 – 14, until season 1967/68, when the teams were 16.

There were new reforms at the end of the 1960s. There were many mergers between Bulgarian clubs. The most-famous are between CSKA Red Flag and Septemvri Sofia in CSKA September Flag, the capital teams Levski and Spartak in Levski-Spartak, Lokomotiv and Slavia in Slavia, the Plovdiv teams Botev, Spartak and Academic in Trakiya. Mergers happened between other Bulgarian clubs too. These mergers between clubs and reforms in A Group where made at the winter break of the 1968/69 season.

After the winter reforms in 1968 until 2000, A Group remained with 16 teams, except in seasons 1971/72 and 1972/73, when 18 teams competed in the league.

Premier Professional Football League[edit]

The Bulgarian Football Union decided to make reforms. The Premier Professional Football League, created in the autumn of 2000, had 14 teams participating in it. At the end of the 2000/01 season, the last two teams were directly relegated to the lower division and the team that finished 12th had the chance to compete in the promotion/relegation play-off for the remaining place in the league. Levski Sofia became champions in the first season of the Premier League.

In the 2001/02 season there was experimentation with the regulations. The championship was divided into two phases. In the first phase the teams played a regular season, each team playing twice against all the others, once home and once away. The second phase was a play-off phase.

In the following season, 2002/03, the championship returned to the regulations of 2000/01 – 14 teams playing in a home and away format. For the first time in 6 years, CSKA Sofia became champions.

Bulgarian A Professional Football Group[edit]

The Bulgarian A Professional Football Group was created in 2003. The group was formed by 16 teams, each playing twice against all the others, once home and once away. In the first season of the newly created A Group, the 2003/04 season, for the first time in history, Lokomotiv Plovdiv became champions, finishing with 75 points. In 2004/05, CSKA Sofia won A Group for the 30th time. For the next two seasons, Levski Sofia were champions under manager Stanimir Stoilov. From 2005/2006 the league's name has been A Football Group. In 2007/08, CSKA became champions of A Group for a record-breaking 31st time without a loss out of 30 matches. But in the summer, UEFA didn't give a license for the club to play in the UEFA Champions League qualifying rounds and Levski Sofia entered to play in the tournament instead of CSKA. In the following season Levski Sofia won their last A Group title, finishing one point ahead of CSKA. Later on, two years in a row Litex Lovech won another 2 titles like in 1997/98 and 1998/99. In 2011/12, after winning promotion from B Group, Ludogorets Razgrad became the second team after Litex to win the A Group in their first season.

The A Group Trophy as of 2005

The Bulgarian Football Union decided to make some changes in the format of A Group prior to season 2014–15 with the reduction of the number of the teams participating in the top league from 16 to 12.

First for season 2013–14, the number of teams competing in A Group has been reduced from sixteen to fourteen. The championship was divided into two stages. In the first stage, the regular season, each team must play two times against the other thirteen teams on a home-away basis until each team has played with each of the other teams twice, for a subtotal of 26 matches per team. In the second stage, the playoffs, the top seven teams and the bottom seven were divided into two subgroups, which were to play twice with each of their respective group rivals, again on a home-away basis, for a subtotal of 12 games per team. The top seven teams determined the champion of Bulgaria as well as the teams eligible to play in the European tournaments because of their position at the end of the season. The bottom seven determined the four teams that are to be relegated to B Group for season 2014–15 and two teams promoted in their place from the lower level division.

For the next 2014–15 A Group season the teams that have taken part were 12, with Ludogorets winning their fourth consecutive championship. Again like in the previous season the championship was divided again into two stages - regular season and playoffs. In the second stage, the playoffs, this time the top six teams and the bottom six were divided into two subgroups, which were to play twice with each of their respective group rivals, again on a home-away basis, for a subtotal of 10 games per team. The top six teams determined the champion and the teams that were going to play in next season's European tournaments, and the bottom six determined the two teams that were going to be relageted to B Group.

