FC Spartak Varna

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Spartak Varna
Spartak Varna.png
Full nameФутболен клуб „Спартак 1918“ Варна
Spartak 1918 Varna Football Club
Nickname(s)Соколите (The Falcons)
Founded28 August 1918; 102 years ago (1918-08-28) as SC Balgarski sokol
GroundStadion Spartak
ChairmanBorislav Georgiev
ManagerVasil Petrov
LeagueNorth-East Third League
2019–20Second League, 15th (relegated)
WebsiteClub website

FK Spartak 1918 Varna (Bulgarian: Футболен клуб „Спартак 1918“ Варна, romanizedFutbolen klub Spartak 1918 Varna) is a Bulgarian association football phoenix club based in Varna, which currently competes in the North-East Third League, the third tier of Bulgarian football league system. Spartak plays its home matches at the local Stadion Spartak.

Spartak established itself as one of the pioneering teams in Bulgarian football. They won the Bulgarian league in 1932, and were runners up in 1931 and 1933. Spartak have spent the majority of their existence in the first two tiers of Bulgarian football, although their last top flight participation has been during the season 2008-09.

Spartak's nickname is the "Falcons", and they have a very heated rivalry with fellow Varna-based club, Cherno More Varna. Matches between the two sides are known as the "Derby of Varna".


1918–1945: Foundation of SC Sokol[edit]

Spartak Varna was founded on 28 August 1918 by a group of young people, who were playing football together for two years. At the initial meeting, regarding the establishment of the club, the name was decided to be SC Sokol. Niagol Kolev was elected as the first chairman of the club. A few days later, the members of the board registered the Football Club to the government under the name "Bulgarski Sokol". The colors of the team were blue and white. "Bulgarski Sokol," one of the poor suburban teams in Varna, is poorly circumstanced in comparison to the leading teams at that time such as Ticha and "Vladislav." Nonetheless, the football team quickly became stronger, and improved their style of play.

On 30 January 1924 "Bulgarski Sokol" merged with the sport club "Shipka". These days the team proved itself as one of the strongest teams in Varna. Among all the players called with a lot of love from the fans "Falcons" with most successful plays was the forward Mihail Tunchev. In 1924 he was invited in the national team and that way he became the first national player of the team.

A few years later started the rise of the team. In the season 1928/29 the team won for the first time the championship of Varna, and joined the State Championship where they reached third place. Two years later 1930/31 the falcons were again champions of Varna. For the State Championship they reached the final with the Sofia's AS-23. Next year "Shipchenski Sokol" again reached the final, where the rival was the capitol's team Slavia. On 18.09.1932 in front of 10 000 audience on the football field of AS-23 the falcons won with 2:1 and became State Champion and Winner of the Cup of the King. In the next season "Shipchenski sokol" were again champion of Varna, and for the State Championship they reach for the third consecutive time the final. On 03.10.1933 in Sofia rival of the "falcons" was PFC Levski Sofia. Varna's team lost with 3:1 and took the second place in the State Championship.

1945–2010: Merge and Spartak naming[edit]

In 1945 the club merged with other two Varna's football clubs "Levski" and "Radetski". This happened on 18.10.1945, and was accepted the name of the club to be SPARTAK. In the years between 1945–1948, three times Spartak reached the semi-finals of the State Championship. In 1950, the team took the fifth place in the newly created "A" Republican Football League. Spartak Stalin relegated to B League in 1952 but returned to A League at next year. Spartak again relegated to second level in 1963–64 season but returned in 1964–65 season. However, this return was short-lived and relegated in 1965–66.

