PFC Cherno More Varna

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Cherno More
Cherno More Varna logo.png
Full name Professional football club Cherno More Varna
Nickname(s) The Sailors
Short name Cherno More
Founded March 3, 1913; 102 years ago (1913-03-03)
Ground Ticha Stadium, Varna
Ground Capacity 8,250
Owner Bulgaria Marin Mitev[1]
Chairman Bulgaria Marin Marinov
Manager Bulgaria Nikola Spasov
League A Group
2014–15 A Group, 8th
Website Club home page
Current season

PFC Cherno More Varna (Bulgarian: ПФК Черно Море Варна), or simply Cherno More (Bulgarian: ФК Черно Море) is a Bulgarian professional football club from the city of Varna, currently playing in Bulgaria's top football league, the A Group. Founded in 1913 as SK Ticha, the club has spent the majority of its existence in the top tier of Bulgarian football, and has never dropped below the country's second tier.

Cherno more means Black Sea in Bulgarian, and the club is nicknamed the Sailors. Cherno More's home ground is the Ticha Stadium, which has a seating capacity of 8,250 spectators. To date, the club has won the championship four times and the Bulgarian Cup once.


Early years[edit]

Оn March 3, 1913, Varna's naval academy for men became the birth place of association football in the country. Here is created the Galata sports association, which later on, in 1913, by the suggestion of a school teacher named Karel Shkorpil, changed its name to Reka Ticha, using the former name of the Kamchia river. Over the next years, it slowly combined with the Sportist sports club and grew into an association of the education, a sports club and the tourism in Varna. The football department of the sports club dominated against all of the clubs in the city, whose existence is quite short. Soon, the first official football match of Ticha, played in 1915, with the 21st Pomeranski polk is a success, and 2 years later, in 1917, so is the first inter-city match. The growth of Bulgarian football required knowledge of the rules, so in 1919, Ticha published for the first time in Bulgaria the book: "Football - rules and admonitions".

Vladislav Varna in 1925. Vladislav was one of the predecessors of Cherno More.

Significant were the first meetings between Ticha and the capital teams. In early 1919, the first away game against Levski Sofia was celebrated with the first away victory for the team - 4-1. The same went for Slavia Sofia, a 3-0 win. On the return game as guests, the players again won easy against Slavia Sofia with 1-0. Unfortunately, the game with Levski Sofia didn't take place, because the city mayor didn't allow it, since there were protests from dock workers the same day. However, these victories against the capital teams were continued not only by Ticha, but from the city rivals Vladislav and Shipchenski Sokol as well.

On January 21, 1919, the association changed its name to Sports Club Ticha, and the kit colours of the outfit were chosen to be red and white. The same year, the famous Bulgarian musician Nikola Nitsov wrote the official anthem of the club.

In 1925, the international successes came nearby. SC Ticha won the Cup of Bucharest, the first international football trophy won by a football club from Bulgaria. The European matches of Ticha easily earned the 1st place of favor among most of the football fans in Varna. The same and the following year, SC Ticha made another remarkable achievement, twice winning the football title of Bulgaria. A few years later, the club managed to finish in 2nd place in the 1934–35 and in the 1935–36 season. Soon, in 1937, the football governing body in the country created the National Football Division. Several reforms were made in the football clubs, but during the two half-seasons in 1937–38, Ticha dominated and it was one of the best football teams in Bulgaria, despite finishing the table in the 2nd place at the end of the season.

Communist era (1944-89)[edit]

With the establishment of the Communist rule in Bulgaria after WWII, there were significant changes taking place on the country’s football map as well. Many football clubs were merged or acquired by others, others were dissolved, and new ones were created. The majority of the clubs were attached to government organizations or nationalized factories, often renamed so the new names would be suggestive of the club’s affiliation to Communist party’s institutions. Football clubs in Varna were no exception. In 1945, the two former city club rivals, SC Ticha and FC Vladislav merged to establish a new club, named TV-45 (a few years later SC Primorec was also invited to join TV-45 so the name of the association was changed to "TVP".). This marked the creation of a new sports association, which met the development requirements of the leading communist authorities at that time. In the following years, due to these requirements, the club's name was forced to be changed several times to Botev pri DNA (1948–50), VMS (1950–55), SCNA (1956–57), ASC Botev Varna (1957–59). Botev pri DNA was part of A Group’s inaugural season in 1948–49, when the team finished sixth. During the period when Varna was renamed Stalin by the Communist government,[2] the team was participating as VMS Stalin, where VMS stands for the Bulgarian Navy. In 1953 VMS finished 3rd in A Group. The club settled at the name Cherno More in 1959 and it hasn’t been changed since.