Before the beginning of season 2015–16, the Sofia teams, including title record-holder CSKA and Lokomotiv were excluded from the league due not receiving license to play in A Group. However the new season started with 10 teams with the format saying that, there will be a regular season and no playoffs, with each club must play four times against every opponent in the league. Later in the season, in an A Group match played on Georgi Asparuhov Stadium in Sofia between Levski and Litex Lovech, after a referee decision for giving a penalty for the home team, the away team from Lovech decided to abandon the pitch and the match. After this big scandal, the team of Levski was awarded with a 3:0 win and the team of Litex Lovech been automatically excluded from A Group. The remaining teams in A Group, now just 9 finished the season, with the results of the matches played between them and the relegated Litex Lovech team were nullified. For fifth consecutive season Ludogorets from Razgrad won the A Group title.

First Professional Football League[edit]

On June 7, 2016 the league's name was changed to First Professional Football League following an approval of new licensing criteria for the clubs.[1]

Competition format[edit]

Three points are awarded for a win, one point for a draw, and no points for a loss. A club's place in the league table is determined by the number of points it has earned during the season. If two or more teams have equal points in the standings of A Group, the team with the better aggregate result form the head-to-head matches is placed higher. If some of the teams are tied in the aggregate result, the number of head-to-head away goals between those teams are considered. If tied again, the team with the better goal difference in the season is placed higher. If those teams have the same goal difference, the one with more goals scored during the season concerned is placed higher. If tied again, teams are positioned by "sportsmanship" – the one with fewer red cards (and if equal – fewer yellow cards) is placed higher. In the case where teams are tied again, their position is determined by a draw.

Clubs[edit]

From the creation of A Group (current First League) in 1948, 66 clubs have competed in the top level of the Bulgarian football league system. In the last couple of seasons many of them, just like the current champions Ludogorets made their debut in the league. In season 2011/12 Svetkavitsa competed for the first time but relegated in the same season after finishing at the bottom of the table. In 2012/13 Pirin from Gotse Delchev also made debut in the league and remained place after finishing 11th. In 2013/14 Lyubimets became the 66th club that have been part of the top division, however the team relegated in the same season.

Levski and Slavia from Sofia are the only two teams to have never been relegated from First League. They played in all 67 seasons of A Group, with a dispute for the latter. Slavia Sofia, as runners-up, in 1950 was separated in two teams - Udarnik Sofia sent in B Group and Stroitel Sofia in A Group, both members of same DFS organization. Slavia inherited the accounts of Stroitel in A Group for 1951 and the accounts of Udarnik for the next seasons until the unification of the team in 1953. Thus, it is very unclear and disputed on whether Slavia Sofia collects maximum number of seasons in First League or not. Most of statistics display 1 season outside First League for Slavia Sofia, despite the club never been relegated from the top level of Bulgarian football.

Current clubs[edit]

The following clubs are competing in First Professional Football League during the 2016–17 season.[2][3][4]

Club
Location
[2]
Botev Plovdiv
Cherno More Varna
Levski Sofia
Lokomotiv Plovdiv
Pirin Blagoevgrad
Ludogorets Razgrad
Beroe Stara Zagora
Montana Montana
CSKA Sofia
Slavia Sofia
Vereya Stara Zagora
Dunav Ruse
Neftochimic Burgas
Lokomotiv Gorna Oryahovitsa

List of champions[edit]

Performance by club[edit]

A list of the most successful clubs in the championship is listed below.[5]

