Second Professional Football League (Bulgaria)

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Second Professional Football League
Second Professional Football League (Bulgaria) logo.jpeg
Country  Bulgaria
Founded 1950; 67 years ago (1950)
Divisions 1
Number of teams 16
Level on pyramid 2
Promotion to First League
Relegation to Third League
Domestic cup(s) Bulgarian Cup
Bulgarian Supercup
Current champions Dunav Ruse
Most championships Beroe Stara Zagora
(9 titles)
TV partners Nova Broadcasting Group
Website http://fpleague.bg/index2.php
2017–18 season

The Bulgarian Second Professional Football League (Bulgarian: Втора професионална футболна лига) or simply Second League (Bulgarian: Втора Лига) is the second level of the Bulgarian football league system, below First League and above the Third League. Sixteen teams take part in the league, each playing twice against all the other, once home and once away. Most matches are played on Saturdays and Sundays. The league is administered by the Bulgarian Professional Football League.

In 2016, the B Group's name was rebranded to Second Professional Football League.[1]

Competition format[edit]

A team receives 3 points for a win and 1 point for a draw. No points are awarded for a loss.

Promotion and relegation positions[edit]

  • First place (champion): Direct promotion to A Group.
  • Second place: Promotion playoff against the 9th place team from A Group.
  • 13th to 16th place: Relegation to V Group.

2017−18 clubs[edit]

Stadia and locations[edit]

Team City Stadium Capacity
Botev Galabovo Energitik 3,000
Botev Vratsa Hristo Botev 32,000
Chernomorets Balchik Gradski 3,100
Litex Lovech Gradski 8,100
Lokomotiv Gorna Oryahovitsa Lokomotiv 10,500
Lokomotiv Sofia Lokomotiv 22,000
Ludogorets II Razgrad Eagles' Nest 2,000
Maritsa Plovdiv Botev 1912 Football Complex 3,500
Montana Montana Ogosta 6,000
Neftochimic Burgas Lazur 18,037[2]
Nesebar Nesebar Nesebar Stadium 7,000
Oborishte Panagyurishte Orcho Voyvoda 3,000
Pomorie Pomorie Pomorie Stadium 3,000
Sozopol Sozopol Arena Sozopol 3,500
Strumska Slava Radomir Gradski 5,000
Tsarsko Selo Sofia Tsarsko Selo 2,000


History[edit]

Former B Group logo

B Republican Football Group[edit]

The B group was established in 1950 when the league was divided in two groups - North and South, in each group participating 10 teams. The first champions of the B Republican Football Group are Spartak (Sofia) (West) and Torpedo (Ruse) (East).

In season 1951 the group is only one - B Republican Football Group with 12 teams. The regulations are - in A Group are going the top team in the final stadings from Sofia and the top two teams from the province (teams that aren't from Sofia).

In the next season 1952 the group is formed by 14 teams and from season 1953 the league is divided into five groups - Sofia B Group, North-West B Group, South-West B Group, North-East B Group and South-East B Group.

Second Professional Football Group[edit]

In the next seasons the league had many changes. In 2000 the Bulgarian Football Union changed the name of the division. The league is formed by 18 teams, not like previous seasons - 16 teams. To reduce the teams to 16 again in the next season the last six teams that finish in the final standings in the league were directly relegated.

First Professional Football League[edit]

Before the start of season 2001/2002 the league was again renamed. The championship started with 13 teams, because Lokomotiv (Plovdiv) and Belasitsa (Petrich) united with two teams from A Group - Lokomotiv with PFC Velbazhd Kyustendil and Belasitsa with PFC Hebar Pazardzhik. That meant, that this was the end of professional football in the towns of Kyustendil and Pazardzhik.

B Professional Football Group[edit]

Returning to the traditions of the B Republican Football Group was the creating of the B Professional Football Group. 16 teams participated in the league, each playing twice against all the other, once home and once away, with no play-offs.

Before the start of season 2005/2006 the Bulgarian Football Union decided to divide B Group in two groups - West B Group and East B Group with 14 teams in each group. Every team plays 13 matches as home team and 13 matches as away team. The two champions of the groups were directly promoted to A Group and the two teams that finished in second place in their group played a play-off for winning the final third place for promotion in A Group. On May 19, 2008 the two groups were extended to 16 teams. For season 2010/2011 the two groups were reduced again with 12 teams in each.

But just before the start of season 2011/2012 the number of teams in the two groups was again reduced - 10 teams in both West B Group and East B Group, with the winners of the groups directly promoting to A Group. The two teams that finished in second place in their group enter in a play-off for winning a place at the final play-off for promotion/relegation with the team that finished 14th in A Group.

Revolutionary changes were made before the start of season 2012/2013. The former format of B Group with the two groups (West and East) was replaced by one division, formed by fourteen teams.

Former champions (from season 2005–06)[edit]

The following table presents the former champions of B Group (until season 2011–12 it had separate champions about the zones East and West).[3]

Season Champion(s) Top goalscorer
2005–06 Spartak Varna (East) Rilski Sportist Samokov (West)
2006–07 Chernomorets Burgas (East) Pirin Blagoevgrad (West)
2007–08 Sliven (East) Lokomotiv Mezdra (West)
2008–09 Beroe Stara Zagora (East) Montana (West)
2009–10 Kaliakra Kavarna (East) Vidima-Rakovski Sevlievo (West)
2010–11 Ludogorets Razgrad (East) Botev Vratsa (West)
2011–12 Etar 1924 (East) Pirin Gotse Delchev (West)
2012–13 Neftochimic Burgas Blagoy Nakov (16 goals)
Pirin Blagoevgrad
2013–14 Marek Dupnitsa Atanas Chipilov (13 goals)
Bansko
2014–15 Montana Yanaki Smirnov (23 goals)
Lokomotiv GO
2015–16 Dunav Ruse Vasil Kaloyanov and Tihomir Kanev (13 goals)
Sozopol / Lokomotiv GO

References[edit]