Cherno More spend sixteen consecutive seasons in Bulgaria’s top flight between 1961 and 1976 and 27 in total between 1961 and 1990,[3] but failed to achieve any major honors in a league heavily dominated by teams based in the country’s capital. The club’s affiliation with the Navy meant Cherno More was a satellite team to the Bulgarian Army’s poster team CSKA Sofia, and many of the club’s top players joined CSKA for their compulsory military service. As a result, despite many generations of talented footballers and the massive popularity among the fans in Varna and huge attendances, reaching 40 000 spectators for home fixtures at Yuri Gagarin Stadium, the team never qualified for European football through the league or the Cup.

The 90s struggle[edit]

The fall of socialism in Bulgaria in 1989 and the establishment of democracy brought new hardships for the Bulgarian football clubs. The transition from state backed organizations to privately owned entities saw many traditional football clubs disappear entirely, while others were forced to declare bankruptcy, only to return later by obtaining smaller clubs licenses. Cherno More avoided any administrative changes and kept its name and history, but spend the majority of the decade in the league’s second tier, facing immense financial difficulties and, at one point during season 1998-99, relegation to the 3rd level of the Bulgarian football pyramid for the first time in the club’s history.

New Millennium[edit]

The new millennium saw the club establishing itself in the country's top flight, after the Sailors spent the majority of the 90s in Bulgaria's second tier before securing promotion at the end of the 1999-2000 season, ending a six consecutive seasons spell in B Group. Cherno More survived minor relegation scares in their first two seasons back in A Group and then went on to become a regular feature in the league's top half.

In the 2007-08 season, the Sailors finished 5th in A Group and qualified for the last season of the UEFA Cup, due to the license problems of CSKA Sofia. Led by their captain Alex they had a very successful run - they defeated UE Sant Julia from Andora in the first qualifying round (9-0 on aggregate)[4] and Maccabi Netanya from Israel in the second qualifying round (3-1 on aggregate). Cherno More then challenged German side VfB Stuttgart in the 1st round and were eliminated after a 1-2 loss at home and a surprising 2-2 draw in Stuttgart. The same season in the domestic league was also very successful for the team, which finished 3rd in A Group, and qualified for the newly created Europa League.

Cherno More started the new 2009-10 season with the debut of the team in the UEFA Europa League. The sailors defeated Iskra-Stal in the second qualifying round (4-0 on aggregate) and were drawn to play against the Dutch powerhouse PSV Eindhoven in the third qualifying round.[5] The team from Varna was eliminated after a 0-1 [6] loss at Eindhoven and another 0-1 [7] loss at the Lazur Stadium in Burgas.

After failing to impress in the seasons after finishing 3rd in 2008-09, the club saw a successful run in the Bulgarian Cup during the 2014-15 season, defeating Sozopol, Slavia Sofia, Lokomotiv Gorna Oryahovitsa, and Lokomotiv Plovdiv on the road to the final against Levski Sofia at the Lazur Stadium in Burgas. Despite being down to ten men since the 39th minute and trailing 0-1, the team managed to equalize in the added time through Bacari's volley and went on to win the Cup after Mathias Coureur's stunning strike in the 118th minute, winning the club's first post-World War II trophy.[8]



Bulgarian State Football Championship:

  • Winners (4): 1925, 1926, 1934, (as SC Vladislav Varna) and 1938 (as Ticha Varna)
  • Runners-up (2): 1935, 1936 (as Ticha Varna)
  • Third-place (1): 1939 (as Ticha Varna)

Bulgarian A PFG:

Bulgarian Cup:

Bulgarian Supercup:

Cup of the Soviet Army (unofficial tournament)

  • Runners-up (2): 1985, 1988


Bucharest Cup:

  • Winners (1): 1925 (as Ticha Varna)

Chronology of the names[edit]

03.03.1913-18.05.1913 Galata
18.05.1913-1919 Reka Ticha
1919–45 Ticha
1945–47 Ticha-Vladislav-45 (TV-45)
1948–50 Botev pri DNA
1950–55 VMS
1956–57 SCNA
1957–59 ASC Botev
1959–69 ASC Cherno More
1969–85 FSVD Cherno More
1985– Cherno More

Recent seasons[edit]