Club Winners Runners-up Winning Years
CSKA Sofia
31 (record)
22
1948, 1951, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1966, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1997, 2003, 2005, 2008
Levski Sofia
26
32
1933, 1937, 1942, 1946, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1953, 1965, 1968, 1970, 1974, 1977, 1979, 1984, 1985, 1988, 1993, 1994, 1995, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2009
Slavia Sofia
7
10
1928, 1930, 1936, 1939, 1941, 1943, 1996
Ludogorets Razgrad
5
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
Lokomotiv Sofia
4
6
1940, 1945, 1964, 1978
Cherno More
4
6
1925, 1926, 1934, 1938
Litex Lovech
4
1
1998, 1999, 2010, 2011
Botev Plovdiv
2
2
1929, 1967
Spartak Varna
1
2
1932
Spartak Plovdiv
1
1
1963
Lokomotiv Plovdiv
1
1
2004
Beroe Stara Zagora
1
1
1986
Etar Veliko Tarnovo
1
1991
Sportklub Sofia
1
1935
AS-23
1
1931
  • Bold indicates clubs currently playing in the top division.
  • Italics indicates clubs no longer exist.

Notes:

  • Cherno More was created after Vladislav (Varna) and Ticha (Varna) merged. The titles include those won by both teams.
  • CSKA Sofia titles include those won as Septemvri pri CDNV, CDNA, and CFKA-Sredets.
  • Levski Sofia titles include those won as Levski-Spartak and Vitosha, as well as the re-awarded 1984/85 title.
  • Botev Plovdiv total does not include the Trakia originally awarded 1984/85 title.

All-time table (1948-present)[edit]