In 1955, Spartak won the third place and bronze medals in the championship of "A" League. In 1959 the forward of Spartak Georgi Arnaudov-"Alaha" became a shooter of the championship with nine goals. Two years later, Spartak again had a winner in the shooters list: Liuben Kostov with 12 goals. In 1960/61, Spartak had very good matches in the tournament of the Soviet Army which then was playing the role of the Cup of Bulgaria. They reached the final where and meet the strongest team in Bulgaria at that time- CSKA. Spartak lost the final 3:0. As a finalist, Spartak won the right to play in the tournament of the National Cup Winners. In 1969 another sport club merged with Spartak – it was the "Lokomotiv" sport club. The merge became a fact on 06.03.1969 and the club took the name "JSK-Spartak". JSK-Spartak returned to first level in 1970–71 but relegated in 1973–74 and returned to first level in 1974–75. JSK-Spartak relegated again in 1977–78.

In 1982 the "Falcons" reached the final of the Cup of Bulgaria as they won the semi-final against Levski-Spartak in Kazanlak in front of a crowd of 20,000. In Plovdiv, Spartak lost the final 4:0 to CSKA-Septemvriisko Zname, but as a finalist they obtained the right to play in the Cup of the National Cup Winners. In the same year, JSK-Spartak returned to the A League. In the season 1983/84, after mighty and successful games, Spartak reached third place. The goalkeeper Krasimir Zafirov was declared the best goalkeeper in the championship. Since 1985 the football was separated from the other sports in JSK-Spartak, and that way the FC Spartak Varna is differentiated as well.

The 80's will be remembered and with the regular participation of the team in the tournaments for the Varna Summer Cup. Rivals of the "falcons" were the teams of NK Rijeka Croatia, the English Oxford United F.C., Hungarian Újpest FC and many others. In 1988/89, Spartak became the first Bulgarian team with private sponsor and president Atanas Atanasov-Kebie. From the autumn of 1994, president of the club was Nikolay Ishkov. Spartak relegated to B league in 1988–89 and returned to A League in 1991–92. However, Spartak relegated to second level in 1993–94.

In the season 1994/95 after mighty games the falcons won the cup as the most progressive team in Bulgaria. In the same season the forward Ivo Georgiev scores 21 goals and became shooter number one of Bulgaria. At this time Spartak was considered as one of the strongest teams in Bulgaria. For the first time there was successful transfer policy and perspective selection. Many of the players has a profitable offers from capitol's and foreign clubs. In its 84 years of history Spartak went through many peaks and downfall moments, but it left a bright trace in the Bulgarian football. F.C. Spartak is one of the clubs with the greatest traditions, between the 10 clubs which have most participations in the A PFG, and between the 15 who reached the Champions title of Bulgaria. The same season Spartak returned to the first level.

2010–2015:Spartak 1918 ages[edit]

In May 2010, Spartak Varna was relegated to Bulgarian North East amateur division due to inability to comply with requirements for a professional license. Furthermore, under new ownership, it was founded Spartak 1918. A month later, fans of Spartak Varna (forming the majority of the ultras), not happy with the previous management and not seeing a change after the new registration, formed a new club taking over the same league FC Topolite license. However, although reaching an agreement with FC Topolite they have not been allowed to change the name of that club to Spartak. Their team has finished second after Spartak 1918 the first half of 2010/2011 season, but due to financial problems has stopped his participation. The group of fans who formed FC Topolite still boycotts the current management of Spartak 1918 and doesn't attend the team's games.

For this 2010–11 season, the club is participating in the Bulgarian North-East V AFG.

2015–2019: Refounding and Amateur Leagues[edit]

A new team was founded on 17 May 2015 by founding board led by Spartak's legends Atanas Atanasov, Lyudmil Goranov, Dimitar Trendafilov, Ilko Stanchev and Trayan Dyankov,[1] after the original club PFC Spartak Varna had bad leadership in the last years. The team wanted to use Spartak Stadium in order to start from the 3rd league - the Bulgarian V AFG, but this hasn't happened since the stadium was given to Spartak 1918, which withdrew from V Group and was dissolved. Some of the players who joined the team played also for the local futsal club Grand Pro Varna.