Season Pos. Pl. W D L GS GA P Cup Notes
2000–01 A Group 10 26 7 5 14 20 49 26 Round of 16
2001–02 A Group 11 40 12 11 17 47 51 35* Round of 16 Relegation Group
2002–03 A Group 6 26 14 6 6 42 21 48 Round of 16
2003–04 A Group 6 30 10 8 12 45 53 38 Round of 16
2004–05 A Group 8 30 10 5 15 30 38 35 Round of 32
2005–06 A Group 8 28 10 7 11 29 27 37 Runner-up
2006–07 A Group 6 30 14 5 11 37 29 47 Round of 16
2007–08 A Group 5 30 13 9 8 40 26 48 Runner-up
2008–09 A Group 3 30 18 6 6 48 19 63 Round of 32
2009–10 A Group 7 30 13 9 8 40 28 48 Quarter-finals
2010–11 A Group 6 30 15 6 9 36 28 51 Quarter-finals
2011–12 A Group 7 30 16 4 10 46 25 52 Round of 32
2012–13 A Group 10 30 9 8 13 33 39 35 Round of 16
2013–14 A Group 6 38 14 12 12 40 33 54 Round of 16 Championship Group
2014–15 A Group 8 32 15 5 12 42 36 50 Winner Relegation Group

*Points deducted from all teams after completing the first phase of campaign.
Championship/Relegation groups are constituted after all teams have played each other home and away.

European Tournaments[edit]

Season Competition Round Club Home Away Aggregate
2007 UEFA Intertoto Cup 2R Republic of Macedonia Makedonija GP 4–0 3–0 7–0
3R Italy Sampdoria 0–1 0–1 0–2
2008–09 UEFA Cup 1Q Andorra UE Sant Julià 4–0 5–0 9–0
2Q Israel Maccabi Netanya 2–0 1–1 3–1
1R Germany VfB Stuttgart 1–2 2–2 3–4
2009–10 UEFA Europa League 2Q Moldova Iskra-Stal 1–0 3–0 4–0
3Q Netherlands PSV Eindhoven 0–1 0–1 0–2
2015–16 UEFA Europa League 2Q Belarus Dinamo Minsk 1–1 0–4 1–5


Ticha Stadium

Ticha Stadium is a multi-use stadium in Varna, Bulgaria. It is currently used for football matches and is the home ground of Cherno More. It is situated in the north-eastern part of Varna. Built in 1968, the stadium currently has a capacity of 8,250 seating places, spread in two opposite stands. The main south stand has a roof cover and holds 4,250 spectators, while the opposite north stand has a seating capacity of 4,000 spectators. The north stand is commonly used by the Cherno More ultras and the away fans. The current stadium was built with the help of hundreds of volunteers and fans of the club.

It was officially announced, that the club will move to a new stadium,[11] which will replace the unused Yuri Gagarin Stadium and the current Ticha. The stadium will have a capacity of 30,000 spectators. The stadium, as part of Sport Complex Varna, will have an underground parking area, convertible roof covers, office lounges, two-tier stands and four 50 meter towers, which will block the pressure of the terrain and bring the stadium in a shape of a ship. The convertible roof covers will be made of transparent panels, which will allow the light of the floodlights to stream inside the pitch on a night match. The venue will be awarded with an Elite Stadium rating by UEFA.

Statistics and records[edit]

Todor Marev holds A Group's and Cherno More's overall appearances record — 422 matches for 19 seasons (from 1971 to 1990).

Cherno More's all-time leading scorer is Stefan Bogomilov, who scored 161 goals for the club (from 1962 to 1977). The club's second highest scorer is Nikola Dimitrov, who scored 63 goals. Bogomilov also holds the club record of 4 hat tricks. Brazilian player Marcos Da Silva holds the club's and A Group's record for the fastest goal - 12 seconds after the referee's first signal, against Chernomorets Burgas Sofia on April 6, 2007.

Cherno More's biggest victories in A Group are the 8-0 wins against Cherveno Zname Pavlikeni in 1955 and Maritsa Plovdiv in 1968. Cherno More's largest defeat, 1–8, was against Lokomotiv Plovdiv in 2004. Also, the club's win against UE Sant Julia, 5-0, in 2008, was the largest European win in the club's history.