The A Group Trophy as of 2005
  • Clubs marked in Bold were participating in the 2015–16 season.
Pos. Team N S G W D L F A Pts
1 CSKA Sofia 3rd 66 1912 1161 433 314 3955 1678 3159 31 22 6
2 Levski Sofia 1st 67 1912 1139 438 335 3770 1716 3143 26 31 9
3 Slavia Sofia 1st 66 1890 826 451 613 2860 2198 2383 7 10 10
4 Lokomotiv Sofia 4th 63 1835 770 460 605 2644 2215 2279 4 3 10
5 Botev Plovdiv 1st 60 1725 668 401 656 2505 2391 1916 2 2 10
6 Lokomotiv Plovdiv 1st 54 1594 621 363 609 2177 2187 1836 1 1 4
7 Cherno More Varna 1st 51 1473 521 378 572 1760 1869 1599  –  – 2
8 Beroe Stara Zagora 1st 48 1421 477 326 618 1732 2092 1419 1 1 1
9 Litex Lovech 1st 20 608 354 123 131 1113 552 1149 4 1 3
10 Spartak Varna [a] N.E. 43 1202 378 270 554 1385 1829 1144  –  – 2
11 Minyor Pernik 3rd 38 1055 330 248 477 1175 1594 1000  –  –  –
12 Spartak Pleven 3rd 35 994 314 245 435 1150 1511 886  –  – 1
13 Chernomorets [b] N.E. 29 866 277 188 401 1057 1410 775  –  –  –
14 Botev Vratsa 2nd 28 848 288 185 375 1055 1266 774  –  – 1
15 Etar Veliko Tarnovo [c] Y.A. 24 726 264 161 301 951 1043 731 1  – 2
16 Marek Dupnitsa 4th 29 838 251 177 410 920 1374 737  –  – 1
17 Sliven 2000 3rd 25 750 246 164 340 906 1109 675  –  –  –
18 Pirin Blagoevgrad 1st 23 688 220 167 301 743 934 650  –  –  –
19 Dunav Ruse 2nd 25 699 220 172 307 747 1064 609  –  –  –
20 Neftochimic Burgas [d] N.E. 13 394 161 76 157 560 512 538  – 1  –
21 Akademik Sofia 4th 18 505 163 136 206 589 676 467  –  – 2
22 Spartak Plovdiv 3rd 17 441 158 121 162 562 581 455 1 1  –
23 Dobrudzha Dobrich 2nd 14 414 126 82 206 448 682 411  –  –  –
24 Spartak Sofia N.E. 15 377 135 124 118 456 416 394  – 1  –
25 Belasitsa Petrich 3rd 12 368 116 68 184 377 590 360  –  –  –
26 Ludogorets Razgrad 1st 5 130 87 28 15 268 73 359 5  –  –
27 Chernomorets Burgas 3rd 7 218 92 53 73 288 223 329  –  –  –
28 Velbazhd Kyustendil 3rd 7 201 98 27 76 299 269 314  –  – 3
29 Lokomotiv Gorna Oryahovitsa 2nd 9 268 95 48 125 280 390 259  –  –  –
30 Montana 1st 7 210 55 48 107 212 321 213  –  –  –
31 Shumen 2010 [e] N.E. 7 212 61 38 113 219 368 201  –  –  –
32 Pirin Blagoevgrad [f] N.E. 6 178 53 41 84 189 254 200  –  –  –
33 Yantra Gabrovo 3rd 7 214 65 50 99 239 332 174  –  –  –
34 Vihren Sandanski 3rd 4 118 38 14 66 117 173 128  –  –  –
35 Haskovo 4th 7 212 52 31 129 210 400 139  –  –  –
36 Vidima-Rakovski 3rd 5 150 28 36 86 126 271 120  –  –  –
37 Rodopa Smolyan 4th 4 118 31 17 70 106 194 110  –  –  –
38 Akademik Svishtov 3rd 4 120 36 26 58 136 195 97  –  –  –
39 Maritsa Plovdiv 3rd 4 120 28 25 67 129 225 89  –  –  –
40 Tundzha Yambol 3rd 3 97 28 22 47 98 152 78  –  –  –
41 Zavod 12 Sofia N.E. 3 74 23 27 24 72 80 73  –  –  –
42 Metalurg Pernik 4th 2 58 22 6 30 60 77 72  –  –  –
43 Hebar Pazardzhik N.E. 3 86 20 21 45 85 141 68  –  –  –
44 Lokomotiv Mezdra [g] N.E. 2 60 17 13 30 69 89 64  –  –  –
45 Pirin Gotse Delchev 3rd 2 68 16 8 44 62 148 56  –  –  –
46 Septemvri Sofia 3rd 3 78 16 20 42 101 160 56  –  –  –
47 VVS Sofia N.E. 2 54 13 21 20 60 63 47  –  –  –
48 Stroitel Sofia N.E. 2 50 13 18 19 47 53 44  –  –  –
49 Kaliakra Kavarna 3rd 2 60 10 11 39 45 117 41  –  –  –
50 Cherveno Zname Sofia N.E. 2 40 13 13 14 46 50 39  –  –  –
51 Rilski Sportist 4th 2 56 11 6 39 51 116 39  –  –  –
52 Olimpik Teteven 4th 1 30 11 2 17 26 50 35  –  –  –
53 Rakovski Ruse N.E. 2 60 9 6 45 41 151 33  –  –  –
54 Torpedo Pleven N.E. 3 66 9 14 43 48 137 32  –  –  –
55 Akademik Varna N.E. 1 28 9 7 12 26 43 25  –  –  –
56 Lyubimets 3rd 1 38 6 3 29 35 104 21  –  –
57 Dimitrovgrad 3rd 1 30 8 6 16 32 66 21  –  –  –
58 Himik Dimitrovgrad N.E. 1 30 7 6 17 36 60 20  –  –  –
59 Nesebar 3rd 1 30 5 5 20 26 63 20  –  –  –
60 Rozova Dolina 3rd 1 30 7 5 18 30 53 19  –  –  –
61 Sportist Svoge 3rd 1 30 5 4 21 23 59 19  –  –  –
62 Slavia Plovdiv N.E. 1 18 4 8 6 16 21 16  –  –  –
63 Pavlikeni 3rd 1 26 5 4 17 12 45 14  –  –  –
64 Etar 1924 N.E. 1 30 4 4 22 20 75 13  –  –  –
65 Bdin Vidin 3rd 1 18 2 4 12 13 35 8  –  –  –
66 Svetkavitsa 3rd 1 30 1 5 24 8 71 8  –  –  –
67 Chernomorets Burgas Sofia N.E. 1 30 0 1 29 8 131 −2  –  –  –
  • N.E. – Club currently doesn't exist.
  • Y.A. – Club currently have only youth academy.
  1. ^ Team was dissolved in 2015. FC Spartak Varna is recognized by the fans, but its not official representer of the original club.
  2. ^ Team was dissolved in 2006. PSFC Chernomorets Burgas and FC Chernomorets 1919 Burgas are recognized by the fans, but they are not official representers of the original club.
  3. ^ Team was dissolved in 2003. FC Etar 1924 Veliko Tarnovo and later OFC Etar Veliko Tarnovo are recognized by the fans, but they are not official representers of the original club.
  4. ^ Team was dissolved in 2014. Neftochimic Burgas is recognized by the fans, but its not official representer of the original club.
  5. ^ Team was dissolved in 2014. FC Shumen 1929 is recognized by the fans, but its not official representer of the original club.
  6. ^ Team was dissolved in 2008. OFC Pirin Blagoevgrad is recognized by the fans, but its not official representer of the original club.
  7. ^ Team was dissolved in 2012. FC Lokomotiv 2012 Mezdra and FC Lokomotiv 1929 Mezdra are recognized by the fans, but they are not official representers of the original club.