On 11 October 2015 the team signed a sponsorship with UltraGas, which would guarantee them enough money to prepare a new strong team in the future.[2]

On 6 May 2016 team applied to gain rights to play and operate at Spartak Stadium because they can't play at Lokomotiv Stadium in V Group in 2016–17 season if they get promotion. Atanas Atanasov had a talk with the sports minister Krasen Kralev who promised to give these right to Spartak, if the stadium become municipal property, because Spartak 1918 is the current operator of the stadium, even after the condition of the stadium is critical. Atanasov also said, that the team is looking for sponsors and eventually a club owner.[3] On 11 May 2016 the club gain the rights on Lokomotiv Stadium, which would give them the chance to start a complete youth academy from the 2016/17 season.[4]

On 3 July 2016 Trayan Dyankov was appointed as the new manager of the team and would lead the team in Third Amateur League.[5] On 1 August 2016 Dyankov died from a heart attack during training at Lokomotiv Stadium.[6] Atanas Atanasov become the manager of the team for the beginning of the season.[7]

On 26 November 2016 the manager of Spartak, Atanas Atanasov, announced that the club will merge with Spartak 1918 to have one Spartak.[8] On 1 February 2017 it was announced the official merge with Spartak 1918 manager, Ivan Naydenov, taking the team. The complete merge would be after the season end.[9]

On 25 June 2017 the team finally merged with Spartak 1918.[10] Three days earlier the new logo of the team was announced.[11] On 29 December 2017 Engibar Engibarov was announced as the new manager of the team.[12] On 6 July 2018 Spartak returned the rights over to Spartak Stadium.[13]

On 12 May 2019 Spartak secured their return to professional football, winning their group two rounds before its end and managing to be promoted to the Second League.[14] However, Spartak endured a difficult season back into the second tier, finishing second to last, suffering an immediate relegation.


First League:

  • Gold medal icon.svg Winners (1): 1932 (as Shipchenski Sokol)
  • Silver medal icon.svg Runners-up (2): 1931, 1933 (as Shipchenski Sokol)
  • Bronze medal icon.svg Third-place (6): 1929, 1945 (as Shipchenski Sokol)
    1946, 1948, 1955, 1984 (as Spartak Varna)

Second League:

  • Gold medal icon.svg Winners (7): 1953, 1964–65, 1970–71, 1974–75, 1981–82, 1994–95, 2005–06

Third League:

A Regional Group:

  • Gold medal icon.svg Winners (1): 2015–16

Bulgarian Cup:

  • Silver medal icon.svg Runners-up (2): 1961, 1983

Crest, shirt and sponsors[edit]

Crest used from 2016 until 2018.

Spartak Varna adopted blue, white and red, the main colours of the original Spartak Varna. On 11 October 2015 the team signed a sponsorship with UltraGas.[2] For the first match in 2018 Spartak signed a contract with the reseller store iPhonePlace.[15]

After adopting a new logo in 2016, on 23 January 2018 Spartak managed to return the rights to their original logo.[16]

Period Kit manufacturer Shirt partner
2015–2017 Bulgaria Krasiko Ultra Gas
2017 None
2018–2019 Germany Uhlsport iPhonePlace.bg
2019– Germany Jako Efbet

European tournaments history[edit]

Season Competition Round Club Home Away Aggregate
1961–62 Cup Winners' Cup Preliminary round Austria Rapid Wien 2–5 0–0 2–5
1983–84 Cup Winners' Cup First Round Turkey Mersin İY 1–0 0–0 1–0
Second Round England Manchester United 1–2 0–2 1–4
1996 Intertoto Cup Group 8 Poland ŁKS Łódź  – 1–1 4th
Russia KAMAZ Naberezhnye Chelny  – 2–2
Germany 1860 München 2–1  –
Czech Republic Kaučuk Opava 0–1  –
1997 Intertoto Cup Group 10 France Montpellier 1–1  – 5th
Netherlands Groningen 0–2  –
Romania Gloria Bistrita  – 1–2
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Čukarički  – 0–3
1998 Intertoto Cup First Round Russia Baltika Kaliningrad 1–1 0–4 1–5
1999 Intertoto Cup First Round Belgium Sint-Truidense 1–2 0–6 1–8
2001 Intertoto Cup First Round Poland Dyskobolia Grodzisk 4–0 0–1 4–1
Second Round Ukraine Tavriya Simferopol 0–3 2–2 2–5


