|Full name||Saipa Football Club|
|Nickname(s)||خودروسازان (car makers)
نارنجی ها (oranges)
|Founded||1 February 1989; 27 year ago|
|Ground||Shahid Dastgerdi Stadium|
|League||Persian Gulf Pro League|
|2015–16||Persian Gulf Pro League, 8th|
|Website||Club home page|
- For the automobile company, see SAIPA.
Saipa Football Club (Persian: باشگاه فوتبال سايپا) is a football club from Karaj, Alborz Province, Iran which plays in Tehran, Iran. The team is owned by SAIPA, an Iranian automobile manufacturer. The team has never had a large fanbase, despite some success. It is known to have one of the best youth academies in Iranian football and regularly promote academy players to the first team.
In 1989, SAIPA Company decided to start its own football team. They purchased a team playing in the 4th division of Tehran's city league, and renamed it Saipa F.C. After back to back promotions starting in the first year, the Karaj based club was playing in the 2nd division by 1991. That same year they purchased the Shipping Department team's shares, and participated in the 1st division of Tehran's local league. In that year they won the Tehran city championship as well as the Tehran Super Cup, thus attaining the right to play in Iran's top league at the time, the Azadegan League.
In their first year in the Azadegan League they won the championship, as well as the Hazfi Cup. They also won the league championship again in 1994 marking an incredible first five years for the club in Iranian football. Things turned to the worse though, as the team was shockingly relegated into the 2nd division in 1995, only to bounce back the next year. Since their second promotion to the top tier, the club has been a constant mid table outfit, and has often starred some of the country's most well known players.
Persian Gulf Pro League
Ali Daei era
Following the turn of the century, the club's on field performance remained stable, occupying mid table position most years. Shortly following Iranian Goalkeeping legend Ahmad Reza Abedzadeh's retirement, he was linked with the head coaching job at Saipa. It never materialized, but the club signed another Iranian legend Ali Daei in a blockbuster move from Saba Battery. The club had finished third the previous season and now, with Daei on the field and Werner Lorant as a coach, the team turned into a serious title contender. Shortly after the season began though, Littbarski was sacked and Ali Daei took on the role of player/ coach. Captaining and coaching the team to the title marked the end of a remarkable career. Daei also scored the winner in the title winning game. Daei extended his contract, this time as a full-time Coach. He was appointed head coach of the national team but kept his role at Saipa until the end of the season.
Return to Mid-Table and Relocation to Tehran
Following the title winning year which saw the team play in the AFC Champions League, Saipa has turned back into the mid table places of the league again. Before the start of the 2015–16 Persian Gulf Pro League season Saipa announced they had moved their home city from Karaj to nearby Tehran. Saipa also made some big transfers to attempt to return to the top of the league, namely Gholamreza Rezaei, Reza Norouzi and former CA Osasuna captain Javad Nekounam.
The table below chronicles the achievements of Saipa in various competitions since 1993.
|1993–94||Azadegan League||1st||Cup||Did not qualify|
|1994–95||Azadegan League||1st||Second round|
|1996–97||Iran Second Division||2nd||Did not qualify|
|1997–98||Azadegan League||7th||Not held|
|2008–09||PGC||10th||1/16 Final||Did not qualify|
- Iran's Premier League Football:
- Hazfi Cup:
- Winners (1): 1993–94
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
For recent transfers, see List of Iranian football transfers summer 2016.
|Head coach||Hossein Faraki|
|Assistant coach||Saeid Rajabi|
|Assistant coach||Ahmad Sajjadi|
|Assistant coach||Farshad Falahatzadeh|
|Fitness coach||Ali Salehnia|
|Technical Manager||Asghar Hajiloo|
|B team Manager||Kianoush Rahmati|
The following managers had managed Saipa since 1993:
|Bijan Zolfagharnasab||1993–97||2 Iran Pro League, Hazfi Cup|
|Mohammad Mayeli Kohan||2003–04|
|Ali Daei||2006–08||1 Iran Pro League|
|Mohammad Mayeli Kohan||2008–11|
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