The Derbies[edit]

There are some matches that can be called derby matches. Of course the matches between the two most successful clubs in the history of Bulgarian football, CSKA Sofia and Levski Sofia are called as the Eternal Derby. The second largest city in Bulgaria Plovdiv has it's own derby match that is called The Plovdiv Derby between the two historic clubs of the city, Botev and Lokomotiv. Other derby matches with teams from one city are the derby of the third largest city Varna between Spartak and Cherno More and the derby of the fourth largest city Burgas between Chernomorets and Neftochimic. The oldest Sofia derby is between Levski (1914) and Slavia (1913).

The Eternal Derby[edit]

The Eternal Derby of Bulgarian football is contested by the two most successful football clubs in BulgariaCSKA Sofia and Levski Sofia. On every match between the two teams, no matter if it is a First League or Bulgarian Cup match, there is a fantastic atmosphere with thousands of fans supporting their favourite team.

Over 130 matches have been played between the two teams at the top level of Bulgarian football league system, with Levski Sofia having the upper hand. The biggest derby wins have been 7:2 (on 17 November 1968) and 7:1 (on 23 September 1994) for Levski. The biggest wins for CSKA Sofia were 5:0 (on 23 September 1953 and on 1 October 1989) and 4:0 (on 14 April 1957).

The highest attendance was on 11 March 1967, at the Vasil Levski National Stadium – 70,000 spectators (the final result Levski Sofia 1:1 CSKA Sofia). The lowest attendance is 8,000 spectators, on 18 November 1995, at the Vasil Levski National Stadium (Levski Sofia 3:1 CSKA Sofia).

The Plovdiv Derby[edit]

The second largest city in Bulgaria, Plovdiv also has a football derby match. It is called The Plovdiv Derby, performed by the two historic clubs of the city, Botev (created 1912) and Lokomotiv.

The first match between the two teams in A Group was in 1951 when Lokomotiv Plovdiv won 3–0. The biggest win for Lokomotiv was 7:3 (on 8 September 1974), and the biggest win for Botev is 5:0 twice, in seasons 1988/89 and 1995/96.

The two teams are the most supported ones in Plovdiv and the games between them are well known to the Bulgarian football community. This is maybe one of the fiercest rivalries in the world.[6] Botev is the country's oldest team created in 1912, whereas Lokomotiv grew popular in the 1970s. Traditionally, Lokomotiv drew support from the lower working classes of society, whereas Botev drew support form the middle and upper classes, although that no longer applies.[7]

Broadcasting rights[edit]

Georgi Hristov from Slavia playing Nikolay Bodurov from Litex in a 2011 A Group match.