First-team squad[edit]

As of 1 September 2020

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK Bulgaria BUL Rumen Rusev
2 MF Bulgaria BUL Velislav Boev
3 DF Bulgaria BUL Ibryam Ibryam
5 DF Bulgaria BUL Martin Paskalev
6 FW Bulgaria BUL Yunuz Yunuz
7 MF Bulgaria BUL Simeon Simeonov
8 MF Bulgaria BUL Georgi Georgiev
9 FW Croatia CRO Ante Bačkov
10 FW Bulgaria BUL Yanaki Smirnov (captain)
11 DF Bulgaria BUL Ventsislav Gurkov
No. Pos. Nation Player
12 GK Bulgaria BUL Hristian Slavov
13 DF Bulgaria BUL Kristian Varbanov
14 DF Bulgaria BUL Milail Mihaylov
15 MF Bulgaria BUL Martin Yanakiev
18 FW Bulgaria BUL Tugay Nedzhet
19 MF Bulgaria BUL Yancho Andreev
23 DF Bulgaria BUL Martin Minchev
24 MF Romania ROU Codruț Anghel
73 DF Bulgaria BUL Stefan Ivanov
90 DF Bulgaria BUL Ivelin Angelov

Out on loan[edit]

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
No. Pos. Nation Player


Board of directors[edit]

Position Name Nationality
President Stefan Kalimenov Bulgaria
Vice President Evgeniiy Balev Bulgaria
Sports Director Martin Zafirov Bulgaria
Member Krasimir Zafirov Bulgaria
Member Borislav Georgiev Bulgaria
Member Radostin Stanev Bulgaria
Member Martin Zafirov Bulgaria
Member Todor Stoykov Bulgaria
Member Georgi Simeonov Bulgaria
Member Marin Marinov Bulgaria

Current technical body[edit]

Position Name Nationality
Head Coach Kyriakos Georgiou Bulgaria
Goalkeeper Coach Georgi Arnaudov Bulgaria

Manager history[edit]