Current squad[edit]

As of 7 August 2015
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Bulgaria GK Iliya Nikolov
3 Bulgaria MF Daniel Georgiev
4 Bulgaria DF Mihail Venkov (captain)
5 Bulgaria DF Stefan Stanchev
6 Mali DF Mamoutou Coulibaly
7 Bulgaria MF Bekir Rasim
8 Cape Verde MF Sténio
9 Spain FW Bacari
10 Netherlands MF Marc Klok
11 Bulgaria FW Zhivko Petkov
13 Bulgaria MF Simeon Raykov
14 Argentina FW Juan Varea
No. Position Player
15 Bulgaria DF Trayan Trayanov
17 Bulgaria DF Martin Kostadinov
18 Poland MF Marcin Burkhardt
19 Martinique MF Mathias Coureur
20 Bulgaria FW Villyan Bijev
21 France MF Mehdi Bourabia
23 Portugal DF Ginho
27 Bulgaria MF Iliyan Nedelchev
33 Bulgaria GK Georgi Kitanov
40 Serbia GK Aleksandar Čanović
77 Bulgaria MF Andreas Vasev
84 Bulgaria MF Todor Palankov

For recent transfers, see Transfers summer 2015.

Foreign players[edit]

Up to three non-EU nationals can be registered and given a squad number for the first team in the A PFG. Those non-EU nationals with European ancestry can claim citizenship from the nation their ancestors came from. If a player does not have European ancestry he can claim Bulgarian citizenship after playing in Bulgaria for 5 years.

UEFA ranking[edit]

The association coefficient for the 2015–16 season is applied.

Rank Country Team Points
326 Norway Hødd 3.375
327 Montenegro Rudar Pljevlja 3.375
Bulgaria Cherno More 3.350
328 Kazakhstan Tobol Kostanay 3.325
329 Serbia Čukarički 3.275

UEFA Club Coefficients

Club officials[edit]

Board of directors[edit]

Position Name Nationality
Owner Marin Mitev Bulgaria
Technical director Marin Marinov Bulgaria
Director of Communications Krasimir Nikolov Bulgaria
Director of Recruitment Todor Velikov Bulgaria

Current technical body[edit]

Position Name Nationality
Manager Nikola Spasov Bulgaria
Assistant Manager Vacant
Assistant Manager Emanuil Lukanov Bulgaria
Goalkeeper Coach Stoyan Stavrev Bulgaria
Fitness coach Veselin Markov Bulgaria

Coaches history[edit]

Coach Nat From To
Ivan Mokanov Bulgaria 1948 1960
Lozan Kotsev Bulgaria 1960 1962
Manol Manolov Bulgaria 1962 1963
Ivan Mokanov (2) Bulgaria 1964 1968
Georgi Dimitrov Bulgaria 1968 1972
Spas Kirov Bulgaria 1972 1974
Stoyan Ormandzhiev Bulgaria 1974 1975
Georgi Dimitrov (2) Bulgaria 1975 1976
Kiril Rakarov Bulgaria 1976 1977
Ivan Vasilev Bulgaria 1977 1979
Ivan Mokanov (3) Bulgaria 1979 1980
Ivan Vasilev (2) Bulgaria 1980 1981
Spas Kirov (2) Bulgaria 1981 1983
Todor Velikov Bulgaria 1983 1985
Bozhil Kolev Bulgaria 1985 1989
Todor Velikov (2) Bulgaria 1989 1990
Kevork Tahmisyan Bulgaria 1990 1991
Todor Velikov (3) Bulgaria 1991 1992
Bozhil Kolev (2) Bulgaria 1992 1994
Vachko Marinov Bulgaria 1994 1995
Nikola Spasov Bulgaria 1995 1996
Coach Nat From To
Asen Milushev Bulgaria 1996 1996
Damyan Georgiev Bulgaria 1996 1996
Tsonyo Vasilev Bulgaria 1997 1997
Todor Marev Bulgaria 1997 1997
Lyudmil Goranov Bulgaria 1997 1997
Rudi Minkovski Bulgaria 1997 1998
Svetozar Svetozarov Bulgaria 1998 1999
Radi Zdravkov Bulgaria 1999 2000
Bozhil Kolev (3) Bulgaria 2000 2001
Aleksandar Stankov Bulgaria 2001 2002
Velislav Vutsov Bulgaria 2002 2004
Ilian Iliev Bulgaria 2004 2006
Yasen Petrov Bulgaria March 13, 2006 June 30, 2007
Nikola Spasov (2) Bulgaria 2007 2009
Velizar Popov Bulgaria Sept 16, 2009 Oct 29, 2010
Stefan Genov Bulgaria Oct 30, 2010 Sept 24, 2012
Adalbert Zafirov Bulgaria Sept 25, 2012 Dec 2012
Georgi Ivanov Bulgaria Dec 17, 2012 May 19, 2014
Aleksandar Stankov (2) Bulgaria May 22, 2014 Aug 18, 2014
Nikola Spasov (3) Bulgaria Aug 19, 2014 present

Notable players[edit]


External links[edit]

Official websites
Supporters websites