From 2000 to 2008 the Bulgarian National Television broadcast all matches from A Group on its first channel – Kanal 1.

In 2008, the broadcasting rights were purchased by the private channels TV2 and Ring TV for three plus 2 years for the price of $33 million. BNT had the first pick for each fixture and broadcast the most interesting match for the weekend. For seasons 2009/10 and 2010/11, PRO.BG (the former TV2) and RING.BG (the former Ring TV) bought the rights to broadcast the full pack of six matches from each fixture. At the end of season 2010/11, after bTV bought PRO.BG, the channel was re-branded to bTV Action and got on broadcasting only on cable networks. The new owners didn't want to fully pay to every club in the league, because of the unmet stadium requirements for journalists and cameramen places at some stadiums. The clubs weren't happy and they threatened to ban cameras at their matches. Matches in that period were broadcast also in Romania. In the 2008–09 season, the Romanian sports channel Sport.ro broadcast the Friday game, and in the next 2009/10 season, only the matches of CSKA Sofia.

Days before the start of the 2011/12 season, the private terrestrial channel TV7 bought the rights to broadcast two matches per fixture. As before, the national television BNT1 got the first pick and broadcast the most interesting match for the fixture. The rest of the matches were broadcast live online on the websites Topsport.bg, Livesport.bg, Bookmakers.bg and Sportline.bg.

For the start of the new 2012/2013 season, the clubs refused the rights requests from four TV stations because of low payments offered – Bulgarian National Television, Nova Television, TV7 and TV+. Finally after the first set of fixtures, the satellite broadcaster Bulsatcom with its channel TV+ bought the rights, along with BNT. Before the start of the spring half-season the rights were bought by TV7 and News7, who had rights for the first, third and fourth pick, and BNT 1 along with the international channel BNT World broadcasting the second pick of a match.[8]

For the 2013–14 season, 7 Media Group bought the full rights for another three seasons prior to 2016 and will broadcast six matches per fixture on their channels – TV7 and News7. In 2014 because of financial problems TV7 lost the rights for the championship and they were transferred to Nova Broadcasting Group. The 2014–15 and 2015–16 seasons will be broadcast by Nova, Diema, Nova Sport and Diema Sport.

The next seasons will be broadcast on the channels Diema, Diema Sport and Diema Sport 2, part of the Diema Extra paid pack.[9]

Sponsorship[edit]

Until 2011 the official sponsor of A Group was TBI Credit and the league was officially known as TBI A Football Group.

For 2011–12, A Group had new sponsor – the Victoria FATA Insurance and therefore the league name in that season was Victoria A Football Championship.

In early 2013, for a short period of time the naming rights of A Group were bought from the news television network News7 and therefore the league's name was NEWS7 Football Championship.

UEFA Ranking[edit]

The national league rankings for the 2013/14 season of UEFA competitions is based upon results in UEFA competitions from the 2008/09 through 2012/13 seasons.

Current Bulgarian A Group ranking (2013)

Records[edit]

Teams[edit]

Players[edit]

Topscorers[edit]