Dates Name Honours
1932 Germany Ferenz Fann 1 A Group Title
1933 Austria Dietmar Marius
1945 Bulgaria Aleksandar Kondov
1949–1950 Bulgaria Stefan Kalachev
1950 Bulgaria Kiril Pavlov
1951 Bulgaria Hristo Minkovski
1952–1954 Bulgaria Kiril Pavlov
1954–1955 Bulgaria Trendafil Stankov
1956–1957 Bulgaria Stefan Kalachev
1958–1964 Bulgaria Toma Zahariev
1964 Bulgaria Trendafil Stankov
1965–1966 Bulgaria Petar Minchev
1966–1967 Bulgaria Ivan Radoev
1967–1969 Bulgaria Toma Zahariev
1969 Bulgaria Trendafil Stankov
1970–1971 Bulgaria Stefan Semov
1971 Bulgaria Vladislav Mirchev
1971 Bulgaria Ivan Filipov
1972 Bulgaria Vasil Spasov
1972–1973 Bulgaria Borislav Milenov
1973–1974 Bulgaria Iliya Kirchev
1974–1975 Bulgaria Dobromir Tashkov
1975–1978 Bulgaria Dimitar Doychinov
1978–1979 Bulgaria Iliya Kirchev
1979–1980 Bulgaria Ivan Filipov
1980 Bulgaria Boris Pavlov
1981 Bulgaria Vasil Nenov
Dates Name Honours
1981–1983 Bulgaria Ivan Vutsov
1983–1985 Bulgaria Lyudmil Goranov
1985–1987 Bulgaria Ivan Filipov
1987–1988 Bulgaria Evgeni Yanchovski
1988–1989 Bulgaria Blagoy Kalfov
1989–1990 Bulgaria Stancho Bonchev
1990 Bulgaria Ivan Vasilev
1991–1993 Bulgaria Lyudmil Goranov
1993 Bulgaria Blagoy Kalfov
1993 Bulgaria Kiril Ivkov
1994 Bulgaria Krasimir Zafirov
1994–1995 Bulgaria Lyudmil Goranov
1995–1996 Bulgaria Nikola Hristov
1996–1997 Bulgaria Stefan Grozdanov
1997 Bulgaria Ferario Spasov
1997 Bulgaria Blagoy Kalfov
1998 Bulgaria Dimitar Penev
1998–1999 Bulgaria Radoslav Zdravkov
1999–2000 Bulgaria Velislav Vutsov
2000–2002 Bulgaria Stefan Grozdanov
2002 Bulgaria Dimitar Stoychev
2003 Bulgaria Miroslav Mironov
2004 Bulgaria Stefan Grozdanov
2004 Bulgaria Rumen Dimov
2004 Bulgaria Petar Kurdov
2005 Bulgaria Radoslav Zdravkov
2006 Bulgaria Nikolay Stanchev
Dates Name Honours
2006–2007 Bulgaria Miroslav Mironov
2007 Bulgaria Nedelcho Matushev
2007 Bulgaria Georgi Ivanov
2007–2008 Bulgaria Atanas Atanasov
2008 Bulgaria Radoslav Zdravkov
2008 Serbia Slobodan Stašević
2008 Bulgaria Ilko Stanchev
2009 Serbia Dragoljub Simonović
2009 Bulgaria Anatolii Kirilov
2009 Bulgaria Atanas Atanasov
2009–2010 Bulgaria Stoil Trankov
2010 Bulgaria Todor Popov
2010 Bulgaria Deyan Donchev
2010–2012 Bulgaria Dimitar Trendafilov
2012–2013 Bulgaria Ivan Naydenov
2013–2014 Bulgaria Georgi Ivanov
2014 Bulgaria Atanas Atanasov
2014 Bulgaria Zlatko Yankov
2015 Italy Marian Pane
2015–2016 Bulgaria Dimitar Pantev 1 A RFG Title
2016 Bulgaria Trayan Dyankov
2016–2017 Bulgaria Atanas Atanasov (interim)
2017 Bulgaria Ivan Naydenov
2017 Bulgaria Zlatin Mihaylov
2018–2019 Bulgaria Engibar Engibarov
2019 Bulgaria Diyan Bozhilov
2019– Greece Kyriakos Georgiou

League positions[edit]

Third Amateur Football League (Bulgaria)Second Professional Football League (Bulgaria)Third Amateur Football League (Bulgaria)Regional Amateur Football Groups (Bulgaria)Bulgarian B Football GroupBulgarian V AFGBulgarian B Football GroupBulgarian A Football GroupBulgarian B Football GroupBulgarian A Football GroupBulgarian B Football GroupBulgarian A Football GroupBulgarian B Football GroupBulgarian A Football GroupBulgarian B Football GroupBulgarian A Football GroupBulgarian B Football GroupBulgarian A Football GroupBulgarian B Football GroupBulgarian A Football GroupBulgarian B Football GroupBulgarian A Football GroupBulgarian B Football Group

Past seasons[edit]

Season League Place W D L GF GA Pts Bulgarian Cup
2015–16 A RFG (IV) 1st 19 0 3 90 20 57 Did not qualify
2016–17 Third League (III) 12th 4 1 17 21 51 10 Did not qualify
2017–18 Third League 8th 10 6 14 43 61 36 Did not qualify
2018–19 Third League 1st 22 7 0 105 19 73 First Round
2019–20 Second League 15th 2 4 15 6 42 10 First Round
Green marks a season followed by promotion, red a season followed by relegation.


External links[edit]