|Full name||Emil Simeonov Velev|
|Date of birth||5 February 1962|
|Place of birth||Sofia, Bulgaria|
|Playing position||Defensive midfielder (retired)|
|1989–1990||Hapoel Ramat Gan|
|1990–1994||Maccabi Ironi Ashdod|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Velev started his career in Levski Sofia. Kokala James (Bulgarian: Кокала) (The bone James), as the fans called him, played for Levski's first team from 1981 until 1989. He became Champion of Bulgaria in 1984, 1985 and 1988. Velev won the Cup of Bulgaria in 1982 and 1984. He registered 176 matches and 22 scores for Levski in the championship, and 34 matches and 8 goals for the Cup of Bulgaria. Velev had also played long years in Maccabi Ironi Ashdod F.C. in Israel.
In 2002 Velev became an assistant coach of PFC Levski Sofia. Six years later, Emil became head coach of Levski, after Velislav Vutsov's sacking. Under his guidance, Levski secured a 1:1 away draw against Belarusian FC BATE Borisov in the third qualifying phase of the UEFA Champions League, but this result was insufficient for Levski to progress after the 0:1 home loss in the first game.
Velev made an awesome debut in the Bulgarian league, coaching Levski. He debuted as a coach on 17 August 2008 in a game against Botev Plovdiv. Levski won the match 6:0. However, Velev drew the ire of Levski supporters on a number of occasions in subsequent matches due to what were perceived to be poor tactics and inconsistent player selections. After Levski were eliminated by Slovakian MŠK Žilina, Velev criticized some of the Levski ultras, hinting at their latent alcoholism and drug abuse, and condemned what he regarded as their insufficient support during matches. Velev eventually stated that some of his comments had been misconstrued by the media and attempted to mend fences with the Levski supporters, praising them for their passion for the team on a number of occasions.
He led the blues to the Champion of Bulgaria on 31 May 2009 following a 1:1 home draw against Minyor Pernik. All in all, this was attained after a contradictory but great season under his coaching. Despite the bad results during the autumn part of the season, after great matches in the spring, Levski Sofia fulfilled the initial plan and became a champion for the 26th time, with the last round still to be played. On 23 July 2009, Emil Velev announced that he had been fired from Levski Sofia, despite the fact that Levski won 9:0 on aggregate against Andorran side UE Sant Julià in the second qualifying round of the 2009–10 UEFA Champions League.
With Slavia he managed to lead the team to the Final of the Cup. Slavia lost it against CSKA with 1:0. This was the first time since 15 years the "Whites" played a final. The last time when Slavia achieved that was in 1996. However, despite the good run in the Bulgarian Cup Slavia recorded a very poor performances in the championship. The team is currently 11th with 15 lost games. Because of that Velev will no longer be in charge of Slavia.
On the 8 November 2011 Velev was announced as the new head coach of Lokomotiv Plovdiv replacing Dragan Kanatlarovski after series of bad results. Velev's contract will be until the end of the season. Velev managed to lead the team to a positive series of results. He started with a few wins and lead the team to the Final of the Cup eliminating Levski Sofia at Lauta (2:1 after extra time) and Litex Lovech in Lovech (1:0) in the semifinals making it to the final against Ludogorets. However Lokomotiv lost the final against Ludogorets but made it to Europa League for the first time since 2005. The Plovdiv side played against Vitesse in the Secound Round of the tournament and were eliminated after a 4-4 draw followed by a 1-3 loss in the Netherlands. In October 2012 Emil Velev was sacked by the new Loko Plovdiv Board.
In the late 2012 Emil Velev was appointed as new coach of Lokomotiv Sofia. He managed to avoid relegation and lead the team to the semi-finals of the Bulgarian Cup after eliminating CSKA Sofia 1:0 on aggregate.
|align="left"||Levski Sofia||July 2009||style="text-align:center" |38||26||7||5||68.42|
- As of 21 July 2009, includes all official matches - Bulgarian League, Bulgarian Cup (+ overtime) and international tournament games.
As a player
As a manager
- Champion of Bulgaria 2009
- "Velev's first interview as a Levski's head coach". standartnews.com. Retrieved 15 August 2008.
- "Velev was presented as the new manager of Slavia Sofia". pfcslavia.com. Retrieved 21 May 2010.
- "Локо (Пд) с нов треньор! Кокала си тръгна, ясен е заместникът му". topsport.bg. 7 July 2014. Retrieved 18 July 2014.
- Profile at LevskiSofia.info