Year Topscorer(s) Club(s) Goals
1937–38 Bulgaria Krum Milev PFC Slavia Sofia 12
1938–39 Bulgaria Georgi Pachedzhiev AS 23 Sofia 14
1939–40 Bulgaria Yanko Stoyanov
Bulgaria Dimitar Nikolaev
PFC Levski Sofia
FK 13 Sofia
14
1948–49 Bulgaria Dimitar Milanov
Bulgaria Nedko Nedev
PFC CSKA Sofia
PFC Cherno More Varna
11
1950 Bulgaria Lyubomir Hranov PFC Levski Sofia 13
1951 Bulgaria Dimitar Milanov PFC CSKA Sofia 14
1952 Bulgaria Dimitar Isakov
Bulgaria Dobromir Tashkov
PFC Slavia Sofia
Spartak Sofia
10
1953 Bulgaria Dimitar Minchev PFC Spartak Pleven and VVS Sofia 15
1954 Bulgaria Dobromir Tashkov PFC Slavia Sofia 25
1955 Bulgaria Todor Diev FC Spartak Plovdiv 13
1956 Bulgaria Pavel Vladimirov PFC Minyor Pernik 16
1957 Bulgaria Hristo Iliev
Bulgaria Dimitar Milanov
PFC Levski Sofia
PFC CSKA Sofia
14
1958 Bulgaria Dobromir Tashkov
Bulgaria Georgi Arnaudov
PFC Slavia Sofia
PFC Spartak Varna
9
1958–59 Bulgaria Aleksandar Vasilev PFC Slavia Sofia 13
1959–60 Bulgaria Dimitar Yordanov
Bulgaria Lyuben Kostov
PFC Levski Sofia
PFC Spartak Varna
12
1960–61 Bulgaria Ivan Sotirov PFC Botev Plovdiv 20
1961–62 Bulgaria Nikola Yordanov
Bulgaria Todor Diev
FC Dunav Ruse
FC Spartak Plovdiv
23
1962–63 Bulgaria Todor Diev FC Spartak Plovdiv 26
1963–64 Bulgaria Nikola Tsanev PFC CSKA Sofia 26
1964–65 Bulgaria Georgi Asparuhov PFC Levski Sofia 27
1965–66 Bulgaria Traycho Spasov PFC Marek Dupnitsa 21
1966–67 Bulgaria Petar Zhekov PFC Beroe Stara Zagora 21
1967–68 Bulgaria Petar Zhekov PFC Beroe Stara Zagora 31
1968–69 Bulgaria Petar Zhekov PFC CSKA Sofia 36
1969–70 Bulgaria Petar Zhekov PFC CSKA Sofia 31
1970–71 Bulgaria Dimitar Yakimov PFC CSKA Sofia 26
1971–72 Bulgaria Petar Zhekov PFC CSKA Sofia 27
1972–73 Bulgaria Petar Zhekov PFC CSKA Sofia 29
1973–74 Bulgaria Petko Petkov
Bulgaria Kiril Milanov
PFC Beroe Stara Zagora
PFC Levski Sofia
19
1974–75 Bulgaria Ivan Pritargov PFC Botev Plovdiv 20
1975–76 Bulgaria Petko Petkov
Bulgaria Pavel Panov
PFC Beroe Stara Zagora
PFC Levski Sofia
18
1976–77 Bulgaria Pavel Panov PFC Levski Sofia 20
1977–78 Bulgaria Stoycho Mladenov PFC Beroe Stara Zagora 21
1978–79 Bulgaria Rusi Gochev PSFC Chernomorets Burgas and PFC Levski Sofia 19
1979–80 Bulgaria Spas Dzhevizov PFC CSKA Sofia 23
1980–81 Bulgaria Georgi Slavkov PFC Botev Plovdiv 31
1981–82 Bulgaria Mihail Valchev PFC Levski Sofia 24
1982–83 Bulgaria Antim Pehlivanov PFC Botev Plovdiv 20
1983–84 Bulgaria Eduard Eranosyan
Bulgaria Emil Spasov
PFC Lokomotiv Plovdiv
PFC Levski Sofia
19
1984–85 Bulgaria Plamen Getov PFC Spartak Pleven 26
1985–86 Bulgaria Atanas Pashev PFC Botev Plovdiv 30
1986–87 Bulgaria Nasko Sirakov PFC Levski Sofia 36
1987–88 Bulgaria Nasko Sirakov PFC Levski Sofia 28
1988–89 Bulgaria Hristo Stoichkov PFC CSKA Sofia 23
1989–90 Bulgaria Hristo Stoichkov PFC CSKA Sofia 38
1990–91 Bulgaria Ivaylo Yordanov FC Lokomotiv Gorna Oryahovitsa 21
1991–92 Bulgaria Nasko Sirakov PFC Levski Sofia 26
1992–93 Bulgaria Plamen Getov PFC Levski Sofia 26
1993–94 Bulgaria Nasko Sirakov PFC Levski Sofia 30
1994–95 Bulgaria Petar Mihtarski PFC CSKA Sofia 24
1995–96 Bulgaria Ivo Georgiev PFC Spartak Varna 21
1996–97 Bulgaria Todor Pramatarov PFC Slavia Sofia 26
1997–98 Bulgaria Anton Spasov
Bulgaria Bontcho Guentchev
Neftochimic Burgas
PFC CSKA Sofia
17
1998–99 Bulgaria Dimcho Belyakov PFC Litex Lovech 21
1999–2000 Bulgaria Mihail Mihaylov Velbazhd Kyustendil 20
2000–01 Bulgaria Georgi Ivanov PFC Levski Sofia 22
2001–02 Bulgaria Vladimir Manchev PFC CSKA Sofia 21
2002–03 Bulgaria Georgi Chilikov PFC Levski Sofia 23
2003–04 Bulgaria Martin Kamburov PFC Lokomotiv Plovdiv 25
2004–05 Bulgaria Martin Kamburov PFC Lokomotiv Plovdiv 27
2005–06 Slovenia Milivoje Novakovič
Portugal Jose Emilio Furtado
PFC Litex Lovech
Vihren and PFC CSKA Sofia
16
2006–07 Bulgaria Tsvetan Genkov PFC Lokomotiv Sofia 27
2007–08 Bulgaria Georgi Hristov PFC Botev Plovdiv 19
2008–09 Bulgaria Martin Kamburov PFC Lokomotiv Sofia 17
2009–10 France Wilfried Niflore PFC Litex Lovech 19
2010–11 Mali Garra Dembele PFC Levski Sofia 26
2011–12 Bulgaria Ivan Stoyanov
Brazil Júnior Moraes
PFC Ludogorets Razgrad
PFC CSKA Sofia
16
2012–13 Guinea-Bissau Basile de Carvalho PFC Levski Sofia 19
2013–14 Colombia Wilmar Jordán
Bulgaria Martin Kamburov
PFC Litex Lovech
PFC Lokomotiv Plovdiv
20
2014–15 Spain Antonio Salas Quinta PFC Levski Sofia 14
2015–16 Bulgaria Martin Kamburov PFC Lokomotiv Plovdiv 18

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "14 отбора ще участват в новия елитен шампионат "Първа професионална лига"". Retrieved 7 June 2016. 
  2. ^ a b Karel Stokkermans (23 December 2015). "Bulgaria 2015/16: A grupa". RSSSF. Retrieved 16 January 2016. 
  3. ^ "A PFG". Soccerway. Perform. Retrieved 16 January 2016. 
  4. ^ "Bulgarian A League 2015/16". Bulgarian Football Union. UEFA. Retrieved 16 January 2016. 
  5. ^ Julian Dontchev (23 July 2015). "Bulgaria – List of Champions". RSSSF. Retrieved 17 January 2016. 
  6. ^ "Riots durind the Plovdiv derby: Lokomotiv – Botev 17.10.2015". Retrieved 8 June 2016. 
  7. ^ "Botev Plovdiv vs. Lokomotiv Plovdiv". Retrieved 8 June 2016. 
  8. ^ http://novinite.bg/articles/40620/A-grupa-ostava-v-efira-na-TV7-i-News7
  9. ^ http://www.bfunion.bg/news/4806
  10. ^ "ЦСКА вече е трети в срамна класация, "червените" задминаха две Торпеда". topsport.bg. 11 May 2015. Retrieved 18 May 2015. 

External links